Visa for Europe ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ


At present, 61 nationalities from outside the Schengen area are exempt from visa requirements for travel to EU member states. However, the European Commission is considering the introduction of an electronic travel authorization system based on the American model, with the aim of reinforcing border security. ETIAS, EES: these acronyms herald the modernization of European border control systems by the end of 2023 and 2024.

Visamundi explains the differences between the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) and the Entry/Exit System (EES), and helps you understand which documents - visa, travel authorization, etc. - you may soon need to visit Europe, depending on your nationality, length of stay and reason for visit. - you may soon need to visit Europe, depending on your nationality and the length and purpose of your stay.

How does ETIAS work, and who does it apply to?

Nationals of the 61 non-EU countries covered by the visa waiver for Europe are authorized to travel to EU member countries for tourist or business purposes for up to 90 days, without having to present a visa on arrival. Scheduled for launch in 2024 after several changes, the ETIAS is designed to facilitate travel in Europe for citizens who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area. It is also part of a context of heightened vigilance in the face of terrorist threats and cross-border crime.

In order to reduce procedures and delays, ETIAS will take the form of an online system through which citizens covered by ETIAS will be able to submit their application for authorization to travel to Europe in just a few clicks. The ETIAS will thus be the European version of the American ESTA. Identity, nationality, address of residence, level of education, professional experience, travel history, etc.: the information to be provided will then be carefully checked. The information to be provided will then be carefully analyzed by the relevant authorities to ensure that travelers applying for an electronic travel authorization do not represent any risk to the security of the European Union.

Once issued, the electronic travel authorization will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the identity document with which ETIAS travelers are traveling in Europe. The ETIAS will apply not only to tourist and business travel, but also to transit and medical travel.

How does the SEA work, and who is affected by this Europe-wide entry/exit control system?

By the end of 2023, the EES will register all entries and exits of non-European citizens crossing an external border in the Schengen area. It will apply to all travelers requiring a visa to enter Europe, and to visa-exempt travelers for stays in Europe not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period. The EES will therefore be aimed at a larger number of travellers than the ETIAS, which will initially be limited to the 61 nationalities benefiting from the EU's visa-free regime, based on the principle of reciprocity.

Unlike the ETIAS, which will check travelers before they arrive in Europe using highly reliable security databases, and will only be issued to individuals considered "risk-free", the EES will record information on travelers as they enter and leave the Schengen area.

Kept for 3 years, data relating to the identity and travel documents of the citizens concerned by the SEA, as well as their biometric data, will enable the competent authorities to combat identity theft and more easily detect overstays in Europe.

The data collected through SEA will be accessible to border authorities, visa-issuing authorities and authorities responsible for monitoring travelers' compliance with entry and exit conditions.

ETIAS and EES will help EU member states to improve their border management, by tracking movements between the various borders of the Schengen area, while simplifying travel to Europe for many citizens around the world. With smarter borders, thanks to the increasing automation of border controls, the EU will then be able to reinforce its visa liberalization policy without compromising the safety of its citizens. For travellers, whether or not they need to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa to enter Europe, the modernization of European border control systems will mean simpler, smoother travel throughout Europe.

In 2017, the European Union welcomed 713 million international visitors, representing 50% of global tourism.

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