In anticipation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) coming into effect in 2024, the European Union (EU) has issued a clear statement to clarify the entry requirements for travellers from third countries under the Schengen Area visa-free regime.
Amidst a surge of misinformation surrounding the ETIAS, the EU aims to set the record straight and inform travellers about the accurate process of obtaining this travel authorization.
No Health Information or Biometrics Required
The EU has assured travellers that when the ETIAS travel authorization requirement becomes effective in 2024, they will not be required to submit health information or biometrics to obtain the authorization.
This statement comes in response to rumours and incorrect information circulating about the ETIAS system, which is expected to be implemented by the middle of 2024, with an exact date yet to be announced.
Details Published on the Official ETIAS Website
The EU has published an article on the official ETIAS website, which currently provides only informational content and does not accept applications yet.
The EU makes it clear that applicants will not need to disclose any health-related information, including vaccination status when applying for an ETIAS.
Additionally, travellers will not be asked to provide any biometric data, such as fingerprints, during the application process.
Security Questions for Travellers from 60 World Countries
For travellers from the other 60 countries who will require an ETIAS, the EU has outlined the security measures that will be in place. Applicants will be asked a few security questions to assess if they pose any potential risk to the Schengen Zone and the EU.
These questions may inquire about past criminal convictions and trips to conflict zones. Along with security-related inquiries, travellers will need to provide personal details, including their name, surname, place of birth, passport information, address, email, and phone number.
Rigorous Security Checks and Processing
All ETIAS applications will be thoroughly screened against EU security databases to ensure the safety and security of the region.
According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the majority of applicants (97%) can expect their ETIAS applications to be processed and approved immediately.
The remaining three per cent of applications will undergo manual review by the ETIAS Central Unit and the National Units before a final decision is made.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
The EU emphasizes the importance of obtaining a valid travel authorization through the ETIAS system. Travellers without a valid ETIAS will be denied boarding by carriers, including airlines, buses, or ferry companies.
To avoid such inconveniences, it is crucial for eligible travellers to comply with the ETIAS requirements before embarking on their journey.
EU’s Fight Against Misinformation
In recent weeks, the EU has intensified its efforts to debunk myths and counter misinformation about the ETIAS. As part of their campaign to inform travellers, they have addressed common misconceptions, such as the belief that the ETIAS is a visa, which the EU confirms is completely untrue.
As the implementation date approaches, the European Union aims to ensure that travellers are well-informed about the ETIAS travel authorization process.
By providing accurate information and clarifying entry requirements, the EU seeks to streamline the travel experience for visitors while maintaining the highest standards of security and safety within the Schengen Area.