Canadian travellers should be aware of upcoming changes to travel requirements for entry into thirty European nations next year. Beginning in 2024, Canadian citizens travelling to certain European countries will be required to obtain a permit known as a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travel authorization. An ETIAS travel authorisation is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to 30 European countries including France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Finland, Germany, and Portugal. A full list of all 30 countries can be accessed here, https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/who-should-apply_en#ETIAS-countries.
The ETIAS travel authorization is linked to a traveller’s passport and is valid for a three-year period or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. When you obtain a new passport, you will be required to apply for a new ETIAS travel authorisation. Please note, the ETIAS travel authorisation is issued only to one person and is linked to their travel document. Other individuals, including family members, are required to have their own ETIAS travel authorisations.
With a valid ETIAS travel authorisation, you can enter the territory of these 30 European countries as often as you want for short-term stays – normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. That being said, the travel authorisation does not guarantee entry. When you present yourself at a port of entry, the border officer will ask to see your passport and other documents in order to verify that you meet the entry requirements for that country.
You can complete the application form for a travel authorisation by using either the official ETIAS website – https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en – or the ETIAS mobile application. Applying for the ETIAS travel authorisation costs 7 Euros (roughly $10.30 CAD). The application form is available in all 24 official EU languages including English and French. Applicants who are under 18 or above 70 years of age are exempt from this payment as are family members of EU citizens or of non-EU nationals who have the right to move freely throughout the European Union.
During the application process, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Personal information including your name(s), date and place of birth, sex, nationalities, home address, email address and phone number(s);
- Your parents’ first name(s);
- Travel document details;
- Your level of education and current occupation;
- The country of your first intended stay and the address of your destination;
- Details about any past criminal convictions, past travels to war or conflict zones, and whether you have recently been the subject of a return decision.
More information about what to expect when crossing EU borders is available here, https://travel-europe.europa.eu/ees_en. Currently, ETIAS is not in operation and no applications are being collected at this point. The Canadian Snowbird Association will be providing members with updates on this new requirement as soon as more information becomes available.