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ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System)

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is an electronic and authorization system developed by the European Union.

For more travel information and authorization about the new electronic travel authorisation and system, get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 0333 305 9375.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It is an electronic information and authorization system, developed by the EU to keep track of visitors from countries which citizens do not require a visa for Europe. It is connected to several international databases, that can verify your identity within minutes.

Certain travellers can stay in the Area for up to 90 days without applying for a Schengen Visa. However, with the help of the ETIAS system, it would be possible to track whoever wishes to enter the EU and prevent potential national threats.

The European Commission approved the implementation of ETIAS in 2016, it is expected that the project will be completely implemented by the end of 2022 and that at this point all non-visa required foreign nationals when entering the EU will be required to make an ETIAS application. In our guide, you will find all the information you need to know before the enactment of ETIAS.

Who will need to apply for ETIAS?

Not all the non-EU nationals require a Visa to enter the Schengen Area. At the moment, 63 counties are not part of the European Union, but yet enjoy visa-free status.

AlbaniaGrenadaNew ZealandTaiwan **
Antigua and BarbudaGuatemalaNicaraguaTimor Leste
ArgentinaHondurasNorth MacedoniaTonga
AustraliaHong Kong S.A.R*PalauTrinidad and Tobago
Bosnia and HerzegovinaKiribatiPeruUnited Arab Emirates
BrazilMacao S.A.R*Saint Kitts and NevisUnited Kingdom
BruneiMalaysiaSaint LuciaUnited States of America
CanadaMarshall IslandsSaint VincentUruguay
Costa RicaMicronesiaSeychelles
El SalvadorMontenegroSolomon Islands
GeorgiaNauruSouth Korea

Nationals from these countries who plan to travel to the Schengen Zone will need to make an ETIAS travel authorisation application. The countries that will require a valid ETIAS authorization upon arrival under schengen agreement include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Based on the EU Parliament regulations, citizens of visa waiver countries member countries can visit the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days without requiring a visa. However, they can only travel to third countries for business or leisure purposes: working or studies in EU is not permitted, unless for visa holders.

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Is ETIAS a visa?

The EU’s main principle is the free movement of people. For this reason, the ETIAS authorisation is not a visa nor introduce visa-like obligations.

Unlike other visas, you do not need to submit your application to a consulate, and your biometrics are not going to be collected.

The ETIAS system can check your personal information against several international databases. You will receive your response in a few minutes, and you will be able to travel freely within three years.

It is important to note that the ETIAS authorisation has a nonimmigrant intent. This means it can be used merely for business or leisure purposes. If you wish to work, study, or settle in the EU, you should apply for a national visa.

How will ETIAS work?

The ETIAS authorisation will resemble the U.S. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). Both programs are intended to enhance border security at the border checks.

The system will undergo a security check for each applicant who wishes to enter a the schengen zone country or member of the EU. Doing this, it will determine whether you can enter the Schengen Area. At the same time, it will gather relevant information about you and share it with other EU members.

Every time you re-enter the EU, ETIAS will update your details, speeding up your process of admission in every country member.

The idea behind the ETIAS authorisation is to enhance security for both travellers and EU countries. By implementing the full ETIAS approval system, Europe would ensure safe travel in its countries. This includes:

  • Improving the EU country borders procedures;
  • Preventing irregular migration;
  • Restraining terrorism and crime;
  • Reinforcing the free circulation of people through the visa liberalization policy of the EU.

How to submit an ETIAS application

At the moment, applications for ETIAS are not yet available. However, the EU Commission is developing a system that will be easy and intuitive to use.

The ETIAS application will be entirely online, electronic visa waiver is available for visa-exempt non-EU citizens. The entire application process will take no more than 10 minutes. You will also be able to upload your documents, such as:

  • Your travel documents and ID;
  • Information about the purpose of your stay or transit;
  • Your travel itinerary;
  • Evidence of your criminal records.

The ETIAS system will automatically check your data against several international databases. If your application is approved, you will get your valid European Travel Visa within minutes. Otherwise, you will receive a letter stating the reason for the refusal.

Since the ETIAS authorisation is not a visa, you will not receive any physical evidence of your travel permit. Your status will be your valid passport already registered in the EU IT system when you cross the border.

If you wish to transit through EU as a part of your journey, you can request your ETIAS authorisation at the application kiosks. These will be soon installed in every European airport.

How long will my ETIAS last?

Based on the current approved ETIAS travel authorization and plan, your ETIAS travel authorisation will be valid for three years. During this period, you will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days at a time.

However, you must respect the 90/180 rule, meaning you cannot stay in the schengen area countries together for more than 90 days in each 180-day period. On the other hand, you can enter the EU and the Schengen Area for as many times as you want as long as your ETIAS is valid.

In some exceptional cases, your ETIAS travel authorization can be revoked. This may especially happen if there are serious grounds for believing that you lied on your application form.

In addition, if you lose your travel document, you will need to apply for a new approved ETIAS visa waiver or permit since the previous one will be invalidated. The same applies if your passport expires before the end of your ETIAS visa waiver validity period.

Will UK citizens need ETIAS?

The UK is no longer part of the European Union, this means that British citizens will need to complete the ETIAS application before they can travel to the EU. However, they will still be granted a visa waiver for visa-free access to the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Until ETIAS becomes a requirement British citizens can use their passports to travel in and out of the EU without a visa for business and leisure purposes.

What is the difference between ETIAS authorisation and the Schengen Visa?

Travelling through the Schengen Area is regulated by a visa. It can be used to stay in or transit through any of the 26 countries who are part of the treaty.

Conversely, the ETIAS authorisation is available for the nationals of the 62 countries that are not part of the EU. Citizens of these states can already travel freely within Europe without a visa. Consequently, the introduction of ETIAS will not change this benefit.

This scheme will introduce a simpler way to control migration in the EU, and its benefits will be valid for both Schengen members and non-members.

The ETIAS authorisation and the Schengen Visa are not mutually exclusive. Based on your destinations, you can decide which permit is more appropriate for you.

If you hold a Schengen Visa, you will not need to get an ETIAS authorisation. However, there are European countries that are not part of the Schengen Area and vice versa. For this reason, it is advisable to check if you can enjoy visa-free travel in your country of destination before you plan your trip.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your application. CONTACT US

Can your lawyers help with an ETIAS application?

Yes, once the application system is open, our lawyers can assist you with your application. They can also offer you advice if you are unsure about whether or not you need to apply.

If you are interested in exploring the new European Travel Visa and your options to visit the EU, you can contact IAS. We have offices located in ManchesterBirminghamLondon and several other areas in the UK. If you can’t make it to one of our offices then you can book a remote appointment over the phone or via Skype call.

Our team of immigration experts will be happy to discuss your circumstances and advise you on how to proceed. If you are a non-EU national, you may need a Schengen Visa. One of our immigration advisers can help you complete your application form so that you can easily plan your trip.

Get in touch today with one of our immigration lawyers. You can call us or use our online contact form to ask for a call back from one of our advisers.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your application.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

It’s expected that ETIAS regulation will be fully implemented by the end of 2022. This means that all nationals from non-visa required countries will need to go through the ETIAS application process and be granted travel authorisation to enter countries in the Schengen Zone.

Before you submit your online ETIAS application, you must pay your fee. The ETIAS cost will be of €7, and the payment will be mandatory for applicants between the ages of 18 and 70.

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