The British Government’s decision to leave the European Union (known as Brexit), posed a number of questions, as well as challenges. No one fully understands how the future relationship between the UK and the 27 EU Member States will develop. At present, what we all know is that even though British citizens travel freely within the Schengen Area and stay as long as they want, after the Brexit, they will be regarded as third country nationals. Meaning the rules for entering the EU would change for them.
Is ETIAS Confirmed for Britons?
The EU Commission has finally confirmed that all British nationals, including British overseas citizens and British protected persons, will have to obtain Visa Travel Authorization before they plan a trip.
Considering polarization of views in Britain still, everyone wants to preserve free movement in the EU. And thus, the requirement for an ETIAS to the EU is valued a bit negatively.
Lack of information brings a sense of uncertainty among the citizens of UK. In addition, local tabloids escalate things even more. Britons fear that ETIAS will have a profound effect on their trips to other countries of Europe.
Here is what will help you to gain a basic understanding of this subject.
Is ETIAS a VISA regime?
The ETIAS is not a visa. It is a travel authorization, which is a requirement for British nationals and all the other people from more than 60 non-EU countries coming to the European Union for tourism, business, medical or some other reasons for up to 90 days.
Once it will be implemented, the EU will no longer have an information gap on visa exempt visitors.
The upcoming European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), will be a mandatory requirement. Travelers will need to hold a travel document and an ETIAS authorization for crossing the EU borders.
After the UK leaves the EU on March 2019, the nationals of Britain will be exempt from visa but will have to hold ETIAS.
ETIAS will be managed by the European Border and Coast Guard along with many other authorities. They will process systematic checks against databases on everyone crossing the external borders. As soon as ETIAS will come into force, people will have to obtain it online.
Everybody regardless of age will require an ETIAS authorization. Completing it will be a pretty simple process. British people will be required to fill the form prior to their departure to the European Union by providing the answers on security and health questions, their personal details and passport information. An application will involve some other additional details, for example, the planned trip details.
As the application form will be checked against several important databases, like Europol and Interpol, your answers have to be honest and correct.
Once approved, the ETIAS will allow a person to travel freely within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Those who will be denied an ETIAS may need to apply for a Schengen visa or will be unable to enter the EU.
Can the Entry to the EU be Denied?
The first thing to keep in mind is that ETIAS cannot be denied without any serious reason.
Most likely, the entry into the European Union can be denied because of a criminal history, a suspicion of some dangerous intent, and problems with documents or making mistakes while completing ETIAS.
ETIAS vs. BREXIT
It needs to be highlighted that ETIAS system is absolutely unrelated to Brexit. It was proposed comparatively earlier than the referendum vote of the United Kingdom to leave the EU.
ETIAS was created in order to strengthen the EU borders by collecting information about every person entering the area. Even though the UK has its own special status in the EU area of freedom, security, and justice, its citizens still will be pre-screened by several national authorities before traveling to any country member of the Schengen Zone.
As in recent years, there has been a high increase in terrorist threats; it will be an important step towards strengthening the external borders of the European Union.
“We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here.”
“By knowing who is coming to the EU before they even arrive at the border, we will be better able to stop those who may pose a threat to our citizens.”
ETIAS & Britons
The reality is that ETIAS travel authorization has nothing to do with complicating lives of the Brits and their free movement in the Schengen Area. In the securitized era of the increasing number of refugees, migrants, and intensified terrorism, ETIAS will play a great role in protecting the region.
As to the post – Brexit Britain, don’t worry guys, it would still be Britain.