2024: European Travel Requirements Updates

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**Update to article

Please note that this article was factually accurate at the time of writing. The ETIAS scheme has subsequently been delayed until at least May 2025.

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In 2024, visa-exempt travellers will first need to complete an online travel authorisation application via the European Travel Information and Authorisations System (“ETIAS”). The new system is intended to monitor migration risks and essentially mirrors the forthcoming requirements for non-visa nationals to get an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) in advance of travel to the UK.

The new rules 

From 2024, the above 30 countries will require ETIAS travel authorisation for entry by visa-exempt nationals. UK nationals are visa-exempt nationals, and it will also include any other national who can travel to these 30 countries without needing to obtain a visa (such as a visitor visa) in advance. You can then stay in those countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. However, it must be stressed that this does not guarantee you entry. A border guard will check your passport and other documents to verify that you meet the usual entry conditions.

Applying for the ETIAS travel authorisation 

You can apply for the travel authorisation either via the official ETIAS website or the ETIAS mobile application. If you are between 18 and 70 years old, you must pay 7 Euros for the application fee. If you are over 70 or below 18 years old, you are exempt from paying for this. However, parents or legal guardians will need to submit applications on behalf of minors. 

When you are filling out the application form you will need to have your travel documents and a credit card readily available. Applicants will be asked to provide details and a declaration of accuracy on: 

  • Personal information 
  • Travel documents 
  • Education and occupation 
  • Intended travel itinerary 
  • Any criminal convictions 
  • Past travels to war or conflict zones 
  • Whether the applicant has been the subject of a decision requiring them to leave the territory of any country 

Most applications are processed within minutes. However, the process can take four days. It can be extended up to 14 days if additional documents or information are required and up to 30 days if you are invited to an interview.  

After the decision has been made  

If your application has been approved it will be valid for three years or until your travel documents have expired, whichever comes first. 

If your application has been refused or revoked, then you will have the right to appeal. You will receive an email indicating the grounds for refusal and the authority that made the decision. They can also show you where the appeals should be filed, and the relevant procedures should be followed.

How we can help 

This update covers the upcoming new travel arrangements between the UK and the EU. Employers whose employees routinely travel to the 30 countries for business need to be aware of these requirements and be ready to apply in advance of travel. Travelling to any of these countries without an ETIAS in place could result in your employees being refused entry, leading to business disruption.