UK travellers are being warned over a European visa scam in operation even before the scheme comes into law next year
The European Union has issued a warning UK to travellers that scammers are asking for a fee for the Etias visa which launches in 2023. Travelers from the UK are being cautioned to watch out for a significant travel scam that could cost them hundreds of pounds.
The Etias European Visa Waiver will go into force in 2023, allowing anyone who qualifies to enter and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. However, scammers posing as official Etias application websites are already preying on UK tourists.
The European Union has warned that scammers are taking advantage of the system by “engaging in abusive practices.” It has issued advice warning that anyone applying for the Etias may be misled into visiting fraudulent websites.
According to a document released by the EU, “This may convey the erroneous impression that the additional price imposed by the commercial intermediary is a required step in the application process.”
The new waiver, which costs €7 and has a three-year validity period, is available to travelers from the United Kingdom. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, sometimes known as Etias, is more appropriately referred to as a visa waiver than as a visa.
It is anticipated to be released starting in November 2023. After receiving approval for their visa, travelers are exempt from applying again for three years.
Citizens from over 50 eligible countries will need to complete the online application and obtain an approved ETIAS visa waiver before entering any of the Schengen countries, including countries joining in the near future such as Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania. The program will be very similar to the ESTA visa waiver that many nationalities need to obtain before travelling to the US.