Britons will have to pay £6 for a visa to visit European holiday destinations such as the Balearics from next year.
Everyone visiting countries in the Schengen zone must apply for the document when the scheme, which was approved today, is introduced at the end of 2022.
The European Commission has confirmed that its Travel Information and Authorisation System will apply to UK visitors.
Today, the rules making the future European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) interoperable with other EU information systems enter into force. This is an important step towards the entry into the operation of ETIAS by the end of 2022.
Once ETIAS is in place, non-EU citizens travelling to the Schengen area who are exempt from the visa requirement will need to register and obtain authorisation before travelling.
The system will cross-check travellers against EU information systems for internal security, borders and migration before their trip, helping to identify ahead of time people who may pose a risk to security or health, as well as compliance with migration rules.
“The rules entering into force today detail how ETIAS will work with other EU information systems it will query when conducting checks, namely the Entry/Exit System, the Visa Information System, the Schengen Information System and a centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on non-EU nationals,” the Commission says.
The set-up of ETIAS forms part of the EU’s ongoing work to put in place a state-of-the-art external border management system and making sure that information systems work together in an intelligent and targeted way.
“ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt,” the Commission clarifies.
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 per cent) will result in automatic approval.
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 3 years and for multiple entries.
The ETIAS plan was originally shelved in 2016, before the UK voted to leave the EU.
It is being brought in, in part, to avoid the need for more complex visas - though travellers who need visas to enter the EU will still require them.
There will also be questions on a person's criminal record and if they have ever asked to leave an EU country by officials.
The forms will be available online, with applicants asked to submit a €7 fee, which the ETIAS system will then check through an automated process. If an issue is flagged, it will be checked manually.
After that a person will either be accepted or rejected within a four-week window - with those rejected allowed an appeal.
Airlines will be expected to check that a person has been authorised to travel to the EU under the ETIAS scheme.
Once accepted, it will allow British passengers entry into the Schengen area multiple times over a three-year period.
The scheme is expected to cover 60 countries, including the UK, Australia and the US.
"ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt," the proposal says.