Visa Free Travel to Europe will Require Authorisation from 2021


The need for meetings and event planners to keep up to date with ever changing rules and regulations governing international travel has never been more important than it is today.  Working with a professional destination management company is one of the ways to mitigate the risk of falling foul of local laws and regulations.

Travel to Europe will require an additional layer of authorisations from January 2021, under the guise of ETIAS.

This new system is being introduced to ensure the security of European citizens and visitors.

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It is a completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. In a way, it resembles the U.S Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which serves a similar purpose. The legal procedures to pass the ETIAS started in 2016, and the system is expected to be in place by January 2021.

The cost will be minimal (but there is a cost) and if no issues are detected, granting of the authorisation will be electronic, and concluded within minutes.

It is important to note that ETIAS targets citizens of countries who CAN enter the EU zone without applying for a visa (currently 62 nationalities) …… So those NOT currently requiring a Schengen visa WILL need to apply through ETIAS for authorisation to travel to Europe from 2021.  If you need a Schengen Visa, you will NOT need to apply for the ETIAS.

In summary, to enter Europe after 2021 you will need either a Schengen Visa, or if visiting from a visa-exempt country, an ETIAS authorisation.

Ensuring that the travel documents, visas and authorisations of each of your group, MICE or incentive trip participants is paramount to a successful trip and a positive experience for your entire group.


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  1. Even the European Union are now getting more strict with their visa policy and immigration process with it’s territory. I think that it’s only understandable since illegal immigration have been fast increasing in many parts of EU and has become a problem to many nation.