ETIAS - The European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Many individuals from Citizenship by Investment Programmes affected, but not Malta’s

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 11 Apr 2019

EITAS - European Travel Information and Authorisation System

From 2021 onwards, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be imposed by the European Commission on those citizens coming from a visa waiver country. The ETIAS was adopted by the Council on the 5th of September 2018, and rather than a visa, it can be considered as an electronic travel authorisation system, which operates similarly to ETA applicable to Canada and the US. Moreover, economic citizens who have attained citizenship by way of a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) will also be effected by the ETIAS. 
Given that many CBI countries retain visa waivers with the EU, those individuals who have attained their passport through the CBI will be required to pay €7 for ETIAS travel approval. Anybody trying to enter the border without an ETIAS, will be refused. The countries which will be affected by the ETIAS are, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica, Samoa, Montenegro, Vanuatu and Moldova. 

Citizenship by Investment Programmes exempted from The ETIAS - European Travel Information and Authorisation System 

On the other hand, the ETIAS will not be applicable with regards to the following passports attained through a Citizenship by Investment Program:
•    Turkey (visa is required);
•    Malta (EU Member);
•    Bulgaria; (EU Member);
•    Cyprus. (EU Member);

The Procedure to Apply for the ETIAS - European Travel Information and Authorisation System 

The application process is quite simple and straight-forward. Those individuals who hold a CBI passport or any other passport which grants access to the EU will be required to adhere to the following:
•    Payment of €7 for every application submitted through the ETIAS system;
•    The ETIAS is effective for three years for unlimited entries. 

ETIAS required to visit EU – 30 countries 

All those EU Member States which are part of the Schengen area, will operate the ETIAS travel authorisation, including Malta and all those countries which do not yet fully apply the Schengen acquis, such as Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Cyprus. 
One of the advantages of this system is the fact that, when an individual applies, the ETIAS system analyses security databases, and it gives a decision within a few minutes.

The databases analysed by ETIAS

When the ETIAS is evaluating and validating the data provided by the visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically validate every application against:
•    The present EU information systems being, Eurodac database, Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS) and Europol data. 
•    The future EU information systems being, Entry/Exist System (EES)
•    The Interpol databases being, the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN), a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators, and the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD);

Malta and the ETIAS- European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Malta is a member of both the European Union and the Schengen Area. Individuals visiting Malta without an EU passport or a passport issued by a Schengen state will need an ETIAS authorisation from 2021. 

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