The European Union will be implementing their new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) under which visitors will be asked to pay €7, around £6.20, to enter the Schengen territory. This confirmed protocol will affect travellers from visa-exempt countries, including the UK, and will come into force before the end of 2022.
In order to prevent the need for visas, the ETIAS scheme will require passengers to fill up a pre-screening application that will ask them to provide personal data and answer security questions. The personal details will then be cross-checked against police databases.
Travellers will be given an approval or rejection within a four-week period, but the EU Commission has assured that most of the applications will be given the green light. Those who have been rejected will be allowed to contest the decision. A spokesperson from the EU Commission said:
ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement and will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt.
Visa-exempt non-EU nationals will only need a few minutes to fill in an online application which in a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95 per cent) will result in automatic approval.
The ETIAS has been based off of the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and according to the Commission, it’s been designed to be ‘simple, fast, and affordable.’
Entering the UK
Meanwhile, it is still unclear whether the British government will introduce a similar waiver system for travellers entering the UK from 2024 however Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, told LBC that no such plans have been drawn up. She said:
I believe we have no plans to do that. We have our visa plans already outlined.