The launch of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) has been pushed back from mid-2024 to roughly May 2025. The postponement is due to another such delay in the launch of the Entry/Exit System (EES), another European Union border security measure.
Said one E.U. official to SchengenVisaInfo.com, “We had initially hoped for the EES to become operational by the end of this year or, at the latest, the beginning of the next year. Due to unforeseen delays, it has become evident that this timeline is unattainable. As a result, the implementation of the ETIAS has been rescheduled to May 2025, with the possibility of further postponement.”
ETIAS, when in effect, will allow visa-exempt nationals to enter a territory within the European Union/Schengen Area for short-term stays (usually 90 days in a 180-day period). The ETIAS authorization will be linked to a traveler’s passport and will be valid for three years, or until the expiration of the passport, whichever comes first. When a traveler gets a new passport, they will also need to get a new ETIAS travel authorization.
Authorization will cost €7 and will generally take minutes to process, although the process could take up to four days. In some instances, should a traveler need to provide additional information, processing could take as long as one month. Those under the age of 18 or over 70 will have their fees waived.
The EES, however, is an automated IT system for registering non-E.U. nationals traveling for a short stay, each time they cross the external borders of European countries using the system. The EES replaces passport stamping and automates border control procedures, making traveling to European countries using the EES more efficient for the traveler.
The implementation of ETIAS can only happen five to six months after the launch of EES, according to a spokesperson for the European Commission.