The new blue British passport. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


A date appears to have been finally set for the introduction of the new visa which will be required to enter European holiday destinations such as Spain.

New rules to be brought in from next year will require those travelling to the EU to have purchased a permit – and you could be barred from entering if you don’t have one.

While those under 18 and over 70 can apply for the permit free of charge, everyone else will have to pay €7 to travel to the EU.

According to the British government: “ETIAS will apply to British and other non-EU/non Schengen country citizens travelling to all EU Member States, with the exception of Ireland. It will also apply for travel to the four non-EU Schengen countries.”

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a planned electronic authorisation system of the European Union for visa-exempt visitors travelling to the European Union or the Schengen Area (including EFTA countries), with the exception of the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the Common Travel Area.

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It will be similar to other electronic travel authorisations, such as ESTA in the United States, as well as the systems implemented by Australia, Canada and New Zealand and planned by the United Kingdom.

ETIAS travel authorisation will be required for travel to the Schengen Area as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania.

Ireland is the only EU member state that continues to have its own visa policy and does not plan to join the Schengen Area or to require ETIAS.

The implementation of ETIAS has been postponed several times.

As of 2023, it is now set to become operational in 2024, with a 6-month grace period to allow eligible travellers and staff to become familiar with the new system, and to catch possible technical problems.
Visitors will be denied entry to many popular destinations, like Spain, if they have not purchased the permit – something that must be presented to passport control on arrival.

ETIAS will give UK citizens the right to stay in Europe for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.