Towards the end of 2016, the EU announced the proposal of ETIAS: the new travel authorization system for visitors to Europe: European Travel Information and Authorization System.
The etias visa for Europe will apply to all those nationalities who currently do not need a Schengen visa to visit European countries. It will not replace other EU zone visas for countries whose citizens must request a visa for any of the Schengen territories. It is a new travel authorization system which will be applied for those traveling to Europe from currently visa-exempt countries.
When will ETIAS start?
The European Parliament and European Council had previously agreed that the date for implementing this visa scheme for Europe was to be 2020 as a deadline. However due to the recent string of attacks on European soil, some EU members are now asking for the ETIAS implementation deadline to be brought forward. As the ETIAS europe visa will serve as an extra layer of security for border control and immigration, many countries have a vested interest in the visa program being implemented as soon as possible.
The Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, stated that it is "crucial that [ETIAS] be operational as soon as possible" to reinforce the general security measures for the influx of travelers in Europe. Some have speculated that the ETIAS visa will become a requirement for travelers even before the year is out.
How to apply for ETIAS when the time comes
The ETIAS application process will be quite simple and easy to understand. It will consist of an ETIAS visa application form to be completed online. This should take no longer than 10 minutes and will require travelers to answer questions regarding their health, provide prior immigration information and respond to basic security questions. The questions included will be somewhat similar to an immigration landing card that airline passengers may be required to fill out when traveling.
After applying online for ETIAS and paying the fee, the tourist will receive their approved ETIAS visa for Europe. This will arrive via email and will then be valid for multiple entries for 5 years.