The ETIAS EU entry scheme is being postponed

(CNN) – Planning a trip to Europe next summer? The cost of living may be rising, but there is one small convenience – you no longer have to pay €7 ($7.35) to be let in.

The European Commission has delayed the launch of its ETIAS visa waiver scheme, which would see all non-EU passport holders needing pre-travel authorization to enter the bloc.

It will now be operational by November 2023, according to a new memorandum issued by the European Commission.

ETIAS is not a visa; instead, it is a visa waiver scheme, just like the United States’ ESTA program, which started in 2008.

It also does not replace visas; will only apply to non-EU nationals from countries that do not currently require an EU visa. Processing is faster than a visa, done online (like ESTA) and does not require biometric information. However, like ESTA, there is a cost to acquiring it.

EU travelers are exempt and have freedom of movement around the bloc, allowing them to spend as much time as they want in many countries. EU residents will also be exempt from the scheme, regardless of their nationality.

But for everyone else entering the bloc from a country that did not previously require a visa, ETIAS will be mandatory. The move affects around 60 countries, including the US and the UK, which lost freedom of movement after Brexit. Nothing changes for those who previously needed a visa to enter.

The application process will be through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for approximately 95% of applicants, according to a new memo issued by the EU. The maximum time required for approval can be up to one month in “very exceptional cases”. Anyone whose application is rejected will have the right to appeal.

The ETIAS authorization is valid for an unlimited number of entries for a period of three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and stay rules. Currently, third-country nationals cannot stay more than 90 days in the entire bloc in any 180-day period.

The cost: €7 ($7.35) for those between the ages of 18 and 70. It is not yet clear whether others will have a reduced rate or be able to apply for free. In comparison, the US charges $21 for an ESTA authorization.

Applications are not open yet and no date has been set for when they will start.

Main image: Noppasinw/Adobe Stock

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