Getting into the Schengen Area member states without the benefit of a visa is a courtesy extended to European Union countries and to 62 other countries that are not affiliated with the EU or the Schengen Area. The citizens of these 62 nations don’t have to request for a visa but the visa-free privilege comes with some conditions. For travelers from these countries, visa-free entry is only available if they state that tourism or business as their reason for visiting. They can also enter visa-free if they just want to transit through the area or if they are entering due to medical reasons. They are not allowed to study or to work; they would need a visa for this. And they need to limit the length of their stay to 90 days, counted within a 180-day period.
These travelers may not need a visa for them to enter Schengen territory, but they may still have to present a Health Declaration Form. To avoid wasting time and money, they should make sure that all of their travel documents are on hand before they start the trip.
Authorizing citizens of 62 countries to enter visa-free may be a risk on the part of the leaders of the Schengen member states. This arrangement could cause some issues like an increase in illegal immigrants and more security threats to the citizens as well as the visitors. This is the reason why the leaders are searching for a system that can deal with the large number of visitors that go through the borders every day.
Incidents related to terrorism and illegal immigration have been increasing steadily over the past decades. Eventually, these issues forced the Schengen area to design a system that can deal with the problem. The design calls for the system to evaluate the traveler and classify him according to the threat he can pose for the Schengen government, thereby making travel much safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
The France ETIAS came about because of the desire to reduce security threats and improve border management protocols. The leaders, as well as their constituents, are hoping that the system can handle the issues that face the Schengen member countries. Continue reading as we discuss some basic details about ETIAS.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What information do we have on the ETIAS?
As stated before, the ETIAS was created by the need to decrease the number of security risks, as well as the number of illegal migrants within the Schengen Area. It was designed by the European Commission (EC) to assess the risk factor presented by citizens from the 62 countries that are traveling to the Schengen countries.
The system will be able to access details stored on other databases about these travelers. It will collect all the data available, analyze it, and classify the traveler based on the degree of risk that he can cause for the host country. This is a close parallel to the role that the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (US ESTA) is playing, although the ETIAS is not yet active.
The system will use all the information it has collected to do a stringent check on the applicant’s background. Because it has access to a lot of databases, it can collect, verify, and analyze the information on thousands of applicants. This is the reason why the traveler needs to complete his application truthfully since any inaccurate information on the form could result in an immediate rejection.
Additionally, the ETIAS can easily update the information in its database. This way, it stays on top of things and makes applications much quicker and easier.
What makes the ETIAS important?
The France ETIAS is expected to be one of the most important tools the Schengen Area will use in its effort to tackle present and future security risks. The member countries want their citizens and travelers to feel safe within their borders, and they also want to make travel into their territories as fun as possible. They also want to minimize the number of illegal migrants.
In a speech, Jean-Claude Juncker said that it is essential for the EU to be aware of the people who are moving through their borders every day. The President of the European Commission further said they need to assess the degree of risk that each applicant brings before they can even come to the Schengen Area.
The result of all this became the ETIAS. Developed because of the need to know how much of a risk a person presents to the Schengen Area, they designed the system so it would be able to access multiple reliable databases in search of information about a traveler. If ETIAS confirms the person to be a high security risk, it will reject the application forthwith, denying entry to the applicant.
Does the application need a lot of information keyed in?
The application does not need a lot of information. It requires basic details like the name of the applicant, contact information, citizenship, and date of birth. However, in order to complete the evaluation, the system also needs to know if he has any medical conditions, or if he has a criminal record.
The applicant will also be asked if he has visited a country at war, or if he has been deported before. He needs to answer truthfully since the system will verify the information by cross-referencing with other databases.
How much does it cost?
The application for the authorization is much less expensive than for the Schengen visa. The price is initially set at €7 per application. Also, people below 18 years old will not have to pay for the authorization.
How long until the authorization expires?
The duration of the authorization’s validity depends on the system’s evaluation of the information about the applicant. The ETIAS could last as long as the travel document used for the application is valid, or it could have a validity period of 3 years.
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I need more information. How do I get it?
Heading over to the iVisa website is your best bet at finding information about ETIAS and other travel concerns. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (786) 460-2707 for questions.