New change for travel to and from Europe in 2025

ETIAS Travel authorization

Scheduled to come into force mid-2025, citizens of over 60 non-Europeans countries including the US, Canada and the UK will now need the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to enter these 30 European countries.

ETIAS will affect non-resident and non-EU citizens who currently travel visa free to Europe (including Italy) for short term stays (the so-called 90-day rule).

The 90-day rule (or stays for 90 days every 180 days) will still apply. The difference is now it will be essential to apply online for the ETIAS in order to travel to Europe.

Connected to your passport, with an administrative fee of 7 Euro to pay, ETIAS will be valid for a 3-year period. If your passport expires before the 3-year period, you will need to apply for another ETIAS for the new passport.

Fees will not apply for children under 18 and adults over 70 or for family members of EU citizens and nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Who will need an ETIAS?

ETIAS will apply to tourists, second-home owners, family visitors or short-term work travelers.

Air, land and sea carriers will have to check to make sure that the passenger has the valid entry authorization, not just a valid passport, checks online will include the ETIAS visa waiver at least 48 hours before the flight.

Who is exempt?

If you are an Italian dual citizen with a valid Italian passport, ETIAS does not apply to you.

Use your Italian passport (or any other European passport) to travel to Europe.

ETIAS will not apply to holders of residency permits in Europe.

How does this change my travel plans?

Essentially a visa waiver rather than a visa, ETIAS is just another item to put on your to-do list before travelling to Europe and before booking flights and hotels.

Although many applicants can expect a reply within minutes, it may take up to 72 hours to receive the ETIAS, so travelers should plan accordingly.

This is similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) which visitors travelling to the US have needed to determine if they were eligible to enter the United States.

What if I forget to apply for my ETIAS?

A grace period of 6 months is expected, allowing travelers to enter the Schengen Area as long as they have the requisite requirements.

What if I cannot get an ETIAS?

An ETIAS visa that has been refused, revoked or annulled will remain in the EU data base for a period of five years. If an application is refused, there is a right to appeal. The appeal will be handled by the country that refused the application. A previous refusal does not mean that a new application will be automatically refused.

And the fine print:

What if you have a criminal past?

You are required to disclose your criminal past when applying. A software check will determine whether you declared the truth re: criminal convictions. Generally a criminal record does not mean that you will not be granted an ETIAS. Evaluation is discretionary. There is no mandatory list of crimes that will automatically cause your application to be rejected, although major offences could lead to a denied application. Each case will be examined individually.