With the date on which the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) becomes mandatory for travelers from about 60 countries of the world going to the European Union and Schengen countries that are approaching, the number of fake news about the new system is also increasing.
In the last few days, many online media, even some famous and well-read international ones, have been reporting that the ETIAS will become mandatory on January 1st, 2023, causing confusion among travelers who need the ETIAS.
The statement is not correct, since the ETIAS is only to come into full force at the beginning of the fifth month of 2023, i.e. on May 1st. SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“The European Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA) is responsible for developing the system. ETIAS is expected to be operational in May 2023. The ETIAS Regulation provides for transitional measures to ensure a smooth roll-out of the system”, In a communication, the European Commission draws attention to the ETIAS and when it will finally come into force.
The ETIAS was initially due to come into force in 2022, was then pushed back to the end of this year and finally the date when this requirement becomes mandatory for travelers was pushed back to 1 May 2023.
It was estimated that approx 1.4 billion travelers from over 60 countries around the world who have a visa-free travel agreement with the EU have to apply for the ETIAS for travel to the Schengen area.
“Around 1.4 billion people from over 60 countries around the world benefit from visa-free entry into the European Union” stressed the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in a press release published at the end of last year.
Americans, British citizens, Canadians, Albanians, Emiratis and more will be subject to the ETIAS requirement in nine months.
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, the procedures to apply for ETIAS authorization will be simple and quick. Travelers must fill out an online form with information about their identity, travel intent and security background information.
All they have to upload is a scanned copy of their passport and a digital biometric photo. A fee of €7 is required, which should be paid online. Travelers are not required to go to an embassy, have their fingerprints given, or attend an interview, although in exceptional and very rare cases such things may be required.
Any traveler who receives an ETIAS can use it for a period of three years or until their passport expires, whichever comes first.
Travelers will receive their ETIAS confirmation in the email they provided when applying. The confirmation should be carried with you when traveling to the Schengen area, either in digital form or printed out, and presented to border officials if necessary.
Although the date for full operation of the ETIAS is approaching, the official ETIAS website does not exist yetthe EU Commission has confirmed to SchengenVisaInfo.com, although many websites say so or at least appear officially, thus confusing many travelers.