What will travel look like in 2022?
In 2022, the EU and UK each plan to implement electronic authorization programs designed to control the flow of travellers in and out of their countries and maintain a level of security at their borders. Here's what you need to know.
These systems will be similar to Canada and Australia's eTAs and the US ESTA. What is an eTA? It's an electronic travel authorization that allows a country to request a pre-approval for travel. An eTA is linked to your passport and is valid from 1 year up to 5 years depending on the country (e.g. Canadian eTA is valid for 5 years, Australian eTA is valid for 1 year and US ESTA is valid for 2 years).
The ETIAS will be valid for 3 years unless your passport expires before then. When an ETIAS-holder's passport expires they will need to reapply for a new ETIAS. You can use your ETIAS up to 90 days within a 180 day period as many times as you like during that 3-year window. The ETIAS system will include the Schengen zone—a collection of several EU countries including Spain, France, Germany, etc—as well as Switzerland, Iceland and Norway plus a few other non-EU countries and city states. Once inside the Schengen zone travellers will be able to move freely throughout all countries.
The new UK eTA hasn't been officially announced but it is highly anticipated that it will be within the year. In recent years, the UK has experienced an increase in tourism and immigration, so this system is meant to help monitor and control the flow of visitors and immigrants across the border.
Free travel amongst the EU countries will still be allowed, but entrance from most countries outside of the EU will require an ETIAS. Once these programs are implemented, UK citizens will need an ETIAS to enter the EU, and similarly, EU citizens will need a UK eTA to enter Britain. Nationals from other countries such as Canada, United States, Australia, etc. will also be required to provide proof of an eTA or ETIAS upon entry.
Although there is discussion on whether these new entry requirements will restrict tourism, the goal of these systems is to make the borders more secure and help track the number of inbound travellers.
Official launch dates have yet to be confirmed, however, we anticipate these programs to be implemented in 2022 based on publicly available information. Stay tuned for more detail.