ETIAS – New mandatory travel document for Europe

By mid-2025, more than 60 countries currently exempt from visa requirements will require a travel authorisation to enter several European countries, including Spain.

We explain everything you need to know to travel to Malaga Airport & Costa del Sol below.

What is ETIAS?


The European Union has announced that citizens wishing to travel to Europe must apply for a new authorisation.  European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is the name of this new system that will change the rules for travelling to Europe.

Without this system, you will not be able to cross the border of your destination country and the authorities may deny you access. Airlines may even deny you a boarding pass at the point of origin.

The countries where you will need to ask for this authorisation are those that are covered by the free movement agreement. These include Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal.


Who needs to apply for ETIAS?

Citizens of more than 60 visa-exempt countries, including the UK, Canada and the US, will have to apply for this authorisation if they want to travel to most European countries.

If you are a national of any of the following countries, then you will need to apply for this authorisation prior to any travel.

UK nationals need an ETIAS?

UK nationals (including British overseas citizens, British protected persons, British subjects) need to have a valid ETIAS  to travel to any of the 30 European countries requiring this travel authorisation for a short stay, unless they are beneficiaries of the withdrawal agreement.



Where do I apply?

You can complete the ETIAS application form online via the official website or via the mobile application. The cost of the application is €7.

  • Official EU website on ETIAS

The recommendation is to apply well in advance.

  • Most applications are processed within minutes. This period can be from 4 to 14 days if they request additional information. Or even to 30 days if an interview is scheduled.
  • After completing the application, you will receive a confirmation email: It contains a unique ETIAS application number, which is important to keep for future reference.
  • As soon as your application has been processed, you will receive another email with the result.
  • In case your application is refused: The email will explain the reasons and provide information on how to appeal, as well as the relevant deadlines.
  • As a recommendation, check that the details on your ETIAS authorisation are accurate. Any errors could prevent you from entering these countries.

What is the validity period?

The ETIAS authorisation is valid for three years or until the expiry of the passport used in the application.

This authorisation is for short stays: up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.

Throughout your stay, you must carry a valid ETIAS authorisation with you. And use the same travel document to avoid problems when entering one of these countries.

Once you are at your destination, remember that the ETIAS authorisation does not guarantee your entry. Immigration officers will check your entry conditions and may refuse entry if youdon´t fulfill the requirements.

In addition, it is important that you keep your phone number up to date and always carry it with you. Your ETIAS code will always be stored on your device.

Important to take into account

  • The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be operational from the first half of 2025.
  • Having the travel authorisation only allows you to enter and remain on the territory of the European countries requiring ETIAS for a short-term stay.
  • Also, it does not give you the right to study long-term or to work in these countries. You plan to stay in a European country requiring ETIAS for a longer period? You will most likely need a long-term visa.
  • Travellers with a valid visa do not need an ETIAS travel authorisation.
  • ETIAS is an electronic authorisation, not a visa.

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