Retiring Abroad: Canadians Will Need a Permit to Enter Europe

Milestone Wealth Management Ltd. - Sep 21, 2023

Retiring abroad can mean different things to different people. One retiree might dream of selling everything they own to live on a cruise ship; another might want to buy a place in a warm climate in which to spend the winters; and still another might prefer to travel to many bucket-list locations around the world. Whatever makes a person happy is the choice they should make for their retirement.

One very popular destination for Canadian retirees is Europe. The culture, history, architecture, and food keep travellers coming year after year. However, there are some recent changes that tourists need to be aware of.

Currently, Canadian travellers to most of Europe are visa-exempt for up to 90 days, only requiring a passport to travel. However, beginning in 2024, Canadian passport holders must apply to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) as an entry requirement to visit 30 countries, including popular destinations like France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The online ETIAS application costs seven Euros; however, people under 18 or over 70 are exempt from paying the fee. The application can be done through the official ETIAS website or mobile app. Once granted, the pass is linked to one’s passport and allows travellers to visit for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. It remains valid for three years or until one’s passport expires.

Most applications can be approved quickly, but in some complicated cases, the process can take up to 30 days.

The new travel permit shouldn’t be an impediment to exploring Europe. It is inexpensive and easy to acquire. It just requires some additional planning to prevent any unnecessary difficulties when travelling to and within Europe.