Enhanced Security Measures and Ease of Travel: New Technologies for the EU and UK
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), originally scheduled to launch in November 2023, has been delayed to the end of the first half of 2024. The system, which requires non-EU nationals from approximately 60 countries to apply for and receive an approved travel authorization prior to entering the EU, will cost €7 (approximately $11 AUD). The approval is valid for three years, and the fee is in line with other international schemes.
In addition to ETIAS, the European Union will also be introducing the Entry/Exit System (EES) in the near future. The EES will be an automated IT system that will register Schengen visa holders and visa-free travelers from third-countries, every time they enter and leave the territory of the EU. The system will collect data such as the traveler’s name, travel document information, fingerprints and facial images, and the time, date and location of entry and exit. The process is being done with respect for the fundamental rights of data privacy.
The United Kingdom has also announced the introduction of an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for non-visa national countries, such as EU member-states, after their exit from the 27-member bloc. In order to enter the UK, visitors from visa-exempt countries will need to complete an online form and pay a fee. The fee is yet to be revealed, but the application process is expected to be quick, light touch and entirely digital, with most visitors applying via a mobile app and receiving a swift decision on their application. The ETA will also involve biometric data collection and suitability questions in order to help prevent dangerous individuals, such as criminals, entering the UK.
With the introduction of ETIAS and EES, the traditional process of getting your passport stamped when entering Europe may become a thing of the past. Instead, travelers will need to go through a digital scanning process for entry. The EES was originally intended to launch in early 2022 but has since been delayed to the end of 2024. The exact date for its launch remains unknown.
In conclusion, governments are implementing new technologies in order to enhance border security, while also making the travel process smoother and more efficient for visitors. The introduction of these systems will provide an additional layer of security, while also making travel easier for those who wish to visit the EU and the UK.
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