European Travel Information and Authorization System

ETIAS Germany - Visa Waiver for UK citizens

ETIAS Germany is the new European Travel eVisa system which will start in 2025. ETIAS, officially known as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, will replace the current system and change the travel process for many visitors who are heading to Germany, including UK citizens. Until November 2025, British travellers heading to Germany will only need a valid biometric passport.

ETIAS Process Step - 1

Get notified when ETIAS is mandatory

ETIAS Process Step - 2

Start ETIAS Application online

ETIAS Process Step - 3

Receive ETIAS confirmation

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Welcome to Europe

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What is ETIAS visa waiver?

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is a new visa waiver system set to launch in November 2025. The European Union proposed the idea in 2016, mainly as a response to the growing threat of terrorist activity in Europe. Finding a means to make travel into Europe as safe as possible became increasingly vital, in order to protect the safety of both visitors and residents. However, when the new ETIAS process becomes mandatory, UK citizens will need to apply for authorisation before entering Germany or any other country in the Schengen area. ETIAS will not only serve to bolster security, but it will also aid in simplifying the travel process for travellers and border control, while simultaneously addressing health risks, criminality and illegal immigration. Applications should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete and will cost a small amountin the region of £6. After the ETIAS application is filed, the data will be digitally analysed and cross-checked against existing databases including Europol, Interpol and the Schengen Information System (SIS) to ensure that the information matches the data already available, and that the applicant is not a known risk to security. An ETIAS application is usually approved quite quickly. Once granted, ETIAS approval will be valid for three years, or until the registered passport expires, whichever comes first. While it is valid the ETIAS holder may travel to the Schengen area an unlimited number of times, as long as their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period.

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ETIAS Germany requirements for UK citizens

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that has a visa exemption agreement with the European Union, which means that their people do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area. This in turn means that UK citizens do not need to visit any consulates or embassies while organising a trip. Other ETIAS eligible countries include Canada, Australia, the United States and many others. ETIAS will be a straightforward process that will entail providing basic personal information such as name and date of birth, as well as background informationlike criminal and travel records. A genuine biometric passport is the only document necessary for the ETIAS application. Since 2010, these passports have been issued as normal in the United Kingdom, therefore most applicants should not have any problems. More documentation may be sought in rare scenarios, where the application is not immediately approved. Before permitting ETIAS qualified travellers into any Schengen zone destinations, border officials and transit operators will have to check that they have ETIAS authorisation. Please note that even if ETIAS approval can be demonstrated, a visitor’s entry into Germany is not guaranteed if border officers find it unsuitable for the visitor to enter for any other reason.

Get Notified When ETIAS Becomes Mandatory! Check the latest news about travel requirements in Europe

How does ETIAS work?

ETIAS application will be a simple online form that will take just a few minutes to complete. In fact, it should take no more than 20 minutes, after which the application will time out. Applicants will be charged a nominal fee, with the exemption of individuals under the age of 18 and those above the age of 70, who will not be charged. The majority of applications will receive a response of approval within 24 hours of submission. In the unusual event that your application is denied, you may be contacted for more information or a face-to-face interview. If an ETIAS application is rejected the applicant may be entitled to appeal the decision, depending on the reasons for the rejection. If an ETIAS is approved, it will be valid for three years, but only if the linked passport remains valid for the duration. If the registered passport expires or is replaced, another ETIAS application must be made. The ETIAS bearer may visit any Schengen zone destination for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period during the time that their ETIAS is valid.

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Ensuring European border security

The ETIAS system is designed to increase the security of travel within the Schengen zone for both tourists and residents. With the rise of terrorism in recent years, the need for tighter border control has become even more pressing. The ETIAS concept was conceived in 2016 and will be fully implemented in 2025, at which time ETIAS approval will become mandatory for all ETIAS eligible people traveling into the Schengen region. ETIAS will apply to all non-EU countries with which the EU has a visa waiver agreement. This now also applies to the United Kingdom, as it is no longer a member of the EU as a result of Brexit, but is visa exempt. When the system goes live in 2025, all British citizens seeking to travel to the Schengen area will need to apply for ETIAS approval before doing so. Be assured that any information collected by ETIAS will be treated and stored in accordance with the highest standards of personal data privacy.

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Improving traveller experience

The electronic ETIAS application process is designed to be simple for the user. Basic personal information will be required including the applicant’s nationality, name, address and date of birth. For safety and security purposes, additional information will also be requested such as travel history, medical history and criminal background. All supplied data will be cross-referenced against existing databases including the Schengen Information System (SIS), Europol and Interpol. The application will be approved swiftly if the information is deemed sufficient and not suspicious in any way. If the data supplied raises any concerns, more information may be requested, or the applicant may be asked to attend a face-to-face interview.

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Fighting terrorism and crime

In recent decades, a string of terrorist incidents in Europe have emphasised the necessity for tighter border controls in the Schengen area. Terrorism and the threat that radicalised people pose to society are something all countries must now consider, including Germany. By pre-screening and recording all visitors into the Schengen region, ETIAS requirements will help to mitigate this threat. Each application will be thoroughly evaluated and cross-checked against a variety of databases to ensure that the traveller is not a known security threat at the time of travel.

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Curbing illegal immigration

In recent years, illegal immigration has become increasingly prevalent and problematic in Europe. Illegal immigration has risen in recent years and is linked to overcrowding, income disparity, exploitation, and organised crime. ETIAS will make it easier for border officials to identify and track visitors while checking their legal status. This process should in turn help to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering Europe.

