AMENDMENTS TO THE EU COMMON VISA POLICY
To improve security and assist in preventing health hazards to the Union, the visa policies for Europe are being revised in a number of ways. The new measures will aid in securing travel to Europe for tourists and business travellers as well as limiting irregular migration. Examples include the impending EU visa waiver and the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System).
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, made the announcements regarding the changes to the EU Common Visa Policy.
According to Avramopoulos, the proposed changes to Europe’s visa requirements will enhance collaboration with non-EU nations and enable travellers who adhere to the rules and regulations for applying for a visa to be given preference for certain benefits.
10% of the EU’s GDP is made up of travel and tourism. Because of this, member states place a high importance on a reliable and safe EU visa system.
The following are some of the forthcoming changes to EU visa regulations:
- The decision time for visa applications will be reduced from 15 to 10 days to speed up the process.
- Foreign nationals will be able to apply for a Schengen visa6 months prior to their visit instead of the current 3 months.
- EU visa applications will be available online, including an electronic signature.
- When the ETIAS is launched, travellers from visa waiver countries will be able to register with the system online.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF ETIAS ON THE EUROPEAN UNION VISA POLICY?
A uniform set of visa guidelines for Europe was established with the introduction of an unified European Union visa policy as part of an EU attempt to boost tourism and trade throughout the continent. Travel and trade between nations are made easier as a result.
For visitors from outside the EU who do not need a visa, Europe is creating a new travel authorization programme as a means of enhancing security measures. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS, is the name of the new visa waiver that will go into effect in November 2023.
It is crucial to first comprehend what each of these phrases entail in order to fully comprehend the effect ETIAS will have on the EU’s unified visa policy:
- ETIAS is the EU’s equivalent of the Australian ETA and the US ESTA visa waiver and is designed to increase security on border controls and immigration for the Schengen Area.
- The EU common visa policy is the strategy employed in the border-free Schengen zone regarding the visa rules for Europe
Two lists of nationalities are outlined in the European Union’s visa regulations:
- Countries whose citizens can travel to and around the EU with a Schengen visa
- Countries whose citizens can travel without a visa for Europe
Once the system is in place, travellers from the second category will have to submit an online application for an ETIAS for Europe.
WHAT ETIAS MEANS FOR THE EU COMMON VISA POLICY?
ETIAS won’t alter the requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa for entry into Europe, i.e., it won’t have an impact on the nations that must do so.
For nationals of those nations who travel to Europe without a visa, the establishment of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System will impose an additional entrance requirement.
For authorization to enter the Schengen Area without a visa, visitors of these nationalities must register their information with ETIAS before departing their home country.
Instead of a travel visa that requires applicants to visit a consulate or embassy, ETIAS is a travel authorization system that enables eligible persons to register online. The introduction of the visa waiver programme will not have an impact on the eligibility of ETIAS member nations or the freedom of movement of their citizens to the Schengen area of Europe.
Increasing security in immigration and border controls is the primary goal of the EU in introducing the ETIAS travel authorization. Both EU citizens and visitors to Europe without a visa will profit from this.
Eligible ETIAS countries are given more freedom and access to the EU zone than those countries that require visas for travel to Europe, according to the European Union’s visa policy, which stipulates that there will be no change in the distinction between citizens who need an ETIAS and those who need a Schengen visa.