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EU postpones ETIAS, traveler biometrics until November 2023

EU postpones ETIAS, traveler biometrics until November 2023

The plan for third country arrivals to apply for a visa waiver and undergo biometric capture to enter (or leave) the European Union’s Schengen area has once again been postponed, this time for another six months until November 2023 reports The Independent.

The previous activation date of May 2023 would have come just in time for the summer rush. It is not clear why there is a delay this time.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) requires pre-registration ahead of arrival for anyone who does not require a visa for the region, which covers Iceland, Norway and Switzerland as well as the EU bloc. Ireland, Croatia and three other countries are not part of the zone. Though some of these, such as Croatia, are expected to join Schengen soon.

UK travelers will also need to apply by submitting details on health, education and criminal convictions. The waiver costs €7 (US$7) and is valid for three years.

Biometrics are not collected as part of the ETIAS application, but fingerprints and face biometrics are collected when the person travels to the Schengen area.

Ports, train stations and airports have been making preparations to check the documents and capture biometrics for the upcoming Entry/Exit System, itself subject to delays. This system is still expected to become active in May 2023, reports the i newspaper. This approach is intended to replace passport stamping.

The UK and its ports, particularly ferry ports, are generally understood to be ill prepared for the new requirements.

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