ETIAS Visa Waiver will improve traveler experience

ETIAS will speed up border checks and ensure traveler experience is faster and more secure. Research shows passengers are willing to share their personal information if it means shorter queues and less headache. At a time when data protection is paramount, the European Union will launch its European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) by the end of the year. The visa ETIAS waiver will pre-screen foreign travelers and allow for faster and more secure processing for business, tourism, and other short-term purposes.
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What are foreign travelers looking for entry in Europe?

Research from the 2021 Global Passenger Survey (GPS) shows that travelers respond enthusiastically to systems aiming at minimizing delays and shortening queues at airports and other hard borders. To this end, the new ETIAS Europa waiver will be appreciated by all passengers.

The European Union has decided to set up its new visa waiver system to improve travel safety and security within the Schengen area. ETIAS requirements allow passengers to get authorized for entry to Europe if they possess a valid biometric passport, an email, and sufficient funds to pay the minor fee.

The online pre-screening process will take no more than 10 minutes and significantly reduce waiting times and queues, improving the airport’s performance and overall experience.

How will ETIAS secure and share passenger information?

The 2021 Global Passenger Survey also shows that 76% of passengers are willing to share their information if that means fewer delays and faster queues. In short, they are happy to share information to better their travel experience.

Nonetheless, data security remains an issue: travelers want to know how their data will be stored, used, or shared. The ETIAS Central Units, along with National Units and eu-LISA, will employ encryption to safely handle passengers’ personal information. Moreover, they will only keep this information for the duration of the waiver (three years) or five years after the previous ETIAS refusal or annulment.

What information will be collected and shared through ETIAS?

To apply for ETIAS, foreign travelers will only need to provide their personal details, passport data, and health and security information. Multiple security standards enable the safe to cross-check this information across countries’ border officials.

The ETIAS application takes 10 minutes to complete and consists of filling out an ETIAS form as well as answering some questions about prior travel history, criminal record, and so on. The online pre-screening process benefits both passengers and border officials.

The bottom line is that ETIAS will improve the traveler experience by simplifying application, improving border processing, enhancing health and security, and most importantly, saving passengers time and headache at airport queues and ports of entry.

Note that holding an ETIAS does not guarantee entry in Europe: the border officials at the port of entry have the final say. Moreover, border officials may ask to provide further documentation that certifies whether the information you provided is accurate. For example, they may ask for proof of a return ticket or of sufficient funds for your stay in a Schengen country. Therefore, we encourage travelers to be as accurate and as in-depth as possible during the application process.

Romania is set to become a Schengen area member and adopt the Euro as its official currency. Once this happens, the visa ETIAS waiver will become necessary to travel to Romania. Although a member of the European Union since 2007, Romania has yet to join the Schengen area or adopt the Euro. But this could change very soon: the Prime Minister of Romania, Florin Cîţu, has stated that the country plans to join Schengen shortly. Specifically, Cîţu said that Romania would be joining the Schengen area within months if the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report is favorable.
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center
The Balkan region is a diverse and culturally rich area located in southeastern Europe, encompassing countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. Each of these countries has its own unique history, culture, and natural beauty.
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center
Croatia is highly likely to obtain Schengen membership in the next years after an exhaustive evaluation between 2016 and 2020. Border problems persist with neighboring countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, but the country has shown steady progress. Croatia, the newest member of the European Union, could also become the latest member of the Schengen area in 2024. After careful review, the Council of the European Union declared in December 2021 that Croatia meets all 281 recommendations necessary to gain Schengen membership. In short, the Council could soon lift border checks and integrate Croatia within Schengen. The Balkan country would benefit heavily in terms of tourist numbers. If Croatia joins Schengen, it will also join the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS visa waiver).
ETIAS Center
ETIAS Center

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