EUROPEAN UNION – Council and Parliament Agree the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)
On 25 April 2018, EU ambassadors confirmed an agreement has been reached between the Council Presidency and representatives of the European Parliament on the proposal for a European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS).
What is ETIAS?
- ETIAS is an online pre-screening programme which will apply to visa-exempt third country nationals travelling to the Schengen area, similar to the United States Electronic System for Travel ESTA).
- For each application, travelers between the ages of 18 and 70 will have to apply online, providing certain information and a travel document, and pay a fee of €7.
- A travel authorisation will be valid for three years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first.
- The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union Member States and four non-members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
- The United Kingdom and Ireland have opted out of the Schengen area. It is not yet clear how ETIAS will apply to the UK/EU border after Brexit.
- Currently, the nationals of 62 non-Schengen area countries are allowed to enter the EU without a visa, for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
- Now the regulation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading, and then to the Council for adoption.
- The EU Agency responsible for management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, eu-LISA, will develop the system with the aim of having ETIAS fully operational by 2021.
- Once operational, ETIAS will be managed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in close cooperation with the Member States and Europol.
- No action is required from employers or assignees until the system takes effect.