Schengen Area Travel Update: The European Travel Information and Authorization System

Last Updated on November 7, 2023

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be effective in 2024. Once fully implemented, ETIAS will mandate visa-exempt nationals from outside the European Union (EU) to obtain authorization before entering any Schengen member state. 

Once the system is live, foreign nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area and who reside outside of the EU, noted here as third-country nationals, will be required to register their travel through the ETIAS. Envoy’s Global Immigration Team can assist with the ETIAS application and any other work authorization requirements in each member state for a smooth transition for employers and employees. 

Insights into ETIAS: Understanding the Schengen Area’s Travel Authorization 

The European Commission raised concerns about the insufficient security and background information documented for travelers moving throughout the Schengen Area, which consists of 27 countries. In response, the Commission conceived the ETIAS in April 2016. Since then, ETIAS has undergone several years of negotiations and revisions. 

Through the system, the Commission aims to better address the movement of visa-exempt visitors traveling in the Schengen Area.  

Once the system is active, third-country nationals from 60 visa-exempt countries will need to acquire ETIAS authorization before entering the Schengen Area. This process will apply to individuals for all travel purposes, including business and leisure activities.   

Image of the European Union flag with official building in the background and the Envoy global logo in the lower right hand corner.

Envoy Global’s Guide to ETIAS for Schengen Area Travel Application 

ETIAS allows visa-exempt travelers to stay in Schengen for up to 90 days within any 180-day period, with multiple entries allowed. The authorization will remain valid for up to three years, at which point applicants must reapply.  

Visa-exempt third-country nationals will be required to pre-register their travel via an official website or mobile app. From there, third-country nationals will provide personal information and passport details. Envoy can guide applicants through pre-registration, simplify document check protocols and assist with fee payment and health and security questions. 

ETIAS will conduct security and health background checks against global databases. The European Agency on Migration will generally issue authorization within minutes; however, it can take up to 30 days for further examination by ETIAS Central and National Units. 

Envoy Global’s EMEA immigration team can provide applicants support for applying for a visa at a local consulate or embassy office if an application is denied or needs an appeal.  

ETIAS Application Checklist 

  • Double-check all the information provided within the initial application.  
  • Provide the name as it appears on your passport. 
  • Accurately answer all ETIAS criminal record questions. 
  • Complete all required health information. 
  • Ensure you answer all questions completely and leave no blank spaces on the form. 
  • Do not overstay the maximum permitted stay on any trips to Europe or the Schengen Area. 

The Future of ETIAS for the Schengen Area  

The European Commission has delayed the rollout of ETIAS on several occasions due to technical concerns. As a result, the system is expected to roll out in a series of phases beginning in 2024. 

Envoy Global has a team of experienced immigration professionals available to assist clients with any questions or concerns about the ETIAS system. Our comprehensive approach to immigration services includes personalized guidance and support for each client, ensuring they have the tools to navigate the complex world of immigration.

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.