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Schengen Area: ETIAS will finally be launched in 2024

Initially planned for the beginning of 2022, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will finally be launched in 2024. Nationals of visa-exempt third countries will need to have this authorization if they wish to enter the Schengen Area for a short stay.

US citizens are directly affected by this measure. Among the major European countries the Americans visited were the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Germany. With the exception of the United Kingdom since Brexit, the other three European countries are part of the Schengen Area.

Schengen area

The Schengen Area is a geographical area in Europe in which internal border controls are abolished. the 27 signatories It has adopted common rules and a single external boundary where entry controls are implemented according to similar procedures. Their intention was to fight crime by using a common judicial system and to facilitate police cooperation to allow free movement of people within the Schengen area. The name of this geographical area comes from a small village in Luxembourg, on the borders with Germany and France, where the first agreements and the Schengen Agreement were signed in 1985 and 1990 respectively. And in 1995, the member states of the European Union joined and signed an agreement to abolish border controls in the Schengen area, but some countries got exceptions that allow them not to be part of the free movement area. Thus, not all EU countries are members of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen area covers Italy, France, and Germany in addition to most of them other European Union countries, with the exception of Ireland, and some countries that will soon become part of the Schengen area, namely Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Although they are not members of the European Union, countries such as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are part of the Schengen Area. It is the largest free traffic zone in the world.

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Visa waiver for short-stay US tourists

Currently, US citizens can travel to the Schengen Area for short stays without having to apply for a visa. This was set to change in November 2023, when the EU planned to introduce ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorization System. ETIAS is a fully electronic system that tracks visitors from countries that do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

The new ETIAS system

ETIAS is the European equivalent of the American ESTA system (Electronic travel permit system), which is an electronic document that simplifies entry into the United States. An ESTA works like a visa, but no stamp or sticker is affixed to your passport. You must enter the United States unless you are traveling on a US visa. Canada has an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) which is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is linked electronically to the traveler’s passport. It is valid for a maximum of five years or until the passport expires.

ETIAS launch delayed

As mentioned above, the European Union has again postponed Launch of ETIAS, this time until 2024, without specifying a specific date, or even a month. The launch date of ETIAS has been postponed without any prior announcement to the media or the public. The launch date has simply been changed on the website of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission.

ETIAS will affect 1.4 billion people

According to, ETIAS should be concerned 1.4 billion people From more than 60 different countries, who are currently traveling to 27 countries in the Schengen Area without having to obtain a visa for short stays. Among those who will be affected by the ETIAS application are US, Canadian and British citizens. Implementation of a new entry/exit system intended to help ETIAS track anyone entering and leaving the Schengen Area has also been postponed to a later date.

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Report but until when?

The ETIAS scheme was initially supposed to be launched in 2022, but was then pushed back to the end of the same year. It was later pushed back to 1any May 2023, then, without notice or reason, it has been pushed back again to November 2023. We will now have to wait for the announcement of the new date for its implementation in 2024.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Andy J. Semotiuk

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