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ETIAS: beware of fake news

visuel fact et fake

In recent months, incorrect information about ETIAS has been circulating in many countries. This information has been relayed by websites that look legitimate, but which are not the official ETIAS website. The only address you should consult for information is https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en.   

With all the information available on the internet, it's sometimes difficult to distinguish truth from myths. You probably have legitimate questions about this new European legislation, which will come into force in 2025.   

We have therefore compiled some of the most common misinformation below.   

  • ETIAS is a new type of visa.   

It is not. It is a simple travel authorisation that can be obtained online in a few minutes. The aim of ETIAS is to facilitate border controls by preventively identifying people who could pose a risk in the Schengen area.   

  • Countries concerned by ETIAS 

ETIAS will be required by the 60 countries that are exempt from the visa requirement to access the Schengen area for short stays, and will apply in 30 countries (the 27 Schengen countries, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania). The list of countries can be found here

  • The cost of ETIAS  

 An ETIAS application will cost 7 euros, except for people under 18 and over 70. These people will be subject to the same obligation to have an ETIAS, but for them the procedure will be free of charge.   

  • ETIAS validation period  

 An ETIAS will be valid for three years OR until the expiry date of the passport used to apply for it, whichever comes first. When the expiry date approaches, the ETIAS holder will receive a notification inviting them to renew their application if they so wish. 

  • When ETIAS comes into force, people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer be able to travel to Europe.   

This is not true. The ETIAS application form does not cover medical data. Nor will applicants have to provide biometric data. The questions on the form will cover identity information, identity document, occupation, reason for travel and criminal and judicial history, as well as travels to conflict zones.   

  • If my ETIAS application is refused, I will be able to apply for a visa.   

No: these are two completely different systems, applying to nationals of different countries and according to different criteria. So one does not replace the other.   

  • If I have an ETIAS, I will automatically be able to cross the border.   

 This will not be the case: border controls will be maintained and it will therefore still be possible to be refused access to the Schengen area. On the other hand, having an ETIAS will facilitate the border procedure.    

If our article does not answer your questions, please consult the FAQ on the official ETIAS website.