According to the European Commission, the €7 fee will come into effect in May 2023. It will apply to foreign tourists between the ages of 18 and 70 under the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (or ETIAS). Before every trip to Europe, travelers will be required to apply for an authorization through the official website or app.
They promise that ETIAS will be a fully automated IT system designed to identify security risks, illegal migration and high epidemic risks associated with visa-free travel to the Schengen countries. At the same time, pre-authorization will make it easier for the vast majority of travelers who do not pose such risks to cross borders. According to the European Commission, “Non-EU citizens who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will need to apply in advance for a travel permit through the ETIAS system.”
According to the Commission , most travelers who apply for an ETIAS permit will be approved within minutes. Approximately 5 percent of foreigners will be able to obtain a travel permit within 30 days.
The permit required to enter all Schengen countries will be valid for three years or until the passport expires. It is the responsibility of border guards to check availability and dates.
Experts note that ETIAS authorization is similar to the US Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA) system, which is valid for tourists from countries included in the visa waiver program. ESTA fees increased from $14 to $21 in May 2022, according to US Customs and Border Protection.