By Alison Fox
Jul 8, 2022
IF YOU’RE PLANNING that great European vacation , or just a short hop for great food, you’ll soon have to pay up thanks to a new tourist fee to be implemented next year.
The €7 tourist fee, which is expected to go into effect in May 2023, will apply to foreign visitors 18 to 70 years old as part of the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (or ETIAS), according to the European Commission. Travelers will have to apply for the authorization through an official website or app before their trip.
“ETIAS will be a largely automated IT system created to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors traveling to the Schengen States, whilst at the same time facilitating crossing borders for the vast majority of travelers who do not pose such risks,” the European Commission wrote on its website. “Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for a travel authorization through the ETIAS system prior to their trip.”
Most travelers who apply for the ETIAS authorization will be approved within minutes, according to the Commission. Those who are not — expected in about 5 percent of cases — could receive the travel authorization in up to 30 days.
The authorization, which will be required to enter all countries of the Schengen area, will be valid for three years or until the expiration date of someone’s travel document.
The authorization will be checked by border guards along with other travel documents, like a passport.
The ETIAS authorization is similar to the United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization (or ESTA), which is available to travelers from countries granted a Visa Waiver Program. Last month, the fee for ESTA increased from $14 to $21, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.