Simon Calder says passport checker caused ‘carnage’
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The European Union has announced plans for a visa which will see Britons charged approximately £6 (€7) to enter their holiday destination. The new requirement is expected to come into force from the end of 2022.
This means that Britons going on European holidays throughout 2023 will need to apply for a visa and cover the subsequent costs.
In an update, the European Commission outlined its plans for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) which will apply to all arrivals from “non-EU” countries.
It is thought that the visa will only take a few minutes to apply for.
The application process will take place online and is said to be “simple, fast and affordable”.
Unlike some world visas, the ETIAS will be valid for “three years” and will allow holidaymakers to make “multiple entries” on bloc-wide trips.
Since the UK officially left the EU at the beginning of 2021, UK travellers are included in those who require a visa.
“Visa-exempt non-EU nationals will only need a few minutes to fill in an online application which in a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95 percent) will result in automatic approval,” explained the European Commission update.
“The process will be simple, fast and affordable: the ETIAS authorisation will cost €7, which will be a one-off fee, and will be valid for three years and for multiple entries.”
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The aim of the visa will be to cross-check travellers against EU information systems including security, borders and migration.
According to the Commission, this will ultimately help “identify ahead of time people who may pose a risk to security or health, as well as compliance with migration rules.”
The ETIAS is likened to the US Electronic System Travel Authorisation which costs approximately £10 ($14USD) and lasts for two years.
The scheme was initially due to start in 2021 but has been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Visas are not the only new requirement Britons face for travel since the Brexit vote came into fruition.
New passport requirements must also be followed for those hoping to visit the bloc.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides information on its travel advice pages.
It states: “Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
“Make sure your passport is valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave [the destination] or any other Schengen country.”
Passports should be “less than 10 years old”.
The FCDO adds: “The three months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.”
It continues: “If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
“Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum three months needed.”
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