New EU entry system EES


The entry of non-EU citizens into the European Union will become more difficult this autumn. The new entry-exit system (EES) is due to come into force in October 2024 and is part of the European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS), which is likely to be rolled out next year.  Non-EU citizens must apply for and pay for an entry permit before entering Schengen.

What are EES and ETIAS?

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The EU's new EES system stores more information about non-EU citizens arriving in EU countries. In addition to passport data, automated barriers at borders collect and store biometric data such as fingerprints and facial images. No passport entries are made. Instead, the system automatically records every entry and exit of EU citizens. This will make it easier to identify those who have stayed over in the EU. Non-EU citizens, including British citizens after Brexit, will be able to stay in the EU for up to 90 days without a visa. The EES does not apply to EU citizens or those travelling between Schengen countries.

How can I apply for ETIAS?

ETIAS will become fully operational from 2025. Non-EU citizens must pay €7 per person to visit most European countries. The visa allows non-European citizens to stay in the EU and Schengen area for 90 days. Once the visa is approved, travellers will not have to reapply for three years. Passengers must complete an online application before travelling and pay€ 7 if they are aged between 18 and 70. A visa is not required for the Republic of Ireland as it is in the free travel zone. It is an open border zone that includes the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. While the exact launch date is still unclear, the EU has previously said it will be deployed five to six months after the EES is deployed. There may be an implementation period in which it will be phased in in conjunction with the entry and exit system.

Do I need a visa if I have a European identity card?

The EES or the ETIAS may not require third-country nationals with official residence in an EU member state to obtain an EES or ETIAS. If you have a biometric ID card, you are also exempt from the 90-day limit.

What are the EES barriers?

EU countries are preparing to install automatic barriers for EES inspections. France is setting up self-service checkpoints at airports where passengers can register their biometric and personal details in advance. They then present themselves to the Border Patrol for inspection. Germany and Austria have confirmed that a similar system will be installed at airports. Tablet devices to record data are available to visitors arriving by car at France's land and sea borders. Italy said it would increase the number of automated checkpoints at all major airports and add about 600 self-service checkpoints. On the other hand, Norway is testing "automatic cameras" used by border authorities.