A proposed automated travel authorisation system for European Union (EU) countries could change the immigration process for visiting Singaporeans and Malaysians by Jan, 2020.
The proposed European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an electronic authorisation for visitors from visa-free countries to travel to the Schengen area in the EU, private website ETIAS Europe said.
Like the ESTA in the US, the ETIA will allow for visitors to travel across the Schengen area without applying for an EU visa, which is evaluated by officials of each member state.
“ETIAS is an early indication as to whether or not an EU visa-exempt traveler is admissible into the Schengen area. This will considerably reduce the number of refusals of entry,” the website said.
A valid ETIAS pass will allow a visitor to stay in the Schengen area for less than 90 days in any 180-day period. Each successful application is valid for 3 years from the date of issue until the passport expires.
Eligible visitors who plan on staying for a period greater than 90 days will require a Schengen visa.
At the moment, proponents have suggested that visitors should apply for the ETIAS online at a cost of around 10 euro, with a minimum time allowance of 72 hours prior to departure.
The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries, the only exceptions being Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia.