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How ETIAS to Italy will Affect Travel When it Goes Live

ETIAS (the European Travel Authorization System) will come into force in November 2023. This move by the European Union is expected to usher in a number of changes in the way travelers enter the Schengen zone states.   

The Italian ETIAS will have stricter pre-travel screening of applicants, especially of foreigners who have been enjoying visa-free travel to Schengen states. International travelers who are perceived to be a threat to EU’s security will be denied entry.     

Read on to know more about the impact of ETIAS on travel to Italy.    

What is an ETIAS and Who will be Impacted 

An ETIAS is a legal travel authorization introduced by the Schengen states including Italy. The authorization to be implemented from November 2023 is expected to affect travelers from about 60 foreign nations such as the USA and Canada.  

The Italy ETIAS will go a long way in bridging the information gap that authorities have about the international travelers crossing its borders. 

At present, they do not have much information about the travelers from visa-free foreign countries.   

The ETIAS of Italy has been modelled on the pre-travel authorization systems that are in place in the USA and Canada and will help in risk assessment and security screening of the visitors from the visa-exempt countries. 

The move is also expected to improve the internal security of Italy and Schengen states in its neighborhood. Schengen states have approximately over 1880 border crossing points between them.   

Though a majority of travelers who cross these borders are citizens of Schengen states, they are foreign travelers too. The Italian ETIAS will help authorities to track these travelers.    

The ETIAS system of Italy will cross check the identity data provided by the applicants against various databases available to them. Applications with security concerns will go through further verifications.  This will help minimize the security threat to the countries from visiting foreigners.   

To complete the ETIAS application, all applicants will also have to answer questions about their health apart from personal, passport and travel information to receive an approval.     

Impact on Travelers Visiting Italy 

In addition to beefing up the security of the Schengen states, the ETIAS will help increase the safety of travelers visiting Italy and other EU countries.

Visitors to Italy who could be a threat to the country will be flagged by the ETIAS system. This will make travel to Italy much safer. 

The ETIAS system also makes border crossing to Italy easier and faster. 

There will be less checks at the security and immigration counters at the port of entry as the travelers are pre-screened before their arrival. This will help them save time.    

They will also face less questions from the authorities since the Uralian ETIAS system will have all the necessary information about the passengers.   

The ETIAS is also expected to streamline the whole travel process and eventually make a trip to the EU countries seamless. There will be harmonized controls at the external borders of EU and internal borders can be crossed without much hassle and checks.  

The ETIAS to Italy also paves the way for efficient communication between law enforcement forces and this enhances a coordinated response for serious threats.

Will ETIAS Be Needed if Crossing by Land 

Yes. Whether an international traveler (from eligible countries) is planning to reach Italy by air, land or sea, he/she will require to get an ETIAS. Visitors without an Italy ETIAS will be turned away and will not be allowed to enter the country.  

Land Entry from Austria to Italy 

Citizens of a Schengen country and Schengen visa or permanent residency (PR) permit are allowed to freely cross the Italian land borders to enter the country. However, travelers from foreign nations eligible for an ETIAS will need to provide the document while crossing the Italian land borders.  

Citizens of Austria or Austrian PR holders do not need an Italy ETIAS to enter the country by road or train. They can show their identification documents to the border security authorities. At the same time international travelers who do not have a Schengen visa or PR permit will need an ETIAS document (if they are eligible). If their first stop in the Schengen zone is Austria, they will have to get an ETIAS issued by the Austrian government. This will be enough to cross the Italian borders. They do not need to apply for an ETIAS again for Italy.  

Land Entry from France to Italy 

Like Austria, France too is a Schengen state. Citizens and PR permit holders of France do not need an Italian ETIAS to enter the country. However, foreigners from countries eligible for an ETIAS will have to submit the electronic authorization to enter Italy.   

Note that an ETIAS irrespective of the country of issuance is an electronic authorization to enter all the Schengen zone nations. Travelers who plan to visit France first have to apply for a France ETIAS. This document is enough for them to cross the Italian land borders. Border security staff will let them into the country after verifying their passport, ETIAS and other documents.    

Land Entry from Holy See to Italy 

The Holy See or Vatican City is a city state in the European mainland. However, it is not a part of the Schengen agreement.  

Note that Vatican City does not have an international airport. Foreign travelers who wish to visit Vatican City need to first enter its neighboring countries (mostly Italy) first. If they are landing in an Italian airport to go to the Vatican City, they need an Italian ETIAS. They do not need to apply for a Vatican City visa. To return to Italy from the Holy See, they can use the same document.  

Land Entry from San Marino to Italy 

Like the Vatican City, San Marino does not have an international airport. The closest international airport is at Miramare in Italy. International travelers from ETIAS-eligible countries are required to apply for an Italian ETIAS to travel to Miramare airport and others need an Italian visa. To return to Italy from San Marino, travelers can use the same Italy ETIAS or visa.   

Land Entry from Slovenia to Italy 

Slovenian is a Schengen member state and hence foreigners from visa-free countries will require to get an ETIAS to visit the country from November 2023 onwards.  

Foreign travelers who plan to travel to Italy from Slovenia by road or train need not get an Italian ETIAS. Their Slovenia ETIAS will be enough. As per the ETIAS rules, travelers from eligible countries need to apply for an ETIAS from the first Schengen country that they are landing.  

Their information will be saved in a central database. Border security staff at the land borders will verify this data before allowing their entry to Italy.  

Land Entry from Switzerland to Italy 

Like Slovenia, Switzerland too is a Schengen state and hence a Switzerland ETIAS will be enough to cross land borders to Italy.  

Impact on Airlines 

Airlines including AeroItalia, ITA Airways, Neos, Air Dolomiti will also be impacted by the introduction of the Italian ETIAS. They have to verify if travelers from visa-exempt countries who are traveling to Schengen states have an ETIAS before boarding their flights.   

As per the rules of the European Union and Italy, the airlines will be held responsible if the entry of a traveler is rejected. 

They will have to bear the expenses of repatriating the traveler. There can also be fines for their negligence.   

Arriving by Air with ETIAS 

Foreign travelers from eligible countries need an Italian ETIAS to enter by air and stay in the country for short-term. They can go online and apply for ETIAS. Apart from Italy, they can also visit other Schengen Zone states with an Italian ETIAS.  


The European Travel Information System does a thorough scrutiny of all applicants. The available information in the database will be used to verify the information provided by the applicant. 

The Italian ETIAS will also be digitally linked to the applicants’ passport and is valid for up to three years.

The new system is expected to make traveling to Italy and other EU countries safer and seamless. 

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