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Singapore citizens and many others will soon need to register for European travel

ETIAS authorisation will be required for travel to 26 Schengen Zone countries and three micro-states; launch slightly delayed due to ongoing pandemic

Lucerne, Switzerland: Moving forward, nationals of visa liberation countries, such as Singapore, will be required to obtain travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to departure
Lucerne, Switzerland: Moving forward, nationals of visa liberation countries, such as Singapore, will be required to obtain travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to departure Photo Credit:Gettyimages/Xantana

EU — From 2022 onwards, citizens from 62 visa waiver countries, including Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong S.A.R, will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation, prior to travels to the European Union.

Applicable to all types of travel (including attending meetings and conferences) to the 26 Schengen Zone countries and three micro-states, the EU says the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will better manage recent security concerns regarding terrorism, as well as the migrant crisis.

Originally slated to start in early 2021, ETIAS is now expected to come into effect some time in late 2022.

This new authorisation will be required for destinations including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Also joining the Schengen Zone soon are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, who will also be subject to ETIAS requirements once their entry into the Zone is approved.

Nationals of visa liberation countries, such as Singapore, may still continue to travel to the EU without a visa, but moving forward, will be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to travels. The ETIAS is not a visa.

The electronic system will run detailed security checks on applicants to ensure they are not security threats, before clearing their entry into any Schengen Zone country. Infants and elderly will also need to present the ETIAS authorisation, although those under age 18 are exempt from paying the €7 (US$8.21) fee.

Once approved, the ETIAS might be valid for three years, or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during the authorisation application — whichever comes first. To use the ETIAS authorisation accurately, travellers must pass through the first country stated on application, before travelling around any other country Schengen Zone of up to 90 days without a 180-day period.

Also, travellers and border checks will be granted a one-year leeway from the time of ETIAS' implementation, to allow for adjustments to this new requirement.

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