Etias – important changes for UK travellers to the EU

If you’re organising an event in Europe from autumn 2023 onwards, there are some important changes that will affect travel into the Schengen area from the UK.

First up, the good news; passport stamping will no longer take place, and it’s this that has largely been blamed on queues into France last month. In its place will be a new “entry/exit system” similar to the American ESTA.

This is an automated IT system that will register the entrance and exit of all third country nationals at all EU external borders and travelling within the Schengen Area. Following Brexit, this will apply to all UK nationals carrying a United Kingdom passport.

It will come in the form of a pre-travel authorisation system that will be known as an Etias. The most important thing to note is all travellers will have to apply in advance and be issued with a permit. The cost will be €7 / £6. It’s not a visa, but amounts to pretty much the same.

Travellers will need to apply on-line, with approval promised within minutes in most cases. Once approved, the Etias will be valid for three years or until the traveller’s passport expires.

An exception will be for travel to the Republic of Ireland, which isn’t in the Schengen Area and is part of the common travel area with the UK. As such, there will be no change for travel to Ireland and visitors need not apply for an Etias.

The Etias is expected to be introduced in November 2023, and until then no action is needed.

For more information, visit the Etias Visa portal. Looking for a venue in Europe? Check out our portfolio here.