November 17, 2016
The European Commission proposed this week to establish a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to strengthen security checks on visa-free travellers.
The ETIAS would gather information on all those travelling visa-free to the European Union (EU) to allow for advance irregular migration and security checks. It would apply, for example, to citizens of Canada and the United States.
Similar to the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) implemented recently, the European ETIAS authorisation would not be a visa.
If the system is put into place, nationals of visa free countries will still be able to travel without a visa but will have to obtain, via an online application, a travel authorisation prior to their travel. The authorisation will be valid for a period of five years and for multiple travels. An application fee of 5 euros would apply to all applicants above the age of 18.
The proposal for a Regulation to establish the system will now be transmitted to the European Parliament and Council for adoption.
If it is approved the ETIAS is expected to be operational as early as 2020.
Link: European Travel Information and Authorisation System