So I see the media outlets have gone nuts over the announcement of ETIAS – “European Travel Information and Authorisation System” (which I covered from a UK perspective here).
But for the American Audience who is up in arms because they have to pay €7 fill in a form online , ETIAS is NOT A VISA.
Let me reiterate that for you in large and friendly letters
ETIAS IS NOT A VISA
So what is it?
Let’s start with the name as that may help people understand. ETIAS – or “European Travel Information and Authorisation System” should give you a hint of what is.
Much like the US ESTA, the Canadian ETA, Australian eVisitor and so on, it is an initial security screening, that grants you the privilege of entering the Schegen Area.
Once you pass that screening, then much like the US ESTA, you will be cleared to travel.
The system will apply to visa-exempt third country nationals. They will need to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip, via an online application.
The travel authorisation will not provide an automatic right of entry or stay; it is the border guard who will take the final decision.
But for those who need pretty graphics, here’s how it works:
Schengen entry/exit control with ETIAS activated – Image, Council of the European Union
Do I have to send my passport away/go to consular office to get an ETIAS issued?
If you’re eligible for ETIAS, no. You will complete a form online
So do I need to get an ETIAS application in yet?
No, no and thrice no. Any sites that are popping up right now are scams (akin to the ESTA scams that popped up). Wait until the formal announcement for registration begins.
When is it due to go into effect?
How much is it going to set me back?
ETIAS will set you back €7 for 3 years (a bargain compared to US ESTA at $14 per two years).
Are UK Citizens liable too?
At the time of writing the, the United Kingdom is due to the leave the European Union on the 29th March 2019. As such, they will not be members of the European Union and will have to pay €7.
I’m not happy about paying €7 to get authorisation to travel
Nor am I, but if you want to travel to say the USA or Canada, you pony up before you go – or you’re going to be denied boarding because you have failed to comply with the entry requirement – like the USA, Australia and Canada.
But there’s a site and all!
To be blunt – it’ s a scam. For those who have forgotten basic Internet things, there’s a wonderful command called “WHOIS”. Using the ICANN WHOIS Look up tool at https://whois.icann.org/en/lookup?name=etiasvisa.com yields the following result.
And if the EU is registering domains in San Francisco, then… we have bigger problems in the EU than Brexit.
DO NOT VISIT IT, DO NOT USE IT, AND CERTAINLY DON’T PUT YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER IN IT!
Do what the rest of us have to do – wait for the official site to appear.
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