ETIAS Requirements for UK citizens
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) launches in 2023. ETIAS will change the way UK citizens and visitors from other visa-exempt countries travel to countries in the Schengen zone. Essentially, ETIAS is a pre-screening system in which travellers share some personal information to gain pre-approval for travel into France or another Schengen country. Upon receiving an application, border officials will cross-check the provided information against European security databases. If the traveler satisfies all the ETIAS requirements, the applicant will be approved for travel within 24 hours. This paper-free process is efficient and is meant to improve traveller experience, as well as traveller and citizen safety. The European Union designed the new system to combat the threat of international terrorism and the danger of global pandemics, among other factors. ETIAS will also result in less stress, less paperwork, fewer queues, and overall less issues for foreign travellers looking to enter Schengen countries. This testifies to the will of the European Union to increase its internal security without turning down international travellers who remain welcome and highly valued by the European economy.
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Welcome to France
Who will need ETIAS to travel to France?
In 2023 and beyond, every person travelling from one of the 60 visa-exempt countries, including the United Kingdom, regardless of age, will need to apply for pre-authorisation through ETIAS. British citizens will be relieved to know that the fully-online application process is simple and accessible. Once a traveller has ETIAS approval, they needn’t reapply for 3 years unless their linked passport expires before then.
Remember that the new European Travel Information and Authorization System will be in place specifically for Schengen countries. EU countries which do not participate in Schengen, like Ireland, will maintain their own travel procedures and normatives, and will therefore not require ETIAS. On the other hand, British nationals looking to travel to, for example, Norway, won’t need to apply for a visitor visa for the Nordic country because Norway, while not being a EU member state, is part of the Schengen area.
Citizens of Visa-exempt countries
Citizens of 60 countries throughout the world (including the UK, the USA, Australia, and Canada) enjoy visa-free travel within the European Union. Currently, these travellers only need a valid biometric passport to enter a Schengen country. However, starting in 2023, citizens from visa-exempt countries will need to add one more step to their travel prep – submitting the ETIAS application form.
Short-term travellers (up to 90 days)
ETIAS authorisation does not permit a visitor to stay in France for more than 90 days. If you wish to stay longer, or if you’re planning to work or study in France, you’ll need to apply for the appropriate visa.
ETIAS Requirements for Minors
When it comes to ETIAS applications, age doesn’t matter. Border officials will demand proof of ETIAS approval for adults and children alike. If you’re travelling with a minor, ensure his or her parent or other legal guardian has submitted an ETIAS application for the child.
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Who will need ETIAS to travel to France?
Travellers from the United Kingdom, along with those from the 59 other visa-exempt countries, will need to submit an ETIAS application before travelling to a country in the Schengen zone. The United States, Australia, and Canada are also among the countries affected by the change. Here’s a full list of the 60 countries whose citizens will need to submit ETIAS applications to travel to France:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovin
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- North Macedonia
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Timor Leste
- Trinidat & Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
How to apply for ETIAS to France from the UK
As long as you’re filling out an ETIAS application for yourself, you shouldn’t run into any issues, and the process should only take about 10 minutes. You’ll need to provide passport information, your name, date of birth, citizenship details, email address, phone number, and some less-basic information like work and education experience, and travel, medical, and criminal history. If something doesn’t add up or your application seems suspicious, the reviewing border agent may request additional information or an in-person interview. In most cases, though, the application process will be straightforward, and you’ll be approved for travel within 24 hours. Remember that your ETIAS authorization does not guarantee you entry into France. French border officials have the final say in every case. On top of your ETIAS, they may ask you to provide return flight and hotel reservations, proof of sufficient funds, and medical insurance coverage.
ETIAS requirements & documents
In the majority of cases, the only required document is a biometric passport. The UK has been providing biometric passports exclusively for over a decade. So if you have a valid passport issued by the UK government, then you have the required biometric passport.
To be considered valid, the passport or travel document should have:
If your travel document doesn’t meet the criteria, border officials may request additional documents before processing your application.