Nationals of third countries who are permitted to enter the Schengen Area visa-free will or with a short-term visa will soon no longer have their passports stamped as information on the entry and exit to the bloc will be automatically recorded through a new automated system – the Entry/Exit System.
The Entry/Exit System is a new automated system which is expected to launch later this year fully. The system will be used to keep track of third-country travellers who enter the EU and detect over-stayers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports, which is time-consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of over-stayers,” reads a statement of the Migration and Home Affairs of the EU Commission regarding the system.
The same also aims to modernise some other current procedures that travellers from third countries have to follow when reaching the bloc, thus enabling travellers to cross borders more quickly.
It has been revealed that the system will record specific data on travellers, including their name, fingerprints, facial image, travel document type, date and place of entry, date and place of exit, as well as their stay period in the Schengen Area.
As soon as the Entry/Exit System becomes fully operational, travellers who can enter the Schengen Area visa-free will be required to obtain a travel authorisation online – the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
ETIAS is a completely electronic system which will be used to keep track of visitors who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Area. The ETIAS will cost €7 per person and will remain valid for three years at first. Around 1.4 billion people who can currently enter the Schengen Area visa-free will have to apply for an ETIAS.
Apart from planning to launch the Entry/Exit System this year, the EU authorities have revealed that they also plan on making changes to the visa application process.
The EU Parliament just recently approved a report to make the Schengen visa application procedures completely online. The adopted report seeks to modernise Schengen visa application procedures by moving to a digital system from physical application and visa stickers.
The EU Parliament stressed that as soon as such a plan is approved, visa applications will be processed in a single platform and at the same time noted that this will let applicants know which country will receive their application.