What is ETIAS?
A new travel authorisation was proposed for the European Union called ETIAS, which stands for EU Travel Information and Authorisation System. Recently, the process has received more attention following the terrorist attacks that occurred in France and Belgium. The hope is that the new system will lead to security improvements. This system is not dissimilar to the one used by the United States of America called ESTA. The intent of the new system is to identify people who are currently travelling through the European Union without any visa before they enter any of the Schengen countries. There will be a centralised system that will be capable of issuing travel permits to EU visitors and then monitoring their movements through the Schengen countries.
What is the Difference Between the Schengen Zone and the European Union?
A particular aspect of the European Union that is not always clear to visitors is that it contains various countries that collectively make up a region known as the Schengen Zone. The E.U. is currently made up of 28 individual nation states, a number that usually grows as more countries apply for an are granted membership. Nearly all of these countries are members of the region known as Schengen Zone but a few are not and there are a few countries that are a part of the Schengen Zone but are not part of the European Union.
The Schengen Zone was originally created to allow for freedom of movement between its member nations. To keep things relatively simple, all of the Schengen members abide by the same rules that determine visitors rights in terms of who may travel there and how long they may stay, as well as who can work, study and live within any of the countries.
What is the Difference between an this new Travel Permit and a Schengen Visa?
This new system is intended for use by either tourists or business visitors in the E.U. who do not currently require a visa. This includes visitors from dozens of possible countries such as the United States of America.
What is a United States ESTA and why was it Implemented?
The ESTA was originally introduced in the United States as a security measure in response to terrorist attacks, in particular, the attacks that took place on September the 11th in 2001. This is the same reason for the new European system. Since the Internet has made applying for things like travel permits a much more simple process, it should not be difficult for people wishing to travel to the Schengen countries to submit an application. The United States only issues an ESTA to people who are travelling from what it deems to be a low-risk country. People who travel from any other country require a full tourist visa. So, if you were to travel to the United States from Ireland on holiday you would only need to apply for an ESTA, whereas if you were to travel for the same reasons from Iraq you would need to apply for a full tourist visa.
The ESTA cuts down on the amount of work and bureaucracy required by a visa but it still allows the United States to monitor who is currently travelling to the country and who is allowed to. Anyone who is granted an ESTA is allowed to remain in the country for up to 90 days. If a visitor will have to apply for a full visa if they are eligible for an ESTA but they also wish to stay longer than 90 days.
The eTa is another similar system currently being proposed in Canada.
What are the Financial Benefits of this System to the European Union?
The primary role of the new European travel permit system is to create a database of travellers within the Schengen countries thus allowing for tighter security. However, it has also been proposed that there will be a secondary benefit in the form of an increase in the revenue that is received by the European Union Commission. Currently, the proposed price for one of the new permits is €7. If this does not change, then it has been forecast that the revenue for the year 2021 has been predicted to be as high as €200 million. Given that this revenue has dropped significantly in recent years, the prospect of a substantial increase cannot be ignored.
Questions About Making an Application
Who Needs to Apply?
The new system is intended to allow for people who do not currently require a visa to travel to Schengen countries to continue to do so with the minimum of fuss. This is quite a large number of countries at present and soon all of these people will require a permit.
The set of immigration rules that is currently in place for the Schengen countries is quite complicated. This is true whether or not the person who wishes to immigrate requires a visa for travel. At the moment, the rules change depending on whether or not the person wishes to visit more than one Schengen country during their stay and what it is they wish to do while there. For anyone who lives in another European country that is not part of the Schengen zone, there are currently no restrictions on their ability to enter or move within the zone.
Under the new system, any citizen who comes from a country found on a pre-approved list must apply for the permit at least 96 hours before they expect to begin travelling. This includes paying the required application fee. This generally means people who come from countries that are considered to be “low-risk” such as the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. At the moment, people who travel from these countries do not require any kind of visa or permit.
It is not currently known what effect Britain’s exit from the European Union will have on whether or not British citizens will require this kind of pass. There is currently no reason why British citizens should not be required to apply in the same manner as American or Australian citizens, but an exception may be made as part of the “Brexit” negotiations.
How do I Apply?
As with any other kind of electronic travel authorization, it is only possible to apply online. It will not be possible to apply via any postal service.
How Long does an Application Take?
It is intended to take very little time to fill out the online application form. After the application has been finished and the fee has been paid, the processing will begin immediately and a decision will be delivered within 96 hours. If someone were to apply and they had not received a final decision before they begin travelling, they would be unable to enter a European country without some other form of travel authorization.
How Much will it Cost?
The currently proposed cost for each applicant over the age of 18 is €7. There will be no fee charged for any applicants who are under 18 years old but an application will need to be made on their behalf.
How Long is it Valid for?
After the permit has been granted, it can be used for three years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first. It allows the individual to stay up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
Will European Citizens be Required to Apply in Order to Visit Other European Countries?
No, European citizens will not require this or any other permit or visa to travel within the European Union. This permit will be required by non-European citizens who are not required to have a visa at the moment.
Do Schengen Visa holders need this Travel Permit?
So long as the Schengen visa is still valid, this permit is not necessary for travel within the European Union.
Will all UK Passport Holders be Required to Apply for one?
British citizens who do not reside overseas will not be required to apply for this travel permit. However, anyone who is a citizen of a British Overseas Territory (BOTC), is a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) or is a British Protected Person (BPP) will be required to apply for one of these permits.
Will Infants, Children or Teenagers need to Apply?
Anyone who wishes to travel to the European Union, regardless of their age, from one of the selected countries will need to apply. The only difference is that anyone who is under 18 years old does not have to have the €7 processing fee paid.
Traveling with an Approved ETIAS
Can this Permit be used to Travel to Other European Countries
No, this permit only applies to countries that are members of the Schengen area.
IS it Possible to Travel Without Border Controls in the Schengen Zone using this Permit
Yes it is possible, however, there may be additional security checks required by any border agent within any of the European countries. While this permit does grant freedom of movement for up to 90 days with a 180 day period, it can still be revoked at any time by any of the European border authorities who have good cause to do so.