Citizens of the European Union are allowed to travel to the Schengen Area zone without having to go through multiple security checks as during the formation of the European Union a handful of countries came together to ensure easily inter-border travel between all countries that are a part of Schengen Area Zone. Currently, 62 countries are visa-free, travelers from such countries are allowed to travel to any part of the EU with relative ease for 90 days. For the duration of these 90 days, these travelers are not allowed to study or work but are allowed to travel or lose themselves in the folds of tourism.
Recent security concerns over the pandemic and with the steady rise of terrorism-related cases the security checks at the border have seen the need to be tightened to a more secure degree. To reduce the waiting time involved in procedures during travel that passengers must go through, the EU has decided to implement the European Travel Information and Authorisation System ( ETIAS ).
The ETIAS is a completely electronic system that will be placed at the borders of all countries which fall under the Schengen Area Zone, this system will keep a track of all visitors from countries who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area Zone. The legal procedures to adopt the ETIAS were put in motion in 2016 and were expected to launch by January the 1st 2021. It will become mandatory for all travelers by the end of the year 2021. The ETIAS will go through a detailed background check of every individual to determine whether that person shall be allowed to enter into the Schengen Area Zone or not. The ETIAS will maintain a database of all individuals who have entered the Schengen zone for any work or travel-related reasons. The ETIAS will also facilitate entry into the Schengen Area Zone for individuals who are in search of medical aid.
The additional problems that the ETIAS is optimistic about tackling are to improve the management of the European Union’s country borders, impede irregular migration into European countries, and reinforce the VISA liberalization policies of the European Union. The filling up of the ETIAS form is also made simple to facilitate the smooth functioning of the system. Individuals wishing to fill out the ETIAS form will simply need to put down their biometric information, address, email, and phone number alongside a handful of such basic details. After submission of the form with a small applicable fee, the risk factor and information of the individual will be checked after which the form shall be approved and the individual may choose to travel to any part of the Schengen Area Zone.
Individuals who are already in possession of a Schengen Visa will not need to apply for an ETIAS. The filling of the form will only require 10 minutes after which another wait of 10 minutes should result in the approval of your application by the system. Individuals will also not have to sit through an interview to receive an ETIAS. All in all, it can be stated that the main motive of the ETIAS is no facilitate the smooth flow of travelers into the Schengen Area Zone and also to ensure that all safety measures are being adhered to.