As of mid-2025 the rules for visa-free travel to Europe will change for travellers coming from approximately 60 countries and territories. Find out below what the first year of ETIAS will look like in practice.
The change in a nutshell
ETIAS will start to be operational in mid-2025, according to the action plan endorsed by the ministers of EU countries in October 2023.
The launch of ETIAS will take place a few months after the introduction of the Entry Exit System (the EES). The EES will require identity, travel document data and biometric checks for non-EU travellers entering the territory of these European countries for a short stay. Biometric data will not be collected with ETIAS.
Once the new system is in place in mid-2025, nationals of approximately 60 countries and territories who do not need a visa to travel to any of the 30 European countries, will have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation before starting their trip. Similar entry requirements for visa-free nationals are currently in place in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Travellers will have to submit their ETIAS applications online using either the official ETIAS website europa.eu/etias or the official mobile app.
The implementation of the change in the European travel
rules will be gradual
- Transitional period: travellers should apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation
The launch of ETIAS in mid-2025 will be followed by a transitional period of at least six months. This means that, for travel during this time, travellers should already apply for their ETIAS travel authorisation, but those without one will not be refused entry as long as they fulfil all remaining entry conditions.
- Grace period: travellers must have an ETIAS travel authorisation
During this period travellers must have an ETIAS travel authorisation to enter the 30 European countries.
There is an exception: only those coming to Europe for the first time since the end of the transitional period will be allowed to enter without an ETIAS provided they fulfil all remaining entry conditions. All other travellers will be refused entry if they do not hold an ETIAS travel authorisation.
The grace period will last at least six months.
There is only one official ETIAS website: europa.eu/etias.
- Publication date
- 24 November 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs