Singaporeans travelling to Europe will not have to apply for the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias) document until 2025, as the European Union has delayed its launch.
Etias is modelled after the United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.
It will pre-screen non-EU travellers, who currently enter Europe without a visa, and is designed to minimise security risks.
Travellers aged 18 to 70 would need to pay €7 (S$10) for the document. It is free for those outside this age range.
The Straits Times reported in July that the new travel requirement will kick in from 2024, but the EU has confirmed that the launch of Etias will be postponed to spring 2025, due to a range of issues from resource constraints to data integration problems.
The Council of the European Union said the EU Entry/Exit System, which tracks the movement of non-EU travellers, also needs to be operational first before Etias can be implemented, reported SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Thirty countries in Europe will require visitors to apply for the Etias document from 2025.
They are primarily continental European countries that share a border and are co-signers of the Schengen Agreement, which established a freedom of movement zone between the participating nations.
There are now 27 countries in the Schengen Area, including Belgium, Iceland and the Netherlands; the United Kingdom is not included. Three other non-Schengen countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania – will also implement Etias.
“In the year 2025, citizens from Singapore will be required to complete an Etias application prior to boarding an aircraft, sea carrier or coach vehicle for Europe, and this includes travellers who will only be transiting in Europe en route to other destinations,” according to etias.com.
Other than Singaporeans, citizens of 58 other countries and territories – including Malaysia, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada – will also have to apply for the Etias document, which is valid for three years.
Applicants will be notified within 96 hours of submission on whether their application has been approved or refused, or if it requires manual processing.
Source : SR