Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has more than doubled the size of the team that will help run the central unit of ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. When it launches in a year, Frontex staff will be working around the clock to make it easier for travellers from countries with no visa requirements to enter the EU, while keeping Europe safe.
With the introduction of the system, travellers from more than 60 visa-free countries will be required to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation to enter 30 European countries. ETIAS will reduce control procedures on arrival, shortening the time needed to cross the EU’s external borders.
It will strengthen border management, reinforce the EU’s visa liberalisation policy and help prevent illegal immigration, while also contributing to the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Similar entry authorisations for visa-free travellers have been introduced in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“ETIAS will constitute a major change for European border control. We will have our hands full in the coming months and the preparations for its launch are intense. Our operators will be working 24/7 to make border control for travellers as smooth as possible while keeping Europe safe,” said François Laruelle, Director of ETIAS Division in Frontex.
The 56 newcomers include applications handlers and traveller and carrier support operators. Once ETIAS becomes operational, they will process and screen applications from visa-exempt travellers and perform helpdesk assistance functions to support ETIAS applicants and carriers.
Frontex, along with the European Commission, eu-LISA and Europol, is working closely with the authorities of each of the 30 European countries to set up the system. More information about what ETIAS means for travellers can be found on the new ETIAS website: europa.eu/etias.