Today the European Commission has published the long-awaited proposal of the EU Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS). This proposal contains detailed information on the ETIAS including motivations, implementation, costs as well as other details. Over the next few days, we will digest this information and share the important highlights on etias.com. However, in the meantime, we provide a summary below:
Security Concerns - Migration and refugee crisis along with terrorism. 1.4 billion people from around 60 countries do not need visas to visit countries in European Union. In 2014, there were 30 million individuals who could travel to Europe visa-free, in 2020, this number is expect to grow to 39 million people. There is currently no information gathered in advance of travellers arriving to European Union countries. There is a need to perform checks on such visitors before they arrive in the EU to identify any security risks beforehand. This would allow EU countries to rely on multiple EU information sources to determine a travellers security risk to the public before granting such an individual with an approved travel authorisation. Countries in the European Union are lacking a unified system which they can use for managing "potential irregular migration and security risks" by travellers coming from one of the 60 countries who' citizens do not need visas for travel in the EU.
Most importantly, maintaining visa-free travel is seen as a important way for the EU to build partnerships for reciprocity of visa-free travel as well as ensure the European Union remains an attractive place for business and tourism.
How would it work?
Online Application - Information submitted online by EU visitors prior to their travel date. The application would be online via website and / or mobile application. The traveller's information would be cross-checked against other EU information systems and a determination would be made in relation to the threat the individual has on EU security. Applications would be decided upon within minutes of submission, and an estimated overall approval rate of 95%.
System Integration - EU Entry/Exit System (EES) and other EU information systems will be designed to improve the information collection of non-EU citizens travelling to and from European Union countries. It is foreseen the EES and ETIAS will be developed in parallel given their similar objectives and inherent relationship.
Cost - The current proposed fee is € 5.
Validity - The ETIAS would be valid for 5 years and would allow travellers multiple visits on a single authorisation. An approved authorisation would give travellers greater assurance as to the likelihood of admission into the EU.