The European Union has officially confirmed a new delay in the implementation of the eagerly anticipated ETIAS travel system for non-EU visitors. The launch of this digital initiative, originally set for 2021, is now postponed until spring 2025. This postponement has been attributed to ongoing challenges associated with the Entry-Exit System (EES), a complementary project that must be operational before ETIAS can be introduced.
SchengenVisaInfo.com, a specialist website, initially reported this delay last month, shedding light on the continued setbacks plaguing EES, which has been a critical precursor to ETIAS. Now, the European Council has approved a revised timeline for the rollout of several major digital IT projects within the EU, including ETIAS and EES.
Under the new schedule, EES is expected to become fully operational in autumn 2024, paving the way for ETIAS to be launched in spring 2025. This marks a significant departure from the original plan, which had initially slated ETIAS for a 2024 debut before being postponed further.
Once the ETIAS system is finally in place, it will bring about substantial changes for travelers from outside the EU, including those from countries like the UK and the US who currently enjoy visa-waiver status. They will be required to apply for an ETIAS authorization before visiting any of the 30 European countries under the ETIAS program.
The application process for ETIAS will involve a €7 fee paid through an official website or app. Once granted, each ETIAS authorization will remain valid for three years or until the expiration date of the traveler’s passport or travel document. Additionally, the Entry-Exit System (EES) will replace the current manual passport stamping procedures in the EU with an advanced electronic registration system.
Despite the delay, anticipation remains high for the successful launch of ETIAS, which is expected to streamline travel processes for non-EU visitors and enhance security measures across Europe. Travelers are encouraged to stay informed about updates on the ETIAS implementation schedule as the EU continues to work towards its spring 2025 target.