The ETIAS Programme:
visa-free entry into
the EU zone
10 January 2020
Resembling the United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) hopes to strengthen the borders of the Schengen Area by pre-checking the data of travellers before they enter the zone.
The whole process will be completed online and is expected to come into effect by the end of 2021. Applicants will need to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, and passport details. There will also be some questions regarding health and security.
Screening travellers will allow the authorities to identify potential security risks and prevent them from entering the Schengen zone.
Once ETIAS has been implemented, citizens of countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States will need to complete an online application and obtain an approved visa waiver ahead of entering any of the Schengen countries.
The travel authorization will have a 3-year validity and will allow eligible travellers to enter the Schengen Area for short-term stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business. The proposed cost of applying for an ETIAS is €7 per adult application.
Different types of visa will continue to be made available for people who want to study or work in Europe.
Will the ETIAS apply to British nationals post-Brexit?
It remains unconfirmed, but British citizens can expect the ETIAS waiver scheme to apply to them upon its introduction.