Are you a visa-exempt visitor who wishes to travel the EU Schengen Zone? Well, your wish is no more a wish! The European Union brings you ETIAS, an electronic authorization system which keeps a track of the visa-free visitors in the Schengen zone. You can now travel to your desired states without any visa problems.
The European Union (EU) has outlined an area comprising of 26 European states called the Schengen area which has officially banned all passports and other types of boundary control at their mutual borders. One of the main reasons behind this is the increasing security concerns with terrorism and migrant crises which have limited entry into the EU Schengen zone. However, now the citizens of the non-EU countries can visit the Schengen area without acquiring a visa. They can travel around the Schengen zone for up to 90 days where they are not allowed to work but travel for business, medical, transit, and tour purposes only.
ETIAS is a “European Travel Information and Authorization System” by the European Commission to make traveling within Europe a safe and enjoyable experience. It is an electronic system that undergoes a detailed security check of each visitor from areas that don’t require a visa to enter Schengen. It is more or less like ESTA which stands for U.S Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
It was in 2016 when the lawful procedures regarding ETIAS officially started and the system is expected to be operational by January 2021.
ETIAS makes sure that the people to visit Schengen aren’t a threat to the security of the area. It has a strong network of systems that gather substantial information and data about visitors. If any individual is suspected of anything wrong, his/her application is denied in the first place. In addition, ETIAS eliminates lengthy processes of visa application, improves EU border management, obstruct uneven migration, allowing people to have a secure and worthwhile visiting experience. It also works to support the EU visa liberalization policy.
Who requires ETIAS?
There are around 62 countries that require ETIAS authorization. Some of them are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Georgia, Hong Kong, etc. It is expected that more countries might be added to the list until the launching of the system.
How does the ETIAS authorization work?
This system is very simple in operation and saves time for application procedures. It is an online system thus avoids lengthy paperwork. The application form requires information like name, date of birth, place of birth, address, contact number, email, education and work experience, etc. The applicant also needs to specify the desired state of visit and any specific medical condition. In case the visitor has any family member who is an EU citizen, he/she has to submit a proof of relationship, other background info, and the residence card too. After completing the form, the applicant has to pay the required fee and submit the form afterward. The system will look for the authenticity of the provided data and check the visiting eligibility of the applicant. For more info on ETIAS, click here.
The authorization costs only €7 for a single application and this fee is valid for 18+ adults. If your application gets approved, the ETIAS might be valid for 3 years. In case of denial, the applicant receives a message outlining the reasons behind the rejection of the application. The only document necessary for the authorization is your valid passport. Once you get through ETIAS authorization you can visit the Schengen states as many times as you want until your ETIAS is valid.