Be down for New Travel Requirements for Europe in Fall 2024

“This is the last moment to enrich your passport stamp collections,” announced Maciej Zglinicki, EU border expert, at the TBEX conference held in San Sebastian, Spain, last month.

“The new EES entry/exit system will replace the old way of stamping passports,” he explained about the new travel requirements for Europe.

“Yikes!” I thought during the travel blogger’s convention. “I love getting new stamps in my US passport.”

But this is why I attend these writers’ conferences—so I can meet the experts, learn what’s new and pass it on to you, dear reader!

That new-fangled EES—or Entry/Exit System—is one of two new travel requirements for Europe. We’ll discuss the second of the new European travel requirements a bit later. But first, let’s concentrate on the EES.

Table of Contents

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Which countries will require EES, the first new travel requirements for Europe?

List of countries that have new travel requirements with their flags as bullets

29 European countries will register all non-EU travelers—including US and Canadian passport holders—with the EES system and will no longer stamp your passport.

The system is set to start in the fall of 2024, so passport stamp collectors like me have the summer to gather some last-minute stamps.

“This is the last moment to enrich your collection,” smiled Maciej Zglinicki of Frontex, the Europe Border and Coast Guard Agency.

The 29 countries that will use EES

The 29 countries that will use EES are:
☐ Austria
☐ Belgium
☐ Bulgaria
☐ Croatia
☐ Czech Republic
☐ Denmark
☐ Estonia
☐ Finland
France
☐ Germany
Greece
☐ Hungary
☐ Iceland
Italy
☐ Latvia
☐ Liechtenstein
☐ Lithuania
☐ Luxembourg
☐ Malta
☐ Netherlands
☐ Norway
☐ Poland
☐ Portugal
☐ Romania
☐ Slovakia
☐ Slovenia
Spain
☐ Sweden
☐ Switzerland

In Cyprus and Ireland, despite being countries of the European Union, passports will still be stamped manually.

I used checkboxes as bullets so you could print this page and use it to mark the countries in which you already have passport stamps. Then you’ll be better prepared to plan your trips to the countries you haven’t visited yet.

What data will the EES collect?

Man stands in front of huge screen where his slide about new Europe travel requirements is projected

Starting in autumn 2024, your biometrics will be collected, registered and verified each time you cross the external borders of European countries using the EES system.

These new Europe travel requirements speed up border checks and make it easier to identify travelers who have no right to enter, have overstayed in European countries using the EES, or are using fake identities or passports.

The EES also collects and stores personal data to aid in the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offenses and other serious crimes.

This new travel requirement for Europe, EES collects and records:

  • Data listed in your travel document (e.g., full name, date of birth, etc.)
  • date and place of entry into and exit from a European country using the EES
  • facial image and fingerprints (called ‘biometric data’)
  • refusal of entry, where relevant

I’m letting you know about this now because the EU website tells me that if you refuse to have your fingerprints scanned or a photo of your face taken, you will be denied entry into European countries using EES.

Biometric data will be available for all EU border crossing guards, eliminating the need for passport stamping, explained Zglinicki, Team Leader at Frontex.

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The second of the new travel requirements for Europe

a blue flag with yellow stars

ETIAS—or European Travel Information and Authorization System—is slated for mid-2025. You’ll have to apply for this travel authorization before you leave the US.

The good news is that the application for the new ETIAS will be done online once the system is rolled out. (The ETIAS is currently not in operation.) All you will need to apply are:

  • A passport valid for more than three months
  • An email address
  • To fill out an online form, and
  • A bank card to pay a 7€ fee.

The ETIAS is not a visa, so it is not part of the Europe visa requirements. (US and Canadian passport holders are visa-free for travel to Europe.) However, as of mid-2025, we will have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization to travel to 30 European countries that require visa-exempt travelers to have one.

So, to state this plainly, the required ETIAS is a travel authorization and not one of the Europe visa requirements for US or Canadian nationals

Which countries will require ETIAS?

a group of flags with names of countries with new travel requirements for Europe

The countries which will require ETIAS, the second of the new travel requirements for Europe, are:
☐ Austria
☐ Belgium
☐ Bulgaria
☐ Croatia
☐ Cyprus
☐ Czech Republic
☐ Denmark
☐ Estonia
☐ Finland
☐ France
☐ Germany
☐ Greece
☐ Hungary
☐ Iceland
☐ Italy
☐ Latvia
☐ Liechtenstein
☐ Lithuania
☐ Luxembourg
☐ Malta
☐ Netherlands
☐ Norway
☐ Poland
☐ Portugal
☐ Romania
☐ Slovakia
☐ Slovenia
☐ Spain
☐ Sweden
☐ Switzerland

The other thing I was happy to learn at the conference was that the ETIAS travel authorization is valid for three years or until the passport you use in the application expires.

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Obtain the ETIAS before starting your trip

a hand holding a pencil over a map of Europe with US passport laying next to it

We must obtain the ETIAS before starting our European trips. At the TBEX conference, it sounded as if you might need it to book a flight. I was told that the system will automatically check the length of your stay, which is already limited to 90 days within 180 days for those without extended-stay visas.

Conclusion: New Europe travel requirements

These new travel requirements for Europe will affect over 1.4 billion people, so please help me spread the word by sharing this story using the blue and red share buttons below.

The European Union also warns against scammers. There is only one official ETIAS website: https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en.

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Hi, I’m Stacey

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…

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Be down for New Travel Requirements for Europe in Fall 2024

“This is the last moment to enrich your passport stamp collections,” announced Maciej Zglinicki, EU border expert, at the TBEX conference held in San Sebastian, Spain, last month. “The new EES entry/exit system will replace the old way of stamping passports,” he explained about the new travel requirements for Europe. “Yikes!” I thought during the

Read More »

2 thoughts on “Be down for New Travel Requirements for Europe in Fall 2024”

  1. Great and informative post thank you! Do you know, with the biometrics change coming this year, is all the data, fingerprints and photo collected at automated passport gates or still with a human on the other side?

    How good was TBEX in San Sebastián?! 🙂 See you at another soon!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your kind words, Sarah. You know, our speaker didn’t mention whether fingerprints and photo will be collected at automated passport gates or with a human on the other side. But since I’ve gone through these biometrics collection sites in Thailand and China, I would suspect that there will be a human on the other side in Europe as there was in Thailand and China.

      Reply

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