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Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

Europe is one of the most popular destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. In order to strengthen security within its borders, the European Union has announced the introduction of a new electronic visa exemption (ETIAS) in 2022.

From that date on, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS to travel to Europe. Find out all the useful information to prepare your trip to France and the rest of Europe as of next year.

ETIAS: a new requirement for entering Europe

Europe is one of the most popular destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. In order to strengthen security within its borders, the European Union has announced the introduction of a new electronic visa exemption (ETIAS) in 2022.

From that date on, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS to travel to Europe. Find out all the useful information to prepare your trip to France and the rest of Europe as of next year.

Currently, citizens of more than 60 countries can enter the Schengen area without a visa for a short stay. If you come from one of these countries, you will also have to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) by the end of 2022.

ETIAS is not a visa. It is an electronic visa waiver, similar to ESTA for the United States, intended to improve traveler screening and make Europe more secure. Visa-exempt citizens will therefore retain their current privileges.

The procedure will be extremely simple and fast and you will be able to complete it in just a few minutes without leaving your home.

Visitors will be able to apply for the ETIAS online

So how does it work? Once the system is up and running, all you need to do is access a simple online form to apply for ETIAS travel authorization. You will not need to go to the embassy or consulate of the country you are interested in.

To complete the form, you will need to provide some general information such as your full name, contact information and passport details. Before sending it to the authorities for processing, you will also have to pay a small fee using a credit card.

Most applications will be processed in just a few minutes and you’ll receive your travel authorization via email in no time. You won’t need to print it or do anything else. That’s it!

Documents required to travel to Europe in 2022

If you are traveling to Europe from a visa-exempt country, such as Canada, for example, there will be minimal changes. The only difference from 2022 onwards is that you will need to apply for ETIAS before you leave.

To obtain your travel authorization, all you will need is a biometric passport (which includes an electronic chip) issued by an eligible country, an email address and a bank card. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, if you cannot obtain the ETIAS, due to your nationality, the length of your stay in Europe or the reason for your trip, you will have to apply for a Schengen visa in person at the French embassy or the embassy of the country of your choice.

Non-eligible citizens will need to obtain a Schengen visa

You need a Schengen visa if you are not a national of an eligible country, if you plan to spend more than 3 months in Europe or if you wish to live, study or work in the old continent.

As far as the Schengen visa is concerned, nothing will change in 2022. The procedure remains the same, as the changes only apply to visa-exempt travelers to Europe.

The procedure is more complex to obtain a Schengen visa and you will have to present several additional supporting documents. For more peace of mind, do not hesitate to ask the embassy about the procedure to follow.

COVID-19: travel restrictions in Europe

In 2021, it is no longer possible to talk about travel without mentioning the restrictions related to the coronavirus. Fortunately, measures are gradually being relaxed in European countries and borders are once again open to many international tourists.

The European Union regularly updates a “green list” of countries considered safe for travel. Citizens of the following safe countries are allowed to enter Europe for non-essential purposes such as tourism:

Saudi Arabia
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei
Canada
China, subject to reciprocity
South Korea
United States
Israel
Japan
Jordan
Lebanon
Moldova
Montenegro
Northern Macedonia

New Zealand
Qatar
Serbia
Singapore
Ukraine

However, you will need to meet the sanitary requirements in place such as a negative PCR or antigen test or quarantine upon arrival. These requirements vary from one European country to another.

For example, if you are vaccinated, you can enter France without restrictions from a safe country. Otherwise, you must present a PCR or antigenic test performed less than 72 hours before departure or a certificate of recovery.

Therefore, remember to get all the information you need before your trip, whether you leave this year or next year, to avoid minor inconveniences and visit Europe without any problems.