EU Agrees to ETIAS Systems

The EU Council and European Parliament representatives have reached an agreement regarding an online pre-screening program for visa-waiver participants entering the Schengen Zone. The program is designed to introduce an additional level of security in the form of a background check for all travelers. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will serve a function similar to the American Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which require all applicants to complete an online application verifying personal information prior to travel. It is expected that an ETIAS approval, once issued, will be valid for three years. Should the proposed system be adopted, the EU aims to have ETIAS implemented by 2021.