Next year, U.S. citizens and other visa-free citizens traveling to EU and Schengen member countries (besides Croatia, Cyprus, and Ireland) will need to first register with the Entry/Exit System (EES). U.S. citizens and other visa-free citizens traveling to Schengen member countries will need to submit a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) application.
About the Entry/Exit System (EES)
The Entry/Exit System (EES) will be an automated IT system for registering travelers from third countries, both short-stay visa holders and visa-exempt travelers, each time they cross the borders of European countries using the EES. The system is intended to improve security and enforcement of the 90/180 rule, which says that travelers can only stay in the Schengen Zone for 90 days in any 180-day period.
The system will register the person’s name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit. It will also record refusals of entry.
The EES will go into effect in May 2023. For now, a helpful FAQ can be found here.
About the European Travel Information and Authorization System
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) – an electronic system for keeping track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone, such as the U.S.— will also launch next year.
The ETIAS will require travelers to fill out an online form, answering questions about employment, place of birth, education, and travel details. It will be similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application required for travelers from visa-free countries coming into the U.S.
The application is not yet available. The system is expected to become operational in November 2023.
The EU recommends completing the form at least 72 hours before travel. The ETIAS fee will be 7 EURO per application. If approved, ETIAS may be valid for three years or until a traveler’s passport expires.
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.