Non-EU nationals exempt from visa requirements will have to get an authorisation before travelling to the EU, under new rules backed by the European Parliament.
The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which should be operational in 2021, will allow for advanced checks on visa-free travellers and those considered to pose a security, irregular migration or epidemic risk will be denied access. Nationals of the more than 60 countries and territories exempt from visa requirements to enter the EU will have to fill in an electronic form prior to their intended travel with their personal data (including name, date and place of birth, sex and nationality), travel document information (validity, country of issue), home address and contact information, and the European country of first intended entry. The travel authorisation will cost 7 euros - free for travellers under 18 and those over 70 years of age-, and it will be valid for three years, or until the travel document expires. The Regulation was passed with 494 votes in favour, 115 against and 30 abstentions. Following Parliament’s green light, the legislation will have to be formally adopted by the Council of Ministers and then published in the Official Journal. The aim is for it to be operational in 2021.