The EU has confirmed it is ending visa-free travel to the bloc for British passport holders. Its visa-free policy will be officially introduced next May when UK visitors will have to pay for a new electronic permit.
The scheme – known as ETIAS – was introduced to improve security and strengthen the borders of the Schengen area which includes most EU countries in mainland Europe. It is expected to cost UK holidaymakers around seven euros which must be paid for before a trip.
UK travelers will also need to complete an online application form to obtain their ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). If their ETIAS application is not approved, UK citizens could be refused entry, once the scheme is implemented.
Approval should be granted “within minutes” for around 95% of applicants, according to a new memo released by the EU. The maximum time needed for approval could be up to one month in “very exceptional cases”.
The ETIAS permit will be valid for an unlimited number of entries over a period of three years. However, holders must respect immigration and not stay longer in their destination. Currently, third-country visitors cannot stay in the bloc for more than 90 days, for each 180-day period.
There are a number of reasons why people could have their application turned down, reports the Liverpool ECHO.
According Schengen visa informationapplications may be refused for the following reasons:
- The applicant has used a travel document reported as lost, stolen, misappropriated or invalidated in the Schengen Information System – SIS II
- The applicant poses a security risk to citizens and travelers of the Schengen area
- The applicant presents a risk of illegal immigration
- The applicant presents a high epidemic risk
- An applicant is a person for whom there is an alert in the SIS for the purpose of refusal of entry and stay
- The applicant does not respond to a request for additional information or documents within the time limit
- The candidate fails to appear for an additional interview when required
A travel authorization may also be rejected in cases where there are reasonable and serious doubts as to the authenticity of the information provided and the supporting documents presented by the person requesting it.
Applicants will receive a decision within minutes, and if an ETIAS application is denied, the email will contain details of why this happened. Travelers will be able to appeal the decision if they wish.