What means ETIAS?

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ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System and has been in discussion for some time before the European Commission announced it would be launched. The initial announcement of ETIAS was back in 2016 and legislation was implemented in September 2018. It is now expected for ETIAS to come into effect in 2021 and to be mandatory from 2022.
The ETIAS is a visa waiver agreement to enable eligible travellers to enter ETIAS countries without the requirement of a visa. Instead, travellers are able to visit ETIAS countries by applying for an ETIAS online and getting screened before a decision is made by authorities as to whether to approve the ETIAS.
The purpose of the ETIAS is to enable improved border security as well as establishing an improved way of managing borders. Travellers entering the Schengen Zone will be required to have either an ETIAS or a Schengen Visa, depending on which country they are citizens of and the purpose of their travel. It is also being introduced with the intention of supporting immigration policies that are shared across the Schengen countries.
The ETIAS is a quick and easy way of obtaining travel authorization to enter countries in the Schengen Zone and it is for people that are visiting on short term stays of less than 90 days. It will be available for both tourism and business purposes, as long as the trip does not extend past the 90-day limit.
The ETIAS will be connected to the passport that it was issued in relation to and if the passport expires, the ETIAS will no longer be valid. A new ETIAS may then be applied to enable travel authorization for future trips to countries within the Schengen Zone.
It is expected that the ETIAS application will be very fast, with most applications being processed within 72 hours or even less than that. Travellers will therefore be advised to apply for their ETIAS at least 72 hours before they are due to travel, so to avoid any delays with the application processing.
In order to apply for ETIAS, the applicant must have a valid biometric passport and they must also have an electronic payment card to pay the application fee with. They will also need to have a valid email address, which the application correspondence will be sent to.
ETIAS is not designed for people wishing to study or remain in Schengen for longer than 90 days, a relevant visa would be required for these types of purposes.
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