Starting in mid-2024, travellers from more than 60 countries who can visit the Schengen Area without a visa will be required to apply for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The European Union (EU) emphasizes that a successful ETIAS application will not guarantee entry into EU countries requiring it; travellers must also meet specific visa-free conditions.
Once ETIAS becomes fully operational, travellers will need to satisfy various requirements to cross EU external borders. These include presenting valid travel documents and ETIAS during border checks. Border authorities may also request information such as the purpose and duration of the visit and evidence of sufficient financial means to support the trip.
Furthermore, travellers' documents must be valid for at least three months after the intended departure from the EU country requiring ETIAS and should have been issued no more than ten years ago. Border authorities will also verify the authenticity of documents and assess whether certain nationals of third countries pose a threat to public security before granting entry.
Once ETIAS is launched, traveller details will be registered in the Entry/Exit System, which replaces manual passport stamping at EU external borders. This system records entry time and place, as well as facial images and fingerprints.
Travellers who do not meet entry conditions will be denied entry unless legal exceptions apply, according to the EU. However, once travellers enter one of the 30 countries requiring ETIAS, they can freely travel within the region without further border checks, provided they do not exceed the permitted 90-day stay within any 180-day period.
It's essential to clarify that ETIAS is not a visa, despite previous media confusion. The application process for ETIAS is straightforward and quick, involving online form completion and payment of a €7 fee. ETIAS remains valid for three years or until the passport expires.
By fLEXI tEAM