PART 3: Update on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)

Previously we have covered the European Travel Information and Authorization System (“ETIAS”) in our blog section, anticipating its full enforcement by the end of 2020.  However, recent changes have delayed the release of the ETIAS.  In this Part 3 of our Brexit blog, we are revisiting and updating the information relating to the ETIAS, as it affects travel to the EU post Brexit.

The ETIAS is an online application form created by the European Community (EC) for travelers from visa-exempt countries to visit any member-state of the EU. It means that if you are from a country that is permitted to enter the EU without a visa, then you will need to complete this from (even for transiting) and receive permission to enter before you can travel. This form is similar to the US’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) in that it is only required for travelers coming from countries that do not require a visa to enter the U.S.  

The purpose of ETIAS, like ESTA, is to get advance information on the traveler prior to their arrival in Europe for security purposes.  Prior to the ETIAS, as it is now, travelers from about 60 countries from outside the EU, may enter the EU without any additional prior screening until they reach border control.  If the individual is a security threat, they will have made their way into the country, at which point it may be too late.  The EC sought to close this gap with the ETIAS form, which is not as lengthy as a visa application process, which normally requires a passport photo, proof of insurance, fingerprinting and an interview, and a hefty fee.  By contrast, the ETAIS fee is quite small, although we do not know the amount at this time. While the EC states that this is not a “visa,” the traveler may still be denied entry based on a security check from the responses provided. However, the EC has stated that they do not expect the denial rate to be high.

Envisioned in 2016, the ETIAS was expected to come online by the end of this year; however, it has been delayed to sometime in the end of 2022.

As is, if you are visiting any of these countries: Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, and Vatican City. 

And,

Are from any of the following countries: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela. 

You will need to complete the new ETIAS form when it goes live in 2022. 

For additional support on applying for visas post-Brexit, please consider registering to our Visa Adviser App to get both a do-it-yourself guide as well as hands-on support from a visa consultant. There you will also get information such as the latest travel advisory, real-time currencies, relevant travel forms, and vaccination information.

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