What should travellers exempted from the visa requirement do before travelling?

Travellers will be required to complete an online application on Completing the application should take no more than 10 minutes or require any document other than a travel document (passport or other equivalent document + Credit Card for payment processing). If the person is unable to complete the application (due to age, literacy level, lack of access to and ability to use information technology, etc.), applications may be submitted by a third party.

Electronic payment of a fee of € per request will be required from all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. Electronic payment methods will take into account technological developments in visa-free countries, in order to avoid excluding nationals of such third countries who may not have access to certain means of payment.

The automated assessment process will begin after confirmation of fee collection. The vast majority of applicants (which is expected to reach more than 95% of all cases) will receive automatic approval within minutes of payment. If the search in the databases gives a positive result or if the automated process leads to an uncertain result, the request will be processed manually by a central unit of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a team from a Member State. This may increase the response time to the request of the third-country national exempted from the visa requirement to up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances, further information may be requested from applicants and additional procedural steps may be necessary but, in any case, a final decision must be taken within four weeks of receipt of the application.

Of the approximately 5% of applications that result in a positive result, it is expected that 3 to 4% will result in a positive decision after the verification of the data by the ETIAS Central Unit, while the remaining 1 to 2% of applications will be transferred to the ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision is made, applicants will receive an email response with a valid travel authorization or justification for the refusal.

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