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  • Posted on 02 Nov, 2019
  • 1 162
ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System. It was announced by the European Commission in November 2016 and was implemented into legislation in September 2018. The intention of forming the system was to improve the security of EU member states within the Schengen region by capturing data on travelers that currently visit the area without a visa. The ETIAS will only pre-screen travelers not needing a Schengen Visa. The screening would pertain to terrorism or migration related risks. The objective is to identify individuals who pose security threats before they are able to travel to the Schengen area.

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Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit

ETIAS is not a visa; it is a visa waiver, similar to the U.S. ESTA and Canadian eTA. Travelers currently visiting European Member countries visa-free will require an ETIAS from 2021 onwards. Passport holders of the EU single market are exempt from ETIAS.
Convenience – Reduce border wait-times for travelers and streamline entry into EU member states.
Border efficiency - Improve border management for security personnel screening travelers upon arrival and departure from EU member states.
Transparency - Help the EU toward achieving its goal of a visa liberalization policy that would enable citizens of more countries to enter the EU without the need of a Schengen Visa.
Immigration - Enable border authorities to spot migration irregularities and abuse of visa-free EU travel.
Security – Help EU member states strengthen their border security processes and procedures against crime and terrorism.
Funding – Provide an additional source of revenue for the EU budget as well as for managing visa-free travel of business, tourism and transit visitors. ETIAS is only relevant to travelers who travel visa-free to EU member states. The application process is aimed at taking approximately 10 minutes or less. The website processing ETIAS applications will support mobile, desktop and mobile devices. The types of information requested include:

  • Biometric and personal data such as name, date of birth and gender
  • Applicant contant details such as home address email address
  • Education history, such as primary, secondary, vocational schooling, university, or no education
  • Travel document information, such as a passport or other document, including data such as the document number, issue date, expiry date, and country
  • Current occupation or job, including title as well as contact details
  • First EU member state of arrival

Background questions relating to previous criminal activity, drug use, travel to conflict zones, as well as EU and non-EU immigration history.
Third parties may apply on behalf of applicants, yet this must be disclosed at the time of submitting the application. Third parties will also need to provide their name and company information, where relevant, as well as their contact details and relationship to the applicant. More information on the ETIAS application form can be found here:
The ETIAS fee charged on applications for travellers between the ages of 18 and 70 is 7€. There is no ETIAS fee for travellers under the age of 18, or over the age of 70. Every traveller, regardless of their age, will require an approved ETIAS prior to their arrival to the Schengen area.

Background questions – Do the answers match the data held in the databases checked by the ETIAS Central Unit?

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The applicant identify, travel document and background questions are then checked against Schengen Information System (SIS), Visa Information System (VIS), EUROPOL DATA, e Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD) and the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN), EURODAC and others, in addition to the ETIAS Central Unit's own screening rules and watchlist. A positive match detected by the automated processing system that deems the applicant as a possible security or migration risk, it will result in the ETIAS application being manually processed. Manual processing is performed by the ETIAS Central Unit and ETIAS National Units where relevant. If additional information is required from the applicant, they will be contacted within days of receiving notification that their ETIAS requires additional processing. The ETIAS system will provide all applicants notification of their "approved", "refused" or "manual processing" ETIAS status within 96 hours of application submission.

Most ETIAS applicants will be notified either instantly or within a few hours of their approved authorisation. A valid ETIAS travel authorisation is linked to the applicant's passport and have its own unique application number. An ETIAS will be valid for three years or until the date of passport or travel document expiry, whichever date comes first.

An application will be manually processed if the traveller's data matches a hit in one of the EU databases. The applicant may contact by the ETIAS Central Unit or ETIAS National Teams to provide additional documentation to process the application. Furthermore, the applicant may also be given the option to attend an interview at a nearby EU member state consulate if the documentation alone is not sufficient to process the applications.

Applicants who are denied an ETIAS will receive reasons of their refusal. This will include information on the particular EU member state that decided on the application.Applicants who have been denied an ETIAS have the right to appeal. Appeals will need to be submitted to the EU member state that refused the ETIAS. The processing of appeals will also take place in this same EU.

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