What is the European Travel Information and Authorization System - ETIAS?

ETIAS is an information and authorization system for travel in Europe. Since the introduction of ETIAS, citizens of 63 third countries who plan to visit EU countries and do not need a visa will need to apply for a Schengen travel authorization in advance.

Which countries are participating in ETIAS?

The ETIAS system is actively used at the borders of entry to EU and Schengen countries. ETIAS includes the following countries:

Czech Republic

Also participating in ETIAS are some countries with special arrangements, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway (excluding Svalbard), Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, the UK and Ireland.

What are the objectives of ETIAS?

map and passport
  • Preventing public security threats and reducing the risks of illegal immigration. Applications for travel authorization are carefully considered before visa-free third-country nationals arrive at external borders in accordance with the CES Regulation (transition points).
  • Preservation of public health and the possibility of preventing diseases of high epidemic risk in accordance with Article 3, paragraph 1, point 8 of the ETIAS Regulation.
  • Preventing, detecting and investigating terrorist or other serious crimes and correctly identifying persons prior to the arrival of visa-free third-country nationals, and not only when checked by border guards.
  • Ensuring that the objectives of the Schengen Information System (SIS) under Article 4e of the ETIAS Regulation relating to the identification of wanted and banned persons are met.
  • Ensuring comfortable entry and exit of citizens.

Who can issue an ETIAS?

The ETIAS can be obtained by citizens who are authorized to enter the Schengen area without a visa, including:

  • Third-country nationals who are visa exempt and planning a short-term stay in the Schengen area. Family members of EU citizens or third country nationals who are also visa exempt under Directive 2004/38/EC. This applies to families who are guaranteed the right to free movement in the same way as EU citizens, on the basis of an agreement between the EU and its Member States on the one hand and a third country on the other, provided that they do not hold a residence card (under Directive 2004/38/EC) or a residence permit (under Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002).
  • Students who are nationals of third countries listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 and reside in one of the third countries listed in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 or in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, if they are members of a group of students and are accompanied by a teacher from the relevant educational institution as part of the trip.
  • Persons with refugee status and stateless persons, if the third country in which they reside and which issued their travel documents is listed in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/1806.
  • For members of armed forces for travel within NATO or the Partnership for Peace, and holders of certificates and task orders under the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Legal Status of their Armed Forces of June 19, 1951.
  • For holders of a temporary residence permit, for example while an asylum application or an initial request for a residence permit under Article 2, point 16 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 is being processed. - For holders of visas issued by Member States in accordance with the uniform format laid down in Regulation (EU) No 1683/95.
  • These are visas provided for in Article 5 of that Regulation and constitute an authorization or decision issued by a Member State necessary for entry into its territory in the following cases: a planned stay in that State or several States with a total duration of up to 90 days; transit travel through the territory of that State.

Who does not need to obtain an ETIAS?

  • Third-country nationals who are family members of Union citizens or third-country nationals who are entitled to freedom of movement and who hold valid residence permits or residence cards in accordance with other legislation, whether accompanying or joining persons.
  • Holders of valid residence permits.
  • Holders of other documents issued by an EU Member State to a third-country national which allow them to stay in its territory, provided that these documents have been transferred and published in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • Persons who, when crossing the border, present a valid border crossing permit for small border movements in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 and the relevant rules.
  • Other categories of persons who are subject to special entry rules include heads of state, passengers in the border area, crew members of aircraft and ships, and passengers of cruise or pleasure liners.

What personal data is used in ETIAS?

  • Basic personal data, including surname, first name, date of birth, maiden name (if any), other names, place of birth, gender, current citizenship, country of birth and names of the applicant's parents. For minors, information on legal representatives is also required.
  • Information about the identity document and the country of issue.
  • Contact information, including home address, e-mail address and, if applicable, telephone number.
  • Information on education and current place of employment.
  • The status of the applicant's relatives who are citizens of the European Union and have the right to free movement, as well as third-country nationals who have the same right to free movement. Information on the applicant's family ties shall also be indicated.

If the application is not submitted by a third country national, the following information is requested:

  • Data of the persons or organizations that are submitting the application on behalf of the person concerned
  • Information on criminal convictions, residence in war or conflict zones and expulsion/refoulement decisions
  • Information on the submission and progress of the application, including the IP address from which the application form was entered, date and time of submission, application number and confirmation of the travel authorization fee paid, payment reference number, information on the processing status of the application in the ETIAS Central System.

Frequent questions

What are the highlights of ETIAS?

ETIAS is an automated IT system designed to identify security or illegal migration risks associated with visa-free travelers planning to visit the Schengen area. Fundamental rights and data protection are respected. ETIAS is developed by the EU Lisbon Agency and is due to be launched in 2024. Non-EU nationals who do not require a visa to visit the Schengen area need to apply for an ETIAS before traveling. After completing the online application, the system checks the information in the EU systems regarding border and security.

Is ETIAS a new type of Schengen visa?

No, an ETIAS authorization is not a Schengen visa or any other type of visa. Citizens of countries included in the visa-free regime will still be able to travel to EU countries without a visa. However, they will need to apply for authorization through the ETIAS system before traveling. The process of obtaining authorization through ETIAS will be simple, fast and convenient: in most cases, a positive response will be received within minutes. The ETIAS permit will be valid for three years, which is significantly longer than a Schengen visa. And the permit itself allows an unlimited number of trips. ETIAS does not affect the already existing visa-free travel policies that apply in some countries. ETIAS simplifies the process of crossing the external borders of the Schengen area and provides visa-free travelers with the opportunity to enjoy their trip to the fullest.

How long will the ETIAS travel authorization be valid for?

The travel authorization will be valid for three years (or until your travel document expires). This means that you will only need to apply for a travel permit every three years. The resulting permit has no limit on the number of trips, but there is still the usual restriction on the maximum stay of third-country nationals in the EU to 90 days.

Where does ETIAS apply?

ETIAS legislation will apply to Schengen Member States as well as those Member States that do not yet fully implement Schengen legislation (e.g. Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania). ETIAS is a travel authorization system that allows citizens from countries that do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area to obtain authorization to travel to those countries. The ETIAS system will be introduced to improve security and control at border crossings into the Schengen area.

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