By Julia Buckley CNN

It’s finally here: the end of the free trip to the European Union.

The EU has announced the launch of its long-awaited visa waiver scheme, ETIAS, which will debut in May 2023.

Although ETIAS is not the same as a visa – it is faster, done online and does not require biometric information – there is still a procedure and cost to obtain it, more like the United States scheme, ESTA.

ETIAS, which means European Travel Information and Authorization System, was previously scheduled to debut at the end of 2022.

EU travelers are free and have freedom of movement around the block, allowing them to spend as much time as they want in many countries. EU citizens will also be released.

But for everyone else who enters the block from a country that has not previously required a visa, ETIAS will be mandatory. The move affects about 60 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, which lost their freedom of movement after Brexit. Nothing changes for those who previously needed an entry visa.

The application process will be through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” to approximately 95% of applicants, according to a new note issued by the EU. The maximum time required for approval can be up to one month in “very exceptional cases”. Anyone whose application is rejected has the right to appeal.

The ETIAS authorization is valid for an unlimited number of entries for three years. However, holders must comply with immigration and residence rules. At present, third-country nationals cannot stay in the whole block for more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

Price: € 7 ($ 7.35) for those between the ages of 18 and 70. It is not yet clear whether others will have a reduced rate or be able to apply for free. By comparison, the United States charges $ 21 for an ESTA permit.

The start date for applications has not yet been announced.

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You’ll be charged to visit Europe from 2023

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