EU Agrees ETIAS Regulation Amendments

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The EU has agreed on a number of key ETIAS regulation amendments aimed at simplifying the way that authorities access passenger data when travellers are entering the Schengen Area. The ETIAS system is due to launch at the end of 2022, as the European Parliament and the European Council agreed on the deal to launch it.
The most recent news regarding the amendment to ETIAS legislation involves an easier way for authorities to run background checks across all of the EU security databases. The new approach will enable authorities to compare data across different systems, using just one single query.
There have also been amendments made in relation to criminal convictions, with this data ruled to only be assessed by the ETIAS Central System. Another amendment is that criminal conviction flags must be removed after 15 years, although terrorism convictions will stay recorded on the system for 25 years.

ETIAS launch on track

The amendment agreements represent a significant step towards getting the ETIAS system launched, as this was one of the major agreements that needed to be approved in order for the system to get rolled out for the target date of the end of 2022. The legislative aspects of the system were the biggest barriers in moving forward and now the legislative frameworks for managing data are in place, the technical aspects of the ETIAS system can now been completed.
Rapporteur Jeroen Lenaers MEP played a key role in the negotiations, and he shared his excitement regarding reaching this important milestone via his Twitter account:
“Today’s vote was essential, we have put in place a system of risk assessment allowing us to know who is entering the EU. Persons that pose a security risk will be identified and denied travel. We keep our EU borders secure and our citizens safe.”

What will ETIAS mean for travelers?

When the ETIAS system is launched, travelers from the 60 countries that are listed under the ETIAS countries will need to apply for an ETIAS if they want to visit the Schengen Zone. Previously, citizens of these 60 countries could visit the Schengen Zone visa-free but European authorities have introduced the ETIAS system to improve security, so that there is better monitoring and screening of people entering Europe.
With terrorism incidents having increased in Europe in recent years, the introduction of the ETIAS system should help to track travelers with any links to terrorism and prevent them from entering Europe.
From the end of 2022, travelers visiting the Schengen Zone will require either an ETIAS or a Schengen visa for the country they are visiting, or they will not be able to enter the Schengen border. These are the ETIAS requirements: passport details and also answer several sets of questions regarding criminal convictions and health.
Once they have completed the online application and paid the fee to submit it, their details will be screened across the security databases to determine whether the authorities will be happy to approve their application.
If the application is approved, the three years valid ETIAS will be linked to the applicant’s passport and the border control agents will be able to check their passport to see that they have adequate travel authorization to enter the country in the Schengen Zone.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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