Starting from 2024 (an exact date hasn't been announced as yet), the 30 countries that make up the European Union will introduce the European Travel Information and Authorisation System - or "ETIAS". The ETIAS will be required for passport holders (including those on cruise holidays) from visa exempt countries (which includes New Zealand) and fundamentally will be a means of keeping track of visitors who do not need a visa to enter the zone. Most travellers will be familiar with the process of applying for a US ESTA before travelling to (or transiting) the United States - the ETIAS process is expected to be very similar.
Based on the information they are expecting to collect, the process should not be arduous (although the questions about level of education is interesting). Travellers will be required to provide:
- Personal information including your name(s), surname, date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ first names, email address and phone number;
- Travel document details;
- Details about your level of education and current occupation;
- Details about your intended travel and stay in any of the countries requiring ETIAS;
- Details about any criminal convictions, any past travels to war or conflict zones, and whether you have recently been subject of a decision requiring you to leave the territory of any country.
European Countries Covered
The official list of the 30 countries that will require the ETIAS can be found here.
Official ETIAS Website
Like the US ESTA, it will be important that you apply from the official EU website - this is the link: https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en
The ETIAS will be linked to your passport and once issued should be valid for three years (or sooner if your passport expires before the expiry of the three year period).
Cost of the ETIAS
The expected cost of the ETIAS is EUR 7 with exemptions expected for travellers under 18 or over 70.
Schengen Visa Obligations Remain
Obtaining an ETIAS does not appear to provide confirmation that you meet the eligibility requirements for visa free travel that New Zealand passport holders enjoy to the Schengen Visa Zone. If you are expecting to spend more than 90 days in the territory of the Schengen States you should obtain specific visa advice (which we can assist is sourcing).