The European Union (EU) is about to revolutionise its entry and exit system for third-country nationals with the introduction of the Entry/Exit System, a new automated system (EES).
The EES will be used to replace the current manual passport stamping process, which is inefficient, unreliable, and incapable of detecting overstayers.
What is the Entry/Exit System (EES)?
The Entry/Exit System (EES) is an automated system that will be used to monitor third-country visitors’ entry and exit from the EU.
Travellers’ names, fingerprints, facial images, travel document types, dates and places of entry and exit, and stay periods in the Schengen Area will all be recorded by the system. The EES will be fully operational later this year.
Advantages of the EES
The Entry/Exit System (EES) is intended to modernise current procedures for third-country visitors entering the EU, making the border crossing easier and faster. The system will provide more reliable border-crossing data and allow for the systematic detection of overstayers.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)
Third-country nationals who are permitted to enter the Schengen Area visa-free or with a short-term visa will be required to obtain travel authorization online through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System once the Entry/Exit System (EES) is fully operational (ETIAS).
The ETIAS is a fully electronic system that will be used to track visitors who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area. It will cost €7 per person and will initially be valid for three years. Approximately 1.4 billion people who currently have visa-free access to the Schengen Area will be required to apply for an ETIAS.
Changes to the Visa Application Process
Along with the implementation of the Entry/Exit System (EES), EU authorities have announced plans to modernise the visa application process.
The EU Parliament recently approved a report to completely digitise the Schengen visa application process. The adopted report aims to modernise Schengen visa application procedures by transitioning from physical application and visa stickers to a digital system.
Once approved, visa applications will be processed on a centralised platform, and applicants will be notified of the country that will receive their application.
The European Union’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) and European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) are set to transform the entry and exit process for third-country nationals entering the Schengen Area.
The systems will provide more reliable data, allow for the systematic detection of overstayers, and make border crossing easier and faster for travellers. Travellers will benefit from the EU’s plans to modernise the visa application process, which will make it more convenient and efficient.