Abu Dhabi: The UAE Mission to the European Union has been following the European Union’s decision to apply its European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which will be applicable to citizens from all countries who enjoy visa-free entry to the EU Schengen Zone beginning on January 1, 2021.
The ETIAS will apply to UAE nationals, along with nationals from 61 other countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United States.
The ETIAS is an electronic system which grants access and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS aims to strengthen the EU’s external border control and ensure that citizens of countries who do not need a visa for travel purposes do not pose a security risk.
All citizens from countries that enjoy visa-free entry into the Schengen Zone will need to have a valid travel authorization from ETIAS before they travel to the Schengen Zone; carriers such as airlines and cruise operators will be required to check for ETIAS.
The ETIAS form requires an applicants full name, place of birth, gender, and nationality. Anyone applying will need to have a valid passport, provide their email address, and use a debit or credit card to pay the 7 euro application fee (the process is expected to take less than 10 minutes). Forms are then checked against European and international databases in an automated process expected to last only a few minutes. The EU expects most application forms to be approved automatically through the system, with a validity of up to 3 years or until the end of validity of the registered travel document.
However, if an application is flagged by one or more databases, the application will be processed manually and may require additional information from the applicant. The manual processing is expected to take a maximum of 2 weeks. If an application is denied, the applicant will receive a denial message specifying the reason for the denial. If denied, an applicant can appeal the decision or, based on the denial reason, can adjust their application and try again.
The ETIAS travel authorization does not guarantee entry into EU countries. This remains at the discretion of the border authorities. There are countries in Europe, including in the EU, which are not part of the Schengen Zone, such as the United Kingdom. The ETIAS authorization does not grant entry into these countries.