New EU visa rules outlined
Online application process will cost €7
The European Council has set out the visa procedure which outsiders travelling to EU countries will have to follow when the new system is up and running, ‘probably in 2021’.
THE EUROPEAN Council (EC) has set out the visa procedure which outsiders travelling to EU countries will have to follow when the new system is up and running, ‘probably in 2021’.
A press release from the EC notes that it will apply to ‘visaexempt third country nationals’ travelling to the Schengen area.
The status that UK residents will hold post-Brexit has still not been formally agreed during the exit negotiations.
The EC stated that visitors ‘will need to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip, via an online application’.
“For each application, the applicant will be required to pay a travel authorisation fee of €7,” notes the press release.
“The information submitted in each application will be automatically processed against EU and relevant Interpol databases to determine whether there are grounds to refuse a travel authorisation. If no hits or elements requiring further analysis are identified, the travel authorisation will be issued automatically and quickly. This is expected to be the case for most applications.”
Before boarding, air carriers and sea carriers will need to check whether third country nationals subject to the travel authorisation requirement are in possession of a valid travel authorisation, adds the press release. It notes that the EC adopted the regulation for the European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS) last week.
Herbert Kickl, minister of the interior of Austria said: “ETIAS is an important tool to reinforce the control of the EU's external border and the protection of our citizens. It will allow us to identify those who may pose a security threat before they reach the European Union and deny them the authorisation to travel.”
He noted that if there was an element requiring analysis, the application would be handled manually by the competent authorities. In this case, the ETIAS central unit will first check that the data recorded in the application file corresponds to the data triggering a hit.
When it does or where doubts remain, the application will be processed manually by the ETIAS national unit of the responsible member state.
The press release notes: “The issuing or refusal of an application which has triggered a hit will take place no later than 96 hours after the application is submitted or, if additional information has been requested, 96 hours after this information has been received.”
It adds: “The travel authorisation will not provide an auto- matic right of entry or stay; it is the border guard who will take the final decision.”
A travel authorisation will be valid for three years or until the end of validity of the travel document, whichever comes first. The EC and the Parliament will now have to sign the adopted regulation and this will be published in the EU’s of- ficial journal, which will enter into force 20 days later.
The press release notes that the European agency for the operational management of largescale IT Systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-Lisa) ‘is expected to start building the new system, which should be operational by 2021’.
ETIASwill reinforce the control of the EU's external border