IS CROSSING THE BORDER ILLEGAL IN EUROPE?
Internal borders between Schengen territories were abolished with the establishment of the Schengen Area. However, unrestricted mobility inside the European Union does not imply a loss of security.
The criteria for entering Europe vary according on a passenger’s nationality, the purpose of their travel, and the length of their stay.
For short travels of less than 90 days, whether the tourist enters Europe for vacation, business, or transit, the following rules apply:
- Non-EU citizens from ETIAS eligible countries such as the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Japan, and others can currently cross the external Schengen borders with just their passports.
- From November 2023 onwards, when the ETIAS is scheduled to be launched, they will be asked to register online for an ETIAS before their departure towards the EU.
- Non-EU citizens from countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with the Schengen Area need to have a valid Schengen visa as well as their passport and other requirements to cross the external borders of the Schengen Area.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS, was approved in 2016 with the primary goal of improving security within the Schengen Area. This more modern and efficient system will also help Europe combat illegal border crossings.
“Is it unlawful to cross the border?” inquire travellers. We now have a clearer answer: it is unlawful for travellers to enter the European Union if they do not meet the entrance requirements.
However, the legislation prohibiting illegal border crossings does not apply to asylum seekers, nor does it address their controlled entry. This is because these individuals frequently lack the requisite papers and/or enter the Schengen Area through illegal border crossing points.
In Europe, irregular immigrants are denied entry into Schengen member countries, while asylum applicants are not.
WHAT HAPPENS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN EUROPE?
Illegal border crossing is regarded very severely in Europe, especially when criminals repeat their activities after being ordered expelled, deported, or otherwise fined.
Several Schengen Member States exempt undocumented asylum seekers from fines if they apply on time or otherwise qualify for international protection.
WHAT IS THE CHARGE FOR ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSING?
Exemptions, like punishment and financial penalties, differ from one Schengen country to the next. The table below displays the monetary fines and jail sentences that are applicable in the various EU Member States.