European Commission Announces New Border Control System for Non-EU Citizens

Today the European Commission announced the introduction of an automated border control system, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in order to strengthen the security at the border of the EU.

In practice, this will mean that non-EU citizens from countries that are visa-exempt, such as Albania, will in the future have to preregister before traveling to any EU country.

ETIAS is supposed to verify an online application and assess risks as regards “irregular immigration, security, or public health.” It will check each applicant against a series of EU databases, such as Europol’s, and a dedicated ETIAS watch list. Once the applicant comes out clean, it will issue a travel authorization.

Travel authorizations will be valid for five years and cost €5.

The implementation of ETIAS comes at a time that several EU countries have set up fences and increased their border control in response to the refugee crisis.