You will be charged a fee to travel to Europe from 2023

(CNN) – It’s finally here: the end of duty-free travel to the EU.

The European Union has announced the launch of its long-awaited visa waiver scheme, ETIAS, in May 2023.

While the ETIAS is not the same as a visa—it’s faster, done online, and doesn’t require any biometric information—there’s still a process and cost to obtain it, rather than a United States scheme, ESTA’s is like.

ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, was first launched in late 2022.

EU travelers are exempt, and have the freedom to move around the block, allowing them to spend as much time in as many countries as they want. EU residents will also be exempted.

But for all people entering the bloc from a country that previously did not require a visa, ETIAS will be mandatory. The move affects nearly 60 countries, including the US and UK, which lost freedom of movement after Brexit. Nothing changes for those who previously needed a visa to enter.

According to a new memorandum issued by the European Union, the application process will take place through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval “within minutes”, for an estimated 95% of applicants. In “very exceptional cases” the maximum time required for approval can be up to one month. Anyone whose application is rejected shall have the right to appeal.

The ETIAS authorization will be valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and overstay regulations. Currently, third-party citizens cannot stay for more than 90 days across the block, for each 180-day period.

Cost: €7 ($7.35) for those aged between 18 and 70. It is not yet clear whether others will have lower rates or whether they will be able to apply for free. In comparison, the US charges $21 for an ESTA authorization.

The date of commencement of application has not been announced yet.

Top image credit: Artem Kamyshenkov/Adobe Stock