As one would assume, there are a lot of countries whose citizens are not part of the European Union. However, despite not being part of the EU, these citizens can enter the Schengen Zone without needing a visa. Out of all the non – EU countries, currently, there are 61 which do not require its citizen’s visa’s in order to travel to members of the European Union.
These citizens can stay up to 90 days for either business or travel purposes, but they are not allowed to do any kind of work or study for the duration of their stay. Those who travel can engage in tourism and business, but any breach of the above-mentioned rules could mean instant deportation.
Because of the immigrant crises, the European Union members have been calling for a new and better system that will control who enters the European Union. While the first goal of the European Union is to improve the travel experience between their members, the procedures and time spent waiting has been frustrating.
Recently, a new system has been proposed. This system will eliminate waiting time, reduce the lengthy procedures, and address all the security concerns. This new system has been called ETIAS.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it is a fully electronic system that will keep track of visitors going in and out of the Schengen Zone. It will be applied to citizens of those 61 countries that are not part of the EU but do not require a visa to enter their members. It closely resembles the ESTA system deployed by the United States, and it’s expected to be fully operational by 2021.
The ETIAS will be used to undergo a detailed security check of everyone who wishes to enter the Schengen Zone. This security check will then determine if the applicant can be allowed to enter the Schengen Zone. Since applicants from those 61 countries can only stay for 90 days for business and travel purposes, the ETIAS will be trusted to screen the applicants and determine whether they are a threat or not. The ETIAS system can gather, store, and update any necessary information of applicants to further make it safe for the members of the Schengen Zone.
The ETIAS will also be used by applicants for medical and transit reasons. This system will be mandatory for all countries who are Schengen visa-free and it will take effect as late as 2021.
What ETIAS looks to Solve?
The ETIAS looks to solve the ever-growing security concerns amid the immigrant crisis and everything that comes with it. As the president of the EC (European Commission) Jean-Claude Juncker stated, “We will know who travels to Europe before they even get here.”
The EITAS system promises to keep the members of the EU safe from any potential threats, but can also assist EU countries in a few other ways:
- ETIAS will reduce procedures and application times
- ETIAS will improve the management of EU borders
- ETIAS will assist in detecting crime and threats of terror
- ETIAS will improve irregular migration
- EITAS will reinforce the visa liberation policies set in place by the EU
All in all, the ETIAS system will make traveling the EU less of a hassle and safer for both the people who are traveling and the members of the European Union.