Canadians planning to travel to Europe in the coming years will be required to round out an uncommon application and pay an expense before they will be permitted to enter the continent.

The European Union has declared the presentation of another web-based screening process called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The new program is being implemented with an end goal to “strengthen security checks” on citizens who can visit the EU without a visa.

Currently, nationals from in excess of 60 countries, including Canada and the U.S., can visit the EU for the travel industry or business for as long as 90 days without acquiring a visa. Under the new ETIAS framework, these travelers will have to apply for security clearance and pay a mandatory fee before they can visit countries in the Schengen area.

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The Schengen region incorporates Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The United Kingdom is excluded from this area.

The European Commission said an ETIAS approval isn’t equivalent to a visa and will be a lot less difficult to acquire.

“There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric information is gathered and fundamentally less data is assembled than amid a visa application technique,” the commission said in a July press release about the changes.

Here’s what you need to know about the new screening process.

When does it happen?

The ETIAS framework will end up obligatory for international travelers beginning in January 2021.

Who needs to apply?

Any national from one of the more than 60 countries that currently enjoy visa-free access to the EU must apply for ETIAS clearance before their trip.

The guardians of minors will be required to round out an application for every one of them before they travel.

How would you apply?

Travelers should round out the ETIAS application online something like three days before their departure date. Sent applications won’t be acknowledged. The European Commission says the application shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete. If the traveler is a minor, the person responsible for them must be identified on the application.

Candidates should round out their own information, for example, their name, birth date, address, alongside their passport ID data. They will also be asked to answer background questions on their health, travel history, and criminal record.

ETIAS candidates should likewise express the first EU country they intend to visit. They may be permitted to enter that country.

Travelers won’t be permitted to enter a nation in the Schengen area until a border guard checks the ETIAS database and permits entry.

How much does it cost?

Travelers will be required to pay €7 (approximately C$10.50) to apply. Anyone under the age of 18 will not have to pay the fee.

What happens if your application is rejected?

The European Commission says the “vast majority” or 95 percent of all cases ought to be consequently affirmed close to installment. The applications are checked over a few European screening databases, including Interpol and Europol. If the application is flagged, the case will be dealt with physically and the procedure can be postponed for up to four weeks.

In the event that the application is denied, the European Commission says the traveler has the privilege to request the choice. The traveler will likewise be given data on which part state refused authorization and how they can offer.

How long is it valid for?

Once approved, an ETIAS approval is substantial for a long time or until the holder’s international ID terminates, whichever starts things out. Travelers can visit the Schengen zone for as long as 90 days in a 180-day period.

Can it be revoked?

Indeed. The ETIAS clearance can be revoked or annulled if the conditions for issuing the approval are never again legitimate. For example, the traveler is flagged in a security database or it’s discovered the information submitted in the application was fraudulent.

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Why is it being introduced?

As per the European Commission, the ETIAS authorization system was made to recognize any “security or unpredictable transitory dangers” presented by voyagers entering the EU from without visa-free countries.

The institution also claims the system will facilitate smoother border crossing for those who don’t pose a threat.

“This prior verification of visa-exempt non-EU citizens will encourage border checks; maintain a strategic distance from administration and postponements for explorers while introducing themselves at the fringes; guarantee a planned and fit hazard evaluation of third-nation nationals, and considerably decrease the number of refusals of the section at outskirt crossing focuses,” the commission said.

The ETIAS framework will also help EU member states detect human trafficking, tackle cross border criminality, and identify persons who may be a security risk.

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