The ETIAS scheme has been delayed for a second time, which has been pushed back to a yet-to-be-specified date in 2024.
Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, part of the ‘Brexit’ negotiation included us being treated as a ‘third country’ when entering. This currently means that we have to get our passport stamped both going in and out, have a restriction of staying no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, have restrictions on passport validity and are shortly to be included in the new ETIAS scheme.
ETIAS is a travel authority scheme similar to the ESTA you need for travelling to the US, or the ETA to Canada, a simple form which requires your details and a brief background to check you can enter. In the case of the EU, it’s going to cost around £7, and will be valid for 3 years (or until your passport expires). It is going to be brought in alongside a new Entry/Exit System (EES), which will allow us to enter without our passports being stamped (great for those who travel a lot and will run out of space in their passport).
It was originally supposed to be ready for May 2023, and then pushed back to November, but it has been pushed back again to a yet unspecified date in 2024. The reasoning is that the more technically challenging part, the EES needs to be up and running first, which currently keeps the start date of November.
As ever, we’re keeping a close eye on this as it will change the way we travel to Europe and there may be challenges when it starts next year. We will update you once we have more information.