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Guide to Upcoming Changes in EU Visas for Travellers to Provence

Provence offers a veritable bounty of things to enjoy for visitors, from its world-famous lavender fields and olive groves to luxurious, historic towns and cities such as Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

Whether you’re travelling to this southeastern region of France bordering the Mediterranean Sea for a holiday or to live permanently, it’s a truly splendid part of the world.

What’s more, fortunately, if you’re an American, Canadian, British or Australian, you can enter France to visit Provence without a visa (* see note).

According to the European Union’s (EU) regulations, these four nationalities (and others, like the Japanese) are eligible to stay here as tourists for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. So this gives you ample time to enjoy Avignon’s 14th-century papal palace, the Palais des Papes, or the Roman ruins of Cimiez in Nice!

Market bags

New Visa Waiver for Visitors to France From Late 2022

That said, you may find it helpful to know that, from late 2022, the EU will amend its visa regulations for international travellers somewhat. According to the visa service Byevisa, the EU will then introduce what’s called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System).

This is a new online visa waiver system, through which you’ll enter some straightforward personal and passport details to then obtain your valid travel permit.

Fortunately, the EU is making ETIAS as simple as possible for travellers. Once issued, your visa waiver will be valid for 3 years, and you can enter France multiple times. So there’s no need to apply for a new travel permit each time you plan to come to Provence!

What’s more, you can stay for up to 90 days in each 6-month period. This gives you ample time to explore Marseille’s Château d’If, the mountain range of Luberon and Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

ETIAS to Be Free for Children and Older Adults

It’s thought that the ETIAS will cost just €7 when it’s launched, although children under 18 and adults over 70 will be exempt from paying. So this is helpful if you’re visiting southeastern France with the little ones or your older parents.

To apply, you’ll require a passport that’s got at least 6 months’ validity left, plus your email address. After all, the EU’s upcoming system is entirely online, so you’ll receive your visa waiver in your inbox!

Then, when you arrive in France, you can show the ETIAS to the border agent on your smartphone or tablet; there’s no need to print the document.

EU to Launch ETIAS to Monitor Visitors’ Comings and Goings

The EU is launching its new visa waiver system, chiefly to keep better track of who’s entering and exiting the continent.

This is similar to, for example, the United States’ ESTA visa waiver. This is where, when you’re entering America, you also provide your personal and passport details, even if you don’t have to visit the embassy to acquire a full visa.

Of course, as I mention, the ETIAS only comes into force in late 2022. Until then, the existing rules remain in force, whereby you can enter for 90 days in a 6-month period without registering online first.

It’s simply useful to know that the EU’s new system is coming up on the horizon so that you can easily plan your future trips to Provence!

Travel Perfectly Provence EU Visas

It’s one more thing to keep in mind, whether you intend to enjoy the quiet splendour of Gordes (frequently listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where Vincent Van Gogh painted ‘Starry Night,’ or Marseille, France’s second-biggest city. Have a wonderful trip!

*If you leave the Schengen area and return within the same 180-day period, the previous stay will count against the permitted 90 days. ~ February 2020


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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