New Europe Travel Requirement for 2022
In the past, all that’s been required for a jaunt to Europe is your passport, with that delightful police-lineup photo that looks like you’re fresh from a night out with Charlie Sheen.
But starting January 1st, 2022, Europe will require Americans and other foreigners to take an extra step prior to arriving on the continent. Note that this new requirement is specific to this list of participating countries – which can be found HERE – but these are, of course, the countries most of us visit.
This new requirement may or may NOT include the U.K., which, given Brexit, is acting like a dude who can’t commit.
It’s called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), designed as a new security check. Fortunately, much of the information you’ll be providing is stuff you already gave your airline, so they won’t need your blood type or your Google password. And it’s very simple to be approved.
You just apply online – the application page is HERE – and pay a fee of 7 Euro (around $8.50 at this writing). The application should take less than 10 minutes. The only item you’ll need handy is your passport.
Your waiver is good for three years (or until your passport expires, whichever comes first), and one waiver covers all of the countries – you don’t need separate applications for each country. So, you can take as many trips as you can jam into your glamorous travel schedule using that one ETIAS. After it expires, you’ll need to reapply.
Although everyone, regardless of age, is required to have a waiver, those under 18 or over 70 are exempt from the fee. So, if you’re dewy and fresh, or not-as-dewy but wise, it won’t cost you a penny.
Now…you could wing it and apply as you’re on the way to the airport, but DON’T. The final decision can take up to 96 hours; and since this will be a new system, and government bureaucracies have never exactly excelled at the interweb (I’m talking to you, DMV), do it a month in advance. Besides, you never know if your personal information could have been co-mingled with that guy who robbed a bank (yes, this actually happened to me years ago), which could really throw a wrench into things. You will not even be allowed to board your flight without it.
Here’s a handy guide: