Skip to content

Europe to require new entry fee for visitors

April 28, 2022
4 min read
Portugal, Lisbon, Humberto Delgado Airport, Customs roped line
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After all the pandemic-era regulations and international travel rules, get ready for one new requirement coming for travelers to Europe in 2023. The European Travel Information and Authorization System will introduce a mandatory registration and a 7 euro (about $7.50) fee for visitors to most European countries as of May 2023. While some people have called this a "visitor tax," the stated reason for the program is improved security. According to then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker when ETIAS was announced in 2016, "We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is traveling to Europe before they even get here."

ETIAS states the system will be able to "Assist in detecting and decreasing crime and terrorism" and "Impede irregular migration." With the system, Americans and visitors from 62 other countries will still be able to travel visa-free in most European nations.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

What is ETIAS?

The new ETIAS should be in place by May 2023. (Image courtesy of schengenvisainfo.com/European Commission)

The European Travel Information and Authorization System is an electronic process to pre-screen, profile, approve and register visitors to the 26 countries of the European Schengen Zone who don't currently need a visa to enter. Similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization entry approval system, ETIAS will cross-check visitor information with government databases and watch lists before issuing authorization to enter. The information collected will also be used in data tracking for business and tourism purposes. ETIAS covers European countries that are part of the Schengen Zone travel agreement, in a region mostly overlapping the EU, with the addition of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein but minus Ireland. An individual's ETIAS authorization will be valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years.

Countries in the Schengen Zone to require ETIAS:

  • Austria.
  • Belgium.
  • The Czech Republic.
  • Denmark.
  • Estonia.
  • Finland.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Greece.
  • Hungary.
  • Iceland.
  • Italy.
  • Latvia.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • Lithuania.
  • Luxembourg.
  • Malta.
  • The Netherlands.
  • Norway.
  • Poland.
  • Portugal.
  • Slovakia.
  • Slovenia.
  • Spain.
  • Sweden.
  • Switzerland.

Who needs to apply for ETIAS?

All U.S. citizens and those from the other 62 non-EU countries that are not currently required to apply for a visa will need ETIAS authorization to enter the EU for visits of up to 90 days, including transit passengers. Only visitors who are between the ages of 18 and 70 will need to pay the application fee, but those of all ages will still need ETIAS authorization to enter. If you have applied separately for a visa to enter Europe, you will not need to complete the ETIAS application.

Related: A country-by-country guide to where you can travel without a COVID-19 test

When and where will ETIAS go into effect?

This long-planned and much-delayed system is currently targeted to be fully operational in May 2023. At that point, airlines and other transport systems will be required to check for ETIAS authorization prior to allowing passenger boarding, and visitors will be required to complete the application process prior to travel. At land borders, visitors can complete the application at an electronic kiosk.

How do you apply for ETIAS?

The ETIAS application process. (Image courtesy of shengenvisainfo.com/European Commission)

Before traveling, you'll need to access the ETIAS online application to input passport information, name, date and place of birth, an email address, phone number, and a credit or debit card to submit the payment fee. You'll also need to provide your destination, as well as answer a few background and profile questions. The ETIAS website indicates the form should take about 10 minutes to complete.

Approval for most applicants should take only a matter of minutes. However, if an item is flagged in the application, a manual review must take place. The applicant can then either correct the improperly entered information or appeal a denial decision.

Bottom line

No immediate action needs to be taken by U.S. citizens planning to visit Europe. However, be prepared for the May 2023 launch when you must go through one more step and pay one more fee in the traveling process as part of the ETIAS implementation. Stay tuned to The Points Guy for further developments related to this program.

Featured image by UIG via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases