ETIAS: The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System Explained.

On September 12th of 2018, The European Parliament along with the European Council established a European Travel Information and Authorisation System, hereinafter referred to as ETIAS, by introducing Regulation (EU) 2018/1240 as well as Regulation (EU) 2018/1241 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/794 for the purpose of establishing ETIAS. Such measures were taken in order to provide a stronger security control at the boarders and ensure safety within the Schengen Area, by reducing the possibility of potential threats.

First and foremost, it is important to understand what ETIAS really is; it consists of an automated IT system designed to identify potential security and/or migratory risks deriving from Non-EU visa-exempt travelers to the Schengen area. The ETIAS travel authorisation constitutes an entry requirement for such travelers and is linked to their passport, with a validity for up to three (3) years or until the expiration date of the passport in use. ETIAS grants but does not guarantee multiple entries to thirty (30) European countries, for short-term stays which cannot exceed the timeframe of ninety (90) days within a period of a hundred and eighty (180) days. The entry is not guaranteed as upon approaching the border, officers shall review the traveler’s passport and other documents for the verification of entry conditions. In the event a request for entry is refused, the individual concern is entitled to appeal.

The countries which shall require the ETIAS travel authorisation are the EU Schengen Member States, Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), European Microstates with Open Borders and Future Schengen Member States.

The objectives of the introduction of this European Travel Authorisation are the following:

  • Effective management of border controls;
  • Increased security;
  • Prevention of illegal immigration;
  • Protection of public health;
  • Prevention, detention and investigation of terrorist offences and/or other serious crimes;
  • Improvement of the Schengen Information System.

While ETIAS aims to enhance security within the Schengen Area and prevent potential migratory threats, the new travel authorisation has been created in such way that it can operate all necessary controls while safeguarding all fundamental rights and data privacy in compliance with the GDPR regulations. The IT system is being developed by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and it is expected to be launched in 2025.


The present article is for informational purposes only and does not, under any circumstances, constitute legal advice. For further information on the subject, please contact our law firm and one of our attorneys shall be glad to assist you.


Nika Kalifatidou

Advocate – Legal Consultant

Arsen Theofanidis LLC