UK to pay for travel to EU countries from next year as visa waiver fee introduced

British tourists will have to pay to enter EU countries from next year as part of a post-Brexit rule change. Tourists will have to apply for a visit and pay a fee for it before they are allowed under the plan to introduce the Visa Waiver Security Check Scheme.

British tourists planning to travel to the Schengen zone – which includes most EU countries in mainland Europe – must apply to the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) before departure, when ETIAS launches in 2023 . This is because the UK has now left the EU due to Brexit.

After a transitional period of 11 months, the UK breaks ties with the EU on December 31, 2022, Chronicle Live reports, ETIAS security checks on EU visitors were first proposed in 2016, when the UK was yet to vote to leave the EU before being ratified in 2018.

The scheme is similar to the ESTA visa waiver scheme that British tourists use to travel to the United States. Although UK passport holders will not need a visa to visit EU Schengen zone countries as tourists, they may be turned back at the border if their ETIAS application is not approved under the new system .

It is understood that applicants will be charged a fee of approximately £6. The ETIAS scheme is expected to start in 2023.

The EU’s ETIAS website explains: “ETIAS will be a large-scale automated IT system designed to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks by visa-free visitors traveling to the Schengen states, as well as across borders for the vast majority of travelers.” Non-EU citizens who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area must obtain travel authorization through the ETIAS system prior to their travel. have to apply”.

A fee must be paid before the ETIAS application can be considered. This is expected to be around €7 (approximately £6) and will apply to applicants aged 18 to 70. UK passport holders will not require an ETIAS to visit the Republic of Ireland.

The EU states: “After filling out the online application form, the system will check against EU information systems for borders and security and, in most cases, issue a travel authorization within minutes. The ETIAS travel authorization will be mandatory upon entry into the Schengen area.” It will be checked by border guards along with travel documents when crossing the EU border.”

How will ETIAS work and how long will the EU visa waiver application take?

UK tourists traveling to the Schengen Free Travel Area (which includes the non-EU countries of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as 22 EU countries and four who are applying to join the Schengen) have to fill an application form online. , either via computer or mobile device. The European Union says it should take about 10 minutes to fill out the form.

Applicants will need a passport or equivalent document to apply. About 95% of applicants can expect their ETIAS to be approved within minutes.

Those flagged on the system as a potential risk will face a 96-hour wait before making a decision, the EU says. In “extraordinary circumstances” an applicant may wait a maximum of four weeks.

Those whose ETIAS applications have been rejected have the right to appeal. They may also consider applying for a visa or contacting the embassy of the country they plan to visit.

However if they attempt to travel without an approved ETIAS application or visa, they will be turned back at the border. No, a successful ETIAS application will be valid for three years but can be revoked.

For which countries will UK passport holders need an ETIAS visa waiver?

British tourists will need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit every country in the Schengen area, which includes four non-EU countries and four countries applying to join the Schengen area, says,

they are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • czech republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway

UK passport holders will not need to fill out an ETIAS form to visit the Republic of Ireland.

What are the reasons for denial of ETIAS visa waiver?

Possible reasons for denial of an ETIAS application may include a criminal record, threats to safety, health concerns, or a history of prolonged stay in the Schengen zone. A criminal record will not automatically mean that an application fails, but it could put the applicant at risk.

When do British tourists need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit the EU Schengen zone?

ETIAS is expected to be operational by May 2023, but a spokesman for the European Union told the Chronicle that it could come earlier.

“As per the current plan, it will be implemented by the end of 2022,” he said. There may be a grace period when the system is first implemented.

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