Navigating the New Landscape: ETIAS and its Implications for Business Travel to Europe

August 5, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  1. From November 2023, business travelers to Europe from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS authorization before their journey.
  2. The application process is relatively quick, with an estimated 95 percent of applications getting approval within minutes.
  3. The ETIAS authorization is mandatory for entry into all Schengen area countries and is valid for three years or until the expiration date of the travel document.
  4. Companies and travelers need to familiarize themselves with the changes, constantly check for updates, ensure compliance, and plan ahead to account for the additional authorization step.

About ETIAS and its Impact on Business Travel

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), set to be implemented in November 2023, is an electronic travel authorization system designed to pre-screen travelers from visa-exempt countries before their arrival in the Schengen Zone. This new protocol, which comes with a €7 fee, applies to foreign visitors aged 18 to 70 years old and is aimed at enhancing security while facilitating legitimate travel within the region.

Laura Busby, Commercial Director of Good Travel Management, emphasizes the importance of understanding the implications of ETIAS for professionals involved in business travel to the Schengen Zone. “Regardless of the purpose of your journey, whether you are a CEO presenting at a conference, a sales representative meeting clients, or an entrepreneur assessing new business opportunities, having a clear grasp of the requirements and implications of ETIAS is vital,” she says.

Understanding the ETIAS Process

The ETIAS process involves completing an online application, providing personal information, and undergoing security checks. Most applications are expected to be approved quickly – an estimated 95% within minutes. However, some may take up to 30 days. “The obtained authorization will be required for entry into all countries in the Schengen area, and it will remain valid for three years or until the expiration date of the traveler’s travel document,” Busby clarifies.

The Four Cornerstones for Navigating ETIAS Successfully

Laura Busby provides a four-step guide to ensure smooth business travel experience under the new ETIAS system.

1. Familiarize yourself with the changes

Understanding the specific ETIAS requirements, including necessary application information, the fee structure, and any additional documents, is crucial.

2. Constant checks

Staying abreast of changes and updates to ETIAS regulations is key. Regularly consult official sources to adapt travel plans accordingly, preventing unexpected surprises.

3. Compliance is key

Companies with employees traveling to the Schengen Zone must ensure that all relevant staff members understand and comply with ETIAS requirements. Clear guidance on how to apply for the authorization should be provided.

4. Plan ahead

Planning for the additional step of obtaining ETIAS authorization is vital. Allow sufficient time for the application process and consider potential processing delays. If managing travel arrangements becomes challenging, outsourcing to a Travel Management Company can be a sensible option.

Busby stresses the importance of preparation, stating, “These companies have a team of skilled travel experts dedicated to booking, managing, and optimising your business travel experience, easing the burden, and ensuring smooth travel.”

As Europe readies for the introduction of ETIAS, understanding and preparing for the changes are crucial to ensuring smooth, hassle-free business travels to the Schengen Zone. By staying informed and planning ahead, business travellers can continue to traverse Europe with ease, security, and efficiency.

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