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Mar-17-2020 17:15printcomments

ETIAS to be Implemented in Europe in 2021

The primary purpose of ETIAS is to improve security within European borders.

ETIAS
Photo: etias.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - At the moment, there are 62 countries and territories whose citizens can travel to Schengen Area countries without having to obtain a visa in advance. They can also travel to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, and Romania, even though they are not in the Schengen Area.

If you happen to be among them, you only need a valid passport. The exemption is usually for 90 days in a 180-day period, which is ideal if you travel for business or tourism.

However, in 2021, things will change. In 2018, the European Union adopted regulations that establish an electronic system for authorization of visa-exempt travelers. Are you interested in finding out more? Check out the information below.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. Keep in mind that it is not a visa per se. It is similar to the US ESTA and is a simple authorization that allows the EU to know who enters the territory and how long they stay. It is purely informational. All the EU wants to know is the background of the person interested in traveling to European countries.

The primary purpose of ETIAS is to improve security within European borders. The system can find out and determine whether an individual person is a threat, and it eliminates it by not granting the authorization.

Who must apply for an ETIAS?

As mentioned above, only the visa-exempt nationalities must obtain an ETIAS before traveling to Schengen Area countries. An exception is made for the citizens of the European microstates. We are talking about Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. Family members of EU single market nationals that are not legal residents of the countries in question must apply for an ETIAS. Still, the ones holding a residence card are exempt as well.

How to apply for an ETIAS?

When 2121 arrives and you are among the nationalities that are required to obtain an ETIAS, you must apply for it before your departure. The process is entirely online, and it should not take very long.

You are asked to fill in an online application form. You must provide a wide range of information such as name, date of birth, address, info about citizenship, education and work experience, etc. Passport information and travel dates are necessary as well, and you are required to answer some background questions. You will also have to pay a fee. It will cost about 7 Euros but remember that the fee applies only to people over 18. Children under the age of 18 can acquire ETIAS for free.

Once the payment is made, you can submit the application, and the system will run your name through different databases. If no red flags come up, the ETIAS is approved in a few minutes. In some cases, the processing can take longer, but according to the information we have at the moment, it should not last more than 6 hours.

Where can I apply for an ETIAS?

While you will be able to access an official website where people can apply for an ETIAS, different tour operators and other third-party companies will provide this service as well. Travel agencies may already offer this service is you plan a trip through them.

It is very important to know that people who are not visa exempt cannot apply for an ETIAS. ETIAS is not supposed to replace a visa. So, if you are not among the visa-exempt nationalities, your only option is to apply for a Schengen visa. The application can be submitted online for that as well.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.

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