EU Entry/Exit System Targets October 2024 Start Date

The EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES), the digital border system, is reported to start on October 6, 2024 subject to EU Member States confirming they are ready.

Key Details
  • The EES will apply to non-EU citizens (such as US, British, Canadian and Australian nationals) who do not require a prior visitor visa to travel to Europe as well as to holders of short-stay visas.
  • The EES will apply when they travel to the EU (except from Cyprus and Ireland where manual passport border checks will continue), the EEA (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) and Switzerland. There will be two main requirements when the EES starts in October for those affected:
    • Photo and fingerprints. A digital photo and fingerprints will need to be provided at port when making their first journey to the EU/EEA/Switzerland. Travelers should expect a delay to pass through immigration control. Once the photo and fingerprints have been provided, on future trips travelers should have a quicker and easier journey because automated “self-service systems” at border controls will mean manual passport stamping is no longer required; and
    • Electronic monitoring. The EES will electronically monitor whether the traveler goes over 90 days in any 180 day period within the EU/EEA/Switzerland area. If the maximum stay is exceeded, this can lead to entry bans to the whole of the EU/EEA/Switzerland.
Erickson Insights & Analysis

The EES is separate from the upcoming European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) which is expected to start in mid-2025 (the exact start date is currently unknown). It will apply to non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are able to enter the EU visa-free. The ETIAS will mean that affected travellers will need to apply for pre-travel authorisation, in much the same way as the US ESTA and the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.