CHANGES TO THE EU VISA LIBERALISATION POLICY
Citizens of more than 50 non-EU countries can now cross a Schengen Area external border with only their passport. For brief trips in Europe, citizens of the United States, Taiwan, Australia, and Argentina do not need to apply for a Schengen visa.
Individuals from exempt nations will retain visa-free status once the new system, agreed to by EU member states’ interior ministers, is implemented, but will be required to register with ETIAS.
Before a third-country citizen crosses an external EU border, their passport will be scanned and the visa waiver will be verified. ETIAS will be linked to the biometric passport’s electronic chip.
BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSED ETIAS PROGRAMME
The planned visa waiver scheme has been hailed by European authorities due to the enormous safety benefits it will offer.
ETIAS’s primary goal is to strengthen border security and make Europe more secure for citizens and visitors. This will be accomplished by screening individuals from outside the EU before they cross the border to ensure that they do not pose a threat to Europe.
In a joint statement, Commissioners Dimitris Avramapoulos and Julian King stated:
“ETIAS will enable us to gather advance information on visa-free visitors to the EU,” and “to ensure that those who may pose a security risk are identified before they reach our borders.”
ETIAS will specifically target terrorism and other serious crimes that, while rare, do occur in Europe on occasion.
“ETIAS will allow us to restrict entry into the EU in advance and better deal with the challenges that those who come to perpetrate acts of banditry and terrorism may pose,” said French Minister Gérard Collomb.
ETIAS WILL HELP PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH IN EUROPE
Another reason why Schengen Member States have backed the new legislation is the health advantages.
Visitors will be asked health-related questions while filling out an ETIAS application form. Individuals infected with certain contagious diseases may be barred from entering Europe, lowering the chance of an epidemic.