EU announces new £6 fee for
Brits who wish to travel to
Europe after Brexit

The EU has announced a new form of electronic travel authorisation. Starting in 2021, non-EU citizens (which will include people from the UK) and those travelling to the Schengen* Area (see below) will be required to get an ETIAS before their trip. Its aim is to ‘strengthen security checks on those persons who travel visa-free to the EU.’

What is an ETIAS?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)  will be similar to the US’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

It is not a visa but UK nationals will not be able to travel to the EU for business, transit, tourism or medical reasons for up to 90 days if they do not obtain one.

Conveniently, applicants will not need to go to a consulate, or give biometric data as it will be an automated process.

Instead, applicants will fill in an online form and submit their name, address, date of birth, passport details, information about their trip and some security questions. This information will be cross-checked against several databases.

In most cases there should be a positive decision within minutes. Unlike a Schengen* visa, the ETIAS will last for three years.

How much will an ETIAS cost?

The fee for each application is €7 (roughly £6) for people aged between 18 and 70. This is half the price of a US ESTA (approximately £12).

It is estimated that UK tourists will pay up to £344 million for ETIAS in the first year of the scheme.

Last year the Spanish economy received £11 billion from UK tourism.  In a 2017 report, one in six businesses in Malta said it relied directly on UK tourism for its survival.

When will the ETIAS start?

The new system will launch in early 2021.

*The Schengen Area

This is a zone of 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and other types of border control.

The UK and the Republic of Ireland are currently the only EU member states that did not sign the Schengen Agreement. Instead, both countries have a Common Travel Area with passport-free travel between them.

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