The European Union has announced the launch of the ETIAS visa-free scheme, which will become operational in May 2023. When it enters into force, everyone who previously could enter without a visa will have to obtain a permit to travel to Europe. This is reported by CNN. 

ETIAS is not the same as a visa. It can be done faster and online and does not require biometrics. However, it requires a certain procedure and is not free.

The requirement does not apply to EU residents. However, all those who were previously able to enter the countries of the European bloc without a visa will definitely need to get an ETIAS. These include citizens of about 60 countries of the world, including the USA and Great Britain, which has left the EU. For those who had to enter with a visa before, nothing changes.

Ukrainians will also have toget an ETIAS to enter European countries. It will be required for short-term entry (up to 90 days) for tourism, business, transit or medical purposes.

Ukrainians are recommended to fill out the ETIAS application 96 hours before the departure date. It is processed and approved within a few minutes. The authorization is sent by email in a PDF file that does not need to be printed.

The ETIAS will cost €7 ($7.35) for people aged 18 to 70. Applicants under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 will receive an ETIAS free of charge.

As noted on the official website, the innovation appeared in response to the global increase in terrorist activity. It becomes mandatory for sea, land, or air travel in Europe.