Starting November 1, 2023, 1.4 billion people from over 60 different countries who presently travel to the 27 Schengen Area countries without a short-stay visa will be required to apply for an online travel authorization before any journey to the Member States.
Since 2016, the European Union has been working on this travel authorisation, known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), in order to improve security in Europe by knowing who is coming ahead of time.
Previously, the system was set to go live in May 2023, but the EU quietly postponed its launch to November 2023 in the summer of last year, without making any statement.
"ETIAS is projected to be operational in November 2023," according to a new ETIAS information website released by the EU Commission's Migration and Home Affairs.
Beginning in November of this year, travellers from Schengen visa-free nations will be required to apply for the ETIAS. The application will be submitted via the ETIAS website, which has yet to be activated but will be published under the.eu domain before November.
Applying for an ETIAS will take about 10 minutes because travellers will have to upload their passport scan and a photo of themselves to the system, as well as answer some simple questions.
"Around 1.4 billion people from over 60 countries benefit from visa-free travel to the European Union," the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) stated in an October 2021 statement.
The EU just announced that the Entry/Exit System, which was scheduled to go into operation in May 2023, will now be delayed until the end of the year as well.
The move was announced by the EU agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Fields of Freedom, Security, and Justice (eu-LISA) during a meeting of the eu-LISA Management Board on January 12 in Tallinn, Estonia.
“For EES, the planned Entry into Operation of May 2023 is considered no longer achievable due to delays from the contractors. The Agency is currently preparing a revised timeline that will presented for approval at the JHA Council in March 2023,” the agency has said.
The Entry/Exit System (EES) is a new automated IT system developed by the EU that will keep track of third-country visitors, both those who require and do not require visas.
By fLEXI tEAM