As a French resident, do I need an Etias authorization to travel in the EU?

Reader Question: I am a UK citizen and have a 10 year resident card. I have lived there permanently for 32 years.

My question is about my visit to Spain on vacation. We go from France to Catalonia two or three times a year. No problem for my French husband but will I need an Etias authorization in the future?

To answer this question, we must first look at what Etias is.

A travel authorization system

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (Etias) is an EU tracking system that is expected to be fully operational by November 2023.

Read more: Start date for EU’s Etias travel authorization system pushed back

It will monitor the movements of non-EU citizens who do not need a visa for short visits to the Schengen area. This group of travelers will soon have to ask for permission before going to the block.

This will be the case for British, American and Australian passport holders, for example.

Once a traveler has completed the online application form – a process expected to take around 10 minutes – their details will then be checked against EU information systems.

Up to 95% of applications should be approved within minutes, but if additional verification is required, the process could take up to two weeks.

When the person begins their journey to the EU, passport control officers electronically scan their travel document data, which triggers a request to Etias. If they have received pre-clearance they will be allowed to proceed, otherwise they will be refused entry.

Etias will be similar to the US Esta visa waiver; applications will cost €7 and approval, once obtained, will remain valid for three years. Those under 18 will not have to pay a fee, but must still obtain approval from Etias.

Etias will be associated with a parallel European Entry/Exit System (EES), which will collect biometric and other information about passengers as they enter the Schengen area.

The combined systems will replace the manual stamping of passports, which does not allow systemic detection of people who overstay the period during which they are authorized to stay in the EU.

Read more: Port of Dover boss warns of security concerns and delays with new EU checks

Will UK EU residents need to apply for Etias authorisation?

EU residents who do not have EU nationality will not need Etias authorization to travel to their country of residence, so an American or British person visiting family in their country of origin will not need to go through the process when they return to France.

Some unofficial sources say it “may” be necessary to obtain Etias’ approval to travel between Schengen countries, but a European Commission source confirmed to The Connection that the scheme only affects non-Schengen visitors. Europeans crossing the “external border” of the Schengen area. area.

The German government’s information page on the new system adds: “Since the EU has abolished borders between member states, the Etias is not intended for them.”

It also states that people with a long-term visa from an EU Member State: “will not need to obtain a travel authorization as long as you have the visa”, since it “will will give you the right to travel throughout the Schengen area”. [area].”

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, which is responsible for Schengen border control, says: “British nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement will be exempt from Etias.

“They can not only reside in the territory of their EU host country, but also travel to other Schengen member states for a short stay without Etias travel authorisation.”

It is expected that EU residents traveling to the Schengen area will only need to show proof of residence to border authorities to explain that they do not need Etias’ approval.

Further details are expected to be released closer to Etias’ start date.

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