If you are a traveler who does not need to obtain a visa or visa before traveling to the Schengen Area, for example, citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, among others, you should know that it will soon be necessary to fill out a form before your trip to the European Union.
Non-EU travelers must apply for an online permit to travel to Europe
The forthcoming system to enter Europe is the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) and it will have a specific cost (The cost of an ETIAS is 7 EUR, however, individuals under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, will not need to pay the fee). But before continuing I will set your mind at rest, there is nothing to fear as I summarize in this article.
Visa Waiver: Why this new system being launched to enter Europe?
For some years now, the European Union has been proposing measures to control the entry and exit of non-EU travelers in the Schengen area.
In November 2017, this initiative had a stronger push, when the European Council adopted the Regulation for the establishment of an Entry and Exit System, which according to forecasts will take effect by 2021 when entering by plane, and up to three years later (2024) when traveling by bus.
These new rules will be used to automate the calculation of the number of days stay allowed for an extra-community citizen, or the maximum length of stay in the Schengen territory. This system will also assist in expediting waiting times at airports and borders.
This new system does not count for travelers who do need a visa before arriving in European Countries (Schengen Zone), for these cases they will have to request the travel document at the consulate of the main travel country as currently is the case.
What is the European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS?
This ETIAS will be similar to the ESTA, the online Travel Authorization for third countries that wish to travel to the United States and do not require a visa.
The new ETIAS will apply to citizens who have a passport from countries that do not need to apply for a visa before traveling to the Schengen area, including: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia , Peru or Chile, among other countries.
If you have a European Union passport, you can use this document to enter with all your corresponding rights, without filling out this special form online.
How will the system work?
When requesting this authorization online, you must provide basic personal information, such as passport number, place of destination, and answer some questions, in addition to stating any criminal record.
The information provided will be automatically checked against the EU and Interpol databases. If they find evidence of suspicion of a crime or have stayed longer than you had in previous trips, you may be denied the request and therefore unable to travel to the Schengen countries, unless you apply for a visa at the corresponding consulate.
The maximum response time for the online request is expected to be 96 hours (or four days). Before boarding or traveling, airlines or other transport companies must verify that passengers have a valid authorization, otherwise they will not be allowed to board.
The Travel Authorization will have a duration of three years, or until the expiration date of the passport if it is less than that time.
Also, even if you have this authorization approved, you must comply with the requirements to visit Europe that until now are requested or required to enter the Schengen Area without the need to apply for a visa. Therefore, it will be the border agent in your country of arrival who will ultimately determine whether or not you can enter the EU.
For those saving money by not having to apply for a visa, the small fee you will pay for the process will not be an inconvenience, and you have nothing to fear as surely your authorization through the system to enter Europe will be approved without any problem.
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What do you think of this new system to enter Europe?