Countries located within the Schengen Area gave visa-free entry courtesy to European Union and fellow Schengen member state citizens. They also extend this courtesy to 62 countries which are not part of either organization. Like EU and Schengen citizens, travelers from these countries are able to enter Schengen borders without applying for a visa. However, they will need authorization to enter Schengen countries once the new system becomes operational in 2022.
The visa requirement exemption has its conditions. If travelers from the 62 countries enter Schengen borders claiming travel or business as the purpose of entry, they will be allowed entry without a visa. But they will need to refrain from doing work or studying while on their trip, as it is not permitted. They can also enter if they cite transit or medical reasons as their purpose for coming into the Schengen area.
They may not be obliged to carry a visa for entry, but Schengen states and the EU may still require them to present a Health Declaration Form upon inspection. They will need to make sure that they have all the necessary papers before arrival if they don’t want to waste time or money.
The Schengen member states and the EU have already invested a lot of resources into methods to effectively manage borders, which they often share with each other. There are a lot of people going in and out of the Schengen Area daily and they will need an efficient system that can track these travelers, hoping that it will reduce security risks. They want to make traveling through and visiting the Schengen Area a safe and pleasurable experience for all travelers.
This was what necessitated the creation of the France ETIAS. The ETIAS is the brainchild of the European Commission (EC) and its goal is to eventually lessen the incidents of terrorism as well as properly keep track of the travelers from the 62 countries and find out who is overstaying.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ETIAS – What exactly is it?
The European Travel Information and Authorization System, simply known as ETIAS, is a border control system proposed by the European Commission. Its main goal is to control entry and movement of travelers coming from the 62 countries with visa-free privileges for the Schengen Area, like the EU countries. There are similarities between the ETIAS and the US ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization but whilst the ESTA is currently in force, the ETIAS won’t become operational until 2022.
The system is expected to make it easy to make a decision on whether an applicant should be allowed to enter or not. System protocols require it to perform strict security and background checks for each applicant, accessing all information available about the applicant, and making an informed decision.
It will have access to tools and techniques which are crucial for gathering information on the applicant. When the information is collected, the system will analyze the data and determine if the applicant is a sufficient threat to Schengen security that he will not be allowed to enter. If that is the case, then the application will not be approved. It is also able to update data and that feature will help stay on top of everything.
What benefits can we expect to see from the ETIAS?
Assisting in tightening security is one of the expected benefits that would come from using ETIAS. The system is also expected to help in observing travelers from the 62 countries as they visit the Schengen countries. The member states want travelers to enjoy their trip and feel safe, and making sure that none of them are threats to national security is essential.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, noted in a recent speech that EU countries need to know who is entering their borders and that the EC plans to have a system that can identify people going to the Schengen Area even before they arrive there.
The ETIAS was created out of the necessity to significantly reduce the number of terrorist incidents, so that people in the Schengen Area can be safe. The way that ETIAS is being developed will make it easy for it to identify the travelers who are high-risk individuals and those who are low-risk.
A classification of high risk will get an application rejected and the applicant will be denied entry into Schengen countries.
What information should you put in the application?
Aside from security, another aim for ETIAS is to make the application process as easy as possible. Basic data like the applicant’s name, citizenship, or contact information are required to be put in. But, in keeping with the objective of enhanced security, ETIAS will also need you to put in other information such as medical conditions or criminal records.
Will you need a lot of documents when applying for ETIAS?
A valid passport is usually enough to initiate the application. However, it should be noted that there will be instances when the system would request a clear photo of the applicant’s facial area.
Is the authorization valid for more than a year?
That would depend on the information about the applicant and the amount of security risk he poses to the Schengen countries, especially his host country. The authorization could be valid for three years at the most or just until the expiration date of the document used during the application process.
How many entries are allowed when you use the ETIAS?
A valid ETIAS will allow the visitor to enter the host country for as many times as he likes, on the condition that the visits will not exceed a total of 90 days during a 180-day period.
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