The European Commission has announced that British nationals will have to pay a visa waiver fee to enter the Schengen area next year.
The decision concerns the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), an online platform that is part of a plan to improve border security in the Schengen area.
ETIAS is expected to be launched by November 2023 and will cover visa-exempt third-country nationals :
Travelers will have to fill out an online application form via the official website or app to receive approval, with the European Commission stating that "a large majority of cases (expected to be more than 95%) will result in automatic approval." If additional checks are required, it can take up to 30 days for the authorization to be issued.
The ETIAS authorization will cost 7 euros for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70, but it will be a one-time fee and will be valid for three years and for multiple entries into the Schengen states.
It will be a mandatory condition for entry into the Schengen states and will be checked alongside travel documents by border guards when crossing the EU border. The European Commission will publish on its official website the date from which travelers can apply.
This pre-check of visa-exempt third-country citizens will facilitate border controls, save travelers bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at borders, ensure a coordinated and harmonized assessment of the risks posed by third-country nationals, and significantly reduce the number of refusals of entry at border crossing points.
The European Commission
It added that it will not change the third countries subject to the visa requirement and will not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of visa-exempt countries.