Launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System or ETIAS, a new travel authorisation for Europe, that was set to come into practice later this year in November, has been delayed once again, as per the EU Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs.
Originally slated to be launched in 2021 and then in 2022 and 2023, no new date for 2024 has been announced yet.
What Is ETIAS?
European Travel Information and Authorisation System or ETIAS is an electronic travel authorisation or a visa waiver created to keep better track of foreign nationals who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone – i.e., those who hold passports from places like St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada etc.
Once launched, non-EU visitors travelling to the Schengen Area without a visa will be able to obtain an ETIAS travel authorisation. An implementation period of around 6 months is expected, after which it will become mandatory.
To apply for ETIAS, foreign nationals must be from a visa-exempt country and be visiting Europe for tourism, business, or transit. The maximum stay allowed with ETIAS is 90 days per 180-day period. Travellers will need to fill out an online application before their trip. Once approved, the ETIAS will be sent via email and linked electronically to the passport.
ETIAS is not a visa, but a visa waiver or electronic travel authorization and will be mandatory for all travellers arriving in the EU for leisure, business, transit, or medical treatment purposes.
What Advantages Does ETIAS Offer To Travelers Visiting Europe?
ETIAS enhances security and makes travel easier by:
- Streamlining procedures and reducing application times
- Improving border management
- Assisting in detecting and decreasing crime and terrorism
- Deterring irregular migration
- Supporting the EU’s visa liberalisation policy
The overall goal of ETIAS is to make travelling to the EU less of a hassle and a much safer experience for all.
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