Canadian travellers will soon need to pay for an extra document to visit popular tourist destinations in Europe. CityNews reporter Leah Johansen is hearing from one expert who says this is something more and more countries are expected to do.
Canadian travellers will soon need extra documents to visit 30 popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required for Canadians and other visa-exempt countries who want to travel within the European Union to countries such as France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland. The United Kingdom is not included under the new policy following its withdrawal from the EU in 2020.
The application can be completed on the ETIAS website or mobile app and will cost 7 Euros – or about $10 Canadian. Most applications will be processed within a few minutes.
“Generally it will be your name, your passport number which will be the big key …some details like your address, where you’re going, how long your staying, who you’re staying with, that type of thing,” Wayne Smith, a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Toronto Metropolitan University tells CityNews.
“What it should do is make the travel experience much quicker, ideally, if it works properly. The other thing is it should make it much safer.”
Once approved, the permit is linked to your passport and valid for up to three years or until your passport expires or you get a new one. Those under 18 or older than 70, and anyone with family living in the EU, would be exempt from the payment.
Travellers CityNews spoke to had mixed reactions to the new process.
“I feel like it makes sense like it’s definitely more efficient,” said one woman.
“As long as it’s efficient, easy access, quick access, and it speeds things up, I’m all for it,” said another.
“It does have to speed up the whole thing though …that’s the only purpose we would be willing to pay $10, otherwise what’s the point?” questioned another traveller.
The official website of the European Union urges would-be visitors to apply for authorization well in advance of a planned trip, and before booking a plane ticket or hotel. Experts say it’s best to get it done at least a month before your trip as approval could take up to 30 days if you’re asked to provide additional information or documents.
“Where NEXUS card you have to do the fingerprint, you have to do all that sort of stuff – it’s much more involved to get a NEXUS card,” explains Smith. “Think of this as NEXUS card lite because that’s essentially what they are trying to do.”
In addition to Canada, the new rules will apply to nearly 60 countries including the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.
The European application process is not yet open online but it is expected to launch sometime before the new rules take effect in 2024.
Source : City News