Europe has always been an easy destination to travel to with visa exemptions for over 60 non-EU countries. This has allowed non-EU citizens entry into the Schengen area for short holiday stays. So you can stay in Europe for 90 days to see the sights, eat all the delicious food and return home with plenty of travel stories.
However, due to concerns over security and border controls, the European Union will be implementing some changes to improve safety in Europe. From late 2023, travel requirements into Europe will change with the introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Similar to the United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), ETIAS requires non-EU citizens to apply for travel authorization prior to arriving in Europe.
ETIAS will be a mandatory condition to enter the Schengen states for all visa-exempt non-EU travellers. Once it’s compulsory, travellers will be able to apply for ETIAS online for a cost of seven euros and applications are expected to be approved within minutes. However, it can take anywhere between four and 30 days, depending on missing documents or other unfortunate circumstances.
The application form involves filling out personal information, passport details, your entry country into the Schengen area and security questions. Once approved, ETIAS lasts for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. All other Schengen regulations will remain the same, so you are still able to visit Europe for 90 days in a 180-day period.
Travel authorization systems such as ETIAS and ESTA aim to identify potential threats before arrival to improve security and the migration of foreign nationals. These systems also aim to create a more efficient system for travellers once they arrive but can be a hassle before starting your holiday.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of travel authorisation and you want more time in Europe, there are many pathways to citizenship. The most common is citizenship by descent, but even if you don’t have European heritage, there are other ways forward! One of these options is the Golden Visa which allows you to gain a residence permit for a country through significant investment.
Want to know more about your citizenship options? Contact our team today!