ETIAS Launch Delayed Again

The ETIAS visa waiver program will come into effect one year later than plannedThe European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large IT Systems in the Area of ​​Freedom, Security and Justice (EU-LISA), which is responsible for the planned Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), adopted a new time frame that foresees its release into operation in the spring of 2025 at the earliest.

Once operational, ETIAS will require that all visa-exempt third-country nationals planning to travel to the Schengen Area apply for pre-travel authorization online. Similar to systems already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, a valid passport, a credit card, and minimal personal information will be needed. This will enable advanced verification of potential security, irregular migration and public health risks.

If you’re travelling to any of the EU states, the ETIAS program will require you to pay a mandatory seven-euro fee.

Most applications should be processed within a few minutes, and within 96 hours at the latest, the EU predicts. However, they warn that “some applicants may be asked to provide additional information or documentation or to participate in an interview with national authorities, which may take up to an additional 30 days.” Therefore, they suggest not booking a flight or accommodation before receiving confirmation.

When a visa-free traveler arrives at a border of one of the 30 European countries requiring ETIAS, border guards will scan their travel document data electronically, and register them in the EES, triggering a query to ETIAS. If the traveler has a valid travel authorization, they will be able to cross the border if all other entry conditions are also fulfilled.

EU residents are exempt, regardless of nationality.

Those who currently need a visa to enter the EU, on the other hand, will still need a visa.

Sources: European Council & EU-LISA websites

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