After the agreement and consent of the European Parliament in the July of 2018 for the European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS, the European authorities are starting to establish an electronics system for visa waiver in the Schengen area to improve the security and safety of the states and citizens.
In the beginning, ETIAS implementation was decided in 2021, but in order to make all the concerned parties accommodate to the new system, the date is now extended to 2022 for a smooth transition.
This is an electronic travel authorization system currently implemented in most modern countries of the world like the US and Australia. This system will help the authority to provide safe and risk-free entry to the travelers and a secure and safe environment to the residents.
ETIAS START DATE
Though the system will launch in the last quarter of 2022, but it will get the mandatory status in 2023. There is a grace period of 6 months to make travelers familiarized with the concept and process of the ETIAS online visa waiver system. All the Schengen borders will receive the required information on procedures in the transition period. All the travelers are encouraged to go through the procedure of ETIAS for better understanding before it gets compulsory.
ETIAS VISA WAIVER FOR TRAVELLERS TO EUROPE
ETIAS will be compulsory for the citizens of 60 eligible countries. All the travelers from the eligible ETIAS status countries will have to fill the online application form and pay for the processing fee to obtain the waiver to enter Europe.
After implementing the ETIAS system, no traveler will be allowed to enter from the eligible country without the ETIAS authorization.
THE VISA WAIVER PROCESS
To understand the ETIAS visa waiver process read the following detail:
HOW WILL ETIAS WORK?
When the online travel authorization system ETIAS is implemented, it will require all third-country nationals and citizens from the eligible countries to apply using an online form to access the Schengen area.
An online application form will only take 10 minutes to fill, and by using a debit or credit card, you can pay the fee. The authorities will check all the details and information you have provided through various security databases.
Once the system has granted you access to the ETIAS visa waiver, it will allow you to stay for 90 days and make various trips.
The ETIAS will require the applicants to provide the following information on the online form:
- Full name
- Nationality detail
- Current address
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Parents’ information
There are some security questions that you will also need to answer when filling the online application form. The questions will consist of a criminal record, a trip to conflict areas, and your property, if confiscated in criminal offense, inside the European borders.
ETIAS AND EUROPEAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The ETIAS will take all the personal information and security details from the applicant, and this data will be cross-cheeked and examined form the following security databases:
These systems are:
- Schengen Information System (SIS): it is an extended information system with a huge database under the supervision of external border control and law enforcement agencies.
- Visa Information System (VIS): This is a communicational infrastructure linked with the central IT system for all the Schengen States to exchange visa dates.
- Eurodac: This system has the information and identification database on all the asylum seeker and people tried to cross the border irregularly.
- Europol: The database of the European Union agency responsible for law enforcement.
- Interpol: International police organization with 192 member countries, and it is undoubtedly the largest organization with a massive database worldwide.
For a thorough screening, all personal and security details are screened through the European data bases and the international data bases when the applicants fill the online form. This process ensures that the applicant is not a threat or security risk to the member states and their citizens.
The EU-LISA will provide the resources and maintain the Entry-Exit System (EES) and all the required resources for ETIAS.
CAN AN ETIAS APPLICATION BE REFUSED?
When you apply for the ETIAS, the online information form will only take 10 minutes to fulfill, along with the security questions. After you have paid the fee for the waiver, the application will start processing automatically, and it is suggested that in most cases, the applicant will get the visa waiver from the authorities sent directly to the email address provided at the time of application.
The authorities will check the local, national and international databases for screening and clearance. This process will be completed in less than 10 minutes. And applicant will get a visa waiver. But if there is some discrepancy, false information, or the applicant is a security threat or risk to the citizens or a member state, the ETIAS visa waiver application will be transferred from automatic to manual right away. Any flag or false information is enough for the halt in the screening process.
The corresponding state will be informed, and the applicant will have to provide the additional documents in 96 hours. Within four weeks, the national authority will decide about the applicant whether to grant access or not after screening the provided documents.
If the application for ETIAS is rejected, the applicant will be provided with two things; one is the reason, and the second the right to appeal.
What is the maximum time to get an Elias?
More than 90 percent of the applications will be selected for entry in the Schengen area after screening the information from the data bases of international and national organizations and law enforcement agencies. If there is an issue in the application regarding flagged or misleading information, this will take 96 hours. And only a few will take four weeks' time.
Are E.U. and Schengen visas the terms for the same visas?
Both terms are different, and they stand for different groups of states in Europe. The Schengen countries are not necessarily a member of the European Union. There are some countries that are the art of the European Union but are not included in the Schengen area. These two terms are quite confusing for people living outside Europe.
European Union is the group of 28 countries, and the number kept increasing because the countries applied for entering into the group and are granted to be a part of the European Union later. This is the group which contains 28 countries at present.
Some countries like Lichtenstein and Iceland are included in the Schengen group, but they are not part of the European Union. There are 26 members in Schengen that allow the people to move freely in the zone and around and across the borders. But there are some rules regarding the visitors, their visit and stay.
What group or category of people will need to apply for an ETIAS?
All the people who don't need to apply for the Schengen visa will have to go for the ETIAS visa waiver. There are a lot of people and a great number of countries that do not need a Schengen visa at present. All of these people will have to apply for an ETIAS waiver to have access to the countries.
The rules in the Schengen countries are quite complex for the people. The rules depend on the number of countries which the traveler wants to visit. Rules are different for the people who want to visit a single country, and for the people who want to visit multiple countries, the rules are changed.
Britain and Ireland citizens and all the people who live in other EU countries are currently under no restrictions to enter the area. The citizens from third countries who are on the eligible list must apply online 96 hours prior to their travel, fill the application form and make the transaction of fee using debit or credit card.
Traveling with an Approved ETIAS
Can I go to the European countries using ETIAS?
The ETIAS is the system applied only for the Schengen member countries and the countries which are eligible for ETIAS. Click on the link to check the eligible countries.
Will ETIAS allow me to cross the border without checking in the Schengen countries?
This system allows you to travel to the countries within the EU without any additional borer checking. But the security official can stop you for routine checking at borders. They can also revoke your ETIAS visa if they find any discrepancy.
Is ETIAS required to enter a Schengen member country when you are traveling by land?
When you are traveling through an international transportation group, you will need an ETIAS waiver. But this will not be in effect after three years of ETIAS enforcement. But when you are entering on your own and have a private car or some vehicle, you don't need ETIAS to enter the Schengen area.
If you are traveling in a Schengen member country on a rail, do you also need ETIAS?
The conditions are the same for the people who are entering the Schengen country y private vehicle or by train. You won't need ETIAS for traveling in the Schengen country entering through the train.