One of the most often asked questions about ETIAS is whether children would need the new immigration waiver beginning in November 2023. This article gives an answer to this question as well as information to assist families plan for changes to the European visa-waiver programme.
Non-EU citizens from visa-free nations will soon be required to apply for ETIAS before entering the Schengen Area. This is likewise true for minors.
The ETIAS rule of the European Union defines a minor as “a third-country national or a stateless person under the age of 18 years,” thus it is apparent that youngsters will not be excluded from the new visa waiver requirement.
Who need ETIAS to go to Europe is determined by nationality rather than age.
Continue reading to learn why the EU requires children to complete the ETIAS registration process and how a parent or guardian can register on behalf of a minor.
WHY DO CHILDREN NEED ETIAS?
To understand why the European Union needs under-18s to apply for ETIAS, it is necessary to first analyse why a visa waiver is being implemented.
The major goal of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System is to increase security across the Schengen Area by improving control over who enters and exits the Schengen Area.
The method operates by cross-referencing the data of persons eligible for visa-free entry across a number of international security databases, detecting potentially hazardous individuals before they reach European territory. ETIAS is a visa waiver for children and adults who do not require a visa to enter Europe.
Children account for a sizable fraction of the millions of non-EU citizens who pass the external Schengen Area borders each year, either alone or with an adult. Allowing juveniles to enter European territory without going through background checks would provide a breach in the security system, giving those with evil intent an opportunity.
The public may have piece of mind knowing that all visitors from outside the EU have passed security checks by making ETIAS mandatory for all travellers, regardless of age.
The United States and Canada use the same strategy. Visa-exempt tourists of all ages must complete both the US ESTA and the Canadian eTA.
ETIAS WILL RUN SECURITY CHECKS ON THE PARENTS OR GUARDIANS OF MINORS
When an adult asks for ETIAS authorization, their information is compared to data maintained in Interpol, Europol, and other security systems. When a minor applies, not only will their data be evaluated, but so will the parent or legal guardian’s.
According to Article 20 of the ETIAS regulation, the system will verify:
“Whether the applicant’s parental authority or legal guardian is subject to a refusal of entry and stay alert entered in SIS in respect of persons wanted for arrest for surrender purposes on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant or wanted for arrest for extradition purposes.”
In such cases, the youngster is unlikely to be given a visa waiver and the permission to enter the Schengen Area.
PROTECTING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
The EU tells parents and guardians who are concerned about disclosing personal information on their children that “the best interests of the child shall be a top consideration.”
ETIAS uses cutting-edge technologies to safeguard personal data. To guarantee their protection, special attention will be devoted to the most vulnerable members of society, particularly kids.
APPLYING FOR ETIAS ON BEHALF OF A MINOR
Children’s families should be prepared for the increased travel needs. Fortunately, parents or legal guardians can fill out the online ETIAS application form on their child’s behalf.
The parent or guardian should merely mention that they are submitting the request on behalf of a youngster and supply basic personal information. The following details are required:
- Full name
- Home address
- Email address
- Telephone number (if available)
The remainder of the procedure stays unchanged. The parent or guardian should carefully copy the child’s passport information, ensuring that all data is correctly entered.
Most ETIAS applications submitted on behalf of minors will be approved almost immediately after the information provided by the child and adult has been verified. After that, the visa waiver is electronically linked to the biometric passport.
WHO CAN APPLY ON BEHALF OF A MINOR?
Article 17 of the rule states:
“Minors must submit an application form signed electronically by a person with permanent or temporary parental authority or legal guardianship.”
To fill out and submit the application on behalf of a minor, the adult must be either the child’s parent or a court of law has given legal guardianship.
Older siblings or other family members are not authorised to complete the request unless they are legally appointed as the young person’s temporary or permanent guardians.
DOCUMENTS CHILDREN NEED TO TRAVEL IN THE EU
From November 2023, children will be required to have their own valid passport with an authorised ETIAS attached.
If the child is travelling alone or with someone other than a parent or legal guardian, an official document signed by the parent/guardian authorising the trip may be necessary.
Because there are no EU-wide laws in this area, it is important to examine the needs of the relevant member state.
ETIAS FOR MINORS: KEY INFORMATION
ETIAS for children has the same advantages as ETIAS for adults. It is quick and simple to apply for, and the entire application process may be performed from the comfort of your own home.
Validity: An ETIAS authorization is valid for three years from the date of approval, or until the passport expires. During this time, it is possible to travel to Europe many times.
Parents should keep in mind that children’s passports often have a shorter validity period. Passports for under-16s in the United States and Australia, for example, expire after five years rather than the customary ten. When a passport is renewed, a new ETIAS request must be submitted; the visa waiver cannot be transferred to the new travel document.
Length of stay: Children, like adults, can stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period with an authorised ETIAS visa waiver.
Minors must get an ETIAS visa waiver to cross an external Schengen border. Because there are no internal borders in the Schengen area, the child can freely move between Schengen member states. They should always have their passport with them.