Can anyone apply for an ETIAS?

Currently, the ETIAS is aimed at citizens of 60 countries eligible for visa-free entry into the European Union. Before the launch of the system in 2021, other countries may be added to the list.

Citizens of EU countries will not need to apply for ETIAS, as they already have the right to move freely within the EU. Citizens of countries outside the EU who have valid resident visa are also not required to apply to ETIAS to travel to EU countries.

Who should use ETIAS?

The ETIAS is designed for citizens of countries that have visa-free travel agreements with the Schengen zone. There are 60 such countries, few of the countries include the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, several Caribbean states, Israel, Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. A complete list of countries can be found on the official ETIAS website.

ETIAS permits must be obtained regardless of the age and purpose of the visit. The rule that is applied in the visa free period still applies on trips that use the ETIAS permit. Example of such rules are the  order and duration of stay.

When the ETIAS refuse entry permits?

In this case, the applicant will be entitled to appeal the decision. The appeal will need to be submitted to the Schengen country that refused the applicant permit.

The applicant will be informed which national authority was responsible for reviewing the application and the decision, as well as the appeal procedure. If an applicant believes that his application was rejected unfairly, he or she will have the right to demand compensation or access to information that leads to his application been rejected.

Although the ETIAS permit will be valid for 3 years, it can be revoked or canceled if the grounds for granting authorization no longer apply.

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee respect for the rights of individuals protection of personal data?

The European Commission’s proposal regarding ETIAS has been developed following the highest standards of personal data protection.

Personal data entered in ETIAS will not be stored for longer than necessary. The ETIAS stores data of the applicant:

  • During the validity of travel authorization;
  • Three years from the first entry of the applicant into the Schengen zone, recorded in the entry-exit system;
  •  Three years from the date of refusal, revocation or cancellation of ETIAS permit.
  • After the completion of the 3 years, the application and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System.

The immigration authorities of the member countries of the Schengen area and Europol will have access to ETIAS, but under clearly defined conditions – to prevent, detect and investigate terrorist crimes and other serious criminal offenses. Access will be provided in each case separately and only after preliminary consultations.

The principles of data access by national authorities or Europol will be as follows:

  • When they are requested to prevent, detect and investigate criminal offenses and other serious crimes and only if it is necessary for a particular case and if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such access will significantly help the relevant authorities;
  • Data elements that are not relevant to the criminal investigation will not be available for review (such as education or health data);
  • All requests for data stored in the ETIAS Central System are subject to independent verification by a court or an independent body to determine whether the conditions for access are met;
  • National executive bodies and Europol may request data from the Central ETIAS only if they have not found the necessary information in all relevant national databases.

What is the ETIAS Special Control List?

This list will be created and will be managed by Europol. The list will contain data on people suspected of committing criminal offenses, people that show indications of committing criminal offenses in the future like terrorism or people that pose a high risk to the EU countries. Theses profiles are automatically blacklisted from ETIAS authorization.

A list of special controls will be created based on:

  • The UN list of war criminals;
  • Information regarding terrorist offenses or other serious criminal offenses provided by member countries;
  •  Information related to terrorist crimes or other serious criminal offenses obtained through international cooperation.