Relocation Insights


A Look at Europe's New ETIAS Travel Requirements

The global landscape is ever-changing, and with it, travel regulations are evolving to meet the demands of enhanced security and seamless mobility. While the exact date is still to be figured out, in 2024, Europe will roll out the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to streamline travel procedures and strengthen border securities. This system will introduce a paradigm shift in the way travelers access Europe and the Schengen Area, and impact various aspects of travel, business, and relocation.

Editor's Note: After this blog was published, ETIAS announced an updated system launch date of 2025 (not 2024 as referenced in this blog). 

ETIAS travel authorization is a new entry-requirement for travel to 30 European countries that is designed to bolster security and ease the process of entering Europe and the Schengen Area for visa-exempt travelers. It will impact citizens from approximately 60 countries and apply to all travel – whether business or personal (tourist) – as well as for medical and transit reasons. To obtain travel authorization, an individual will need to follow an online process where they give key personal data and undergo security checks to identify potential travel risks. Once the authorization is approved, it will be tied to an individual’s valid travel passport.

Given these details, let’s look at three key areas that the ETIAS travel authorization will affect mobility programs. 

Extended Business Travel: Streamlining Entry for Professionals

When it comes to business travel, ETIAS will be applicable for business conferences and meetings and will not eliminate the need for a work visa in Europe. With authorization, extended business travelers with a valid passport, will continue to be able to make multiple trips to the participating European countries for up to 90-days within a 180-day period. However, they will need to wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area between travel. Extended business travel will become more efficient if an individual needs a Schengen Area visa because the process is online and will end the need for multiple visa applications.

Relocation Assignments and Visa Processing: Navigating Complexities

For organizations with employees moving on international assignments, understanding ETIAS and its parameters is now a key element of a mobility program. ETIAS itself will not replace long-term visas needed for relocation, which means will be another step in the broader process.

ETIAS will also need to be considered when planning short-term visits, such as home finding or pre-assignment trips. It will also need to be factored into plans for accompanying family members within the age parameters attending any of these types of trips.

As relocating employees undergo immigration procedures, factors such as visa-processing delays and expiring ETIAS authorizations may arise. A strategic approach to coordinating the timing of both requirements becomes essential to ensure a seamless transition to the new destination.

Preparation and Proactive Planning for ETIAS

As ETIAS reshapes Europe's travel landscape, organizations with business travelers, and employees on international assignments will need to stay informed about the authorization process, application requirements, and potential implications on their travel plans.

While ETIAS may be issued quickly in most cases, be aware that approvals may not be granted instantly and planning for possible delays will be important if security risks are identified. Entry to a specific country is also not guaranteed even with an ETIAS in hand upon arrival. 

By understanding the nuances of ETIAS and its impacts, mobility programs can be designed to navigate new processes and procedures with greater ease. Staying updated with official guidelines and collaborating with immigration experts will support your organization’s mobility programs to adapt seamlessly to the changing travel landscape. 

For more information and to discuss the potential impacts of ETIAS on your mobility program, request a consultation below.


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