UK tourists will have to pay to visit Europe next year in new rules
UK tourists will have to pay to enter Europe from next year as a new visa system is introduced.
Travellers will be required to pay a fee for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is an electronic permit designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone.
It will replace the current system of stamping passports, with the new visa document to be scanned instead.
An ETIAS will be needed for by citizens of countries who can enter the EU zone visa-free, which includes 63 countries in total.
Once completed, the visa will be valid for three years and will allow unlimited entries to the EU, although it will expire if you need to get a new passport.
When will I need an ETIAS?
The ETIAS will start at the end of 2022, although the exact launch date has not yet been confirmed. It is expected that the visa will be up and running by late 2022 and fully operational in 2023.
ETIAS registration will become mandatory in 2023, but there will be a six month transition period to allow travellers to become familiar with the new entry requirements.
The application form will take around 10 minutes to complete online and must be completed at least 96 hours before departure.
The visa must be filled out by all travellers heading to the EU, except those younger than 18 and those older than 70.
Applicants will be asked for information about their identity, passport, education, job, recent travel and any criminal convictions.
Airlines will also be required to check the visa before allowing passengers to board the plane.
How much will it cost?
An ETIAS will cost €7 (£5) and successful applicants will be able to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days per 180-day period.
It will remain valid for three years and for multiple trips to Europe. People who apply during the transition period will be able to use the permit for the next three years, unless their passport expires.
How do I apply?
Travellers who meet the ETIAS requirements will be able to access the online registration and apply for an ETIAS by the end of the year.
To apply, foreign nationals must be from a visa-exempt country and be visiting Europe for tourism, business, or transit.