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Visa liberalisation and harmonisation across Schengen

The ETIAS system will become a uniform standard that will apply to all qualifying visitors to Schengen countries. It will help with streamlining the travel process while also benefiting border officials, as pre-screened passengers travelling to multiple Schengen countries will be cleared for ETIAS for Travel UK to Germany. For example, a traveller who visits Germany and then Spain will have already been screened for entry into Spain using the same application process (and criteria) as a traveller who only visits Germany. This same logic will apply to any ETIAS holder visiting any number of Schengen countries.

Who will need ETIAS Germany for travel?

Before entering a Schengen country, visitors from the United Kingdom, as well as those from other visa-exempt countries, will need to apply for ETIAS. The United States, Australia and Japan are among the countries that will be impacted by the change, because ETIAS will apply to them as well. The countries whose citizens must submit ETIAS applications in order to travel to Germany are listed below:

  • etias required country flagAlbania
  • etias required country flagAntigua-et-Barbuda
  • etias required country flagArgentine
  • etias required country flagAustralie
  • etias required country flagBahamas
  • etias required country flagBarbade
  • etias required country flagBosnie-Herzégovine
  • etias required country flagBrésil
  • etias required country flagBrunei
  • etias required country flagCanada
  • etias required country flagChili
  • etias required country flagColombie
  • etias required country flagCosta Rica
  • etias required country flagRépublique dominicaine
  • etias required country flagLe Salvador
  • etias required country flagGéorgie
  • etias required country flagGrenade
  • etias required country flagGuatemala
  • etias required country flagHonduras
  • etias required country flagHong Kong
  • etias required country flagIsraël
  • etias required country flagJapon
  • etias required country flagKiribati
  • etias required country flagMacao
  • etias required country flagMacédoine du Nord
  • etias required country flagMalaisie
  • etias required country flagÎles Marshall
  • etias required country flagÎle Maurice
  • etias required country flagMexique
  • etias required country flagMicronésie
  • etias required country flagMoldavie
  • etias required country flagMonténégro
  • etias required country flagNouvelle-Zélande
  • etias required country flagNicaragua
  • etias required country flagPalaos
  • etias required country flagPanama
  • etias required country flagParaguay
  • etias required country flagPérou
  • etias required country flagSaint Kitts & Nevis
  • etias required country flagSainte-Lucie
  • etias required country flagSaint Vincent
  • etias required country flagSt. Vincent
  • etias required country flagSerbia
  • etias required country flagSeychelles
  • etias required country flagSingapore
  • etias required country flagSolomon Islands
  • etias required country flagSouth Korea
  • etias required country flagTaiwan
  • etias required country flagTimor Leste
  • etias required country flagTonga
  • etias required country flagTrinidad and Tobago
  • etias required country flagTuvalu
  • etias required country flagUruguay
  • etias required country flagUkraine
  • etias required country flagUAE
  • etias required country flagVanuatu
  • etias required country flagVenezuela
  • etias required country flagUnited Kingdom
  • etias required country flagUnited States
Get Notified When ETIAS Becomes Mandatory!

ETIAS Countries

Travelers from the United Kingdom will only need to gain ETIAS approval if they are planning to visit or transit through a Schengen country. For travel to a European country that sits outside of the Schengen zone, such as Ireland, ETIAS accreditation is not necessary. All of the following countries are within the Schengen zone and therefore, before traveling to or via them, UK citizens will be required to gain ETIAS approval:

  • etias country flagAustria
  • etias country flagBelgium
  • etias country flagCzech Republic
  • etias country flagDenmark
  • etias country flagEstonia
  • etias country flagFinland
  • etias country flagFrance
  • etias country flagGermany
  • etias country flagGreece
  • etias country flagHungary
  • etias country flagIceland
  • etias country flagItaly
  • etias country flagLatvia
  • etias country flagLiechtenstein
  • etias country flagLithuania
  • etias country flagLuxembourg
  • etias country flagMalta
  • etias country flagNetherlands
  • etias country flagNorway
  • etias country flagPoland
  • etias country flagPortugal
  • etias country flagSlovakia
  • etias country flagSlovenia
  • etias country flagSweden
  • etias country flagSpain
  • etias country flagSwitzerland

Non-Schengen Countries

  • etias country flagBulgaria
  • etias country flagCroatia
  • etias country flagCyprus
  • etias country flagRomania
  • etias country flagMonaco
  • etias country flagSan Marino
  • etias country flagVatican

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Yes. The new ETIAS visa waiver system will replace the current system for all travel, starting in 2025, and British people will have to apply for ETIAS when it becomes compulsory in 2025 if they wish to travel to Germany. There will be a grace period lasting six months, or longer, to allow travellers and border officials to acclimatise to the new process. However, even during the grace period, it is recommended that travellers submit an ETIAS application ahead of travel. Ideally, ETIAS approval should be achieved at least 96 hours prior to departure.

The ETIAS application is relatively straightforward. Citizens of the UK will be asked to complete an online application that should take no more than 10-20 minutes. All the applicants will need a reliable internet connection, a functional payment card with sufficient funds to pay the application fee, and a valid biometric passport in order to apply. The application simply asks for basic personal information such as name and date of birth, as well as a number of security questions including travel and criminal history.

At the moment, people who are citizens of countries that have a visa-free agreement with the EU can travel into the Schengen zone using only a valid biometric passport. This will soon change, however, as a new system will take effect in 2025, altering the way many people travel to Europe. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) was introduced in 2016 and was implemented into legislation in 2018. It is due to go live in 2025, although the exact date is yet to be confirmed. The purpose of ETIAS is to make travel into the Schengen area more efficient and secure. It is an electronic system, akin to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) that will trace visitors entering and exiting the region, to guarantee they are not a known threat of any kind.

The British Embassy in Berlin provides services to British nationals living and staying in Germany. Additionally, you can find consulates in Dusseldorf and Munich.