Entering the Schengen Area: implementing the future EES and ETIAS systems


The EES (Entry Exit System) and ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) are automated IT systems for registering and controlling the personal data of nationals of non-EU countries crossing the Schengen Area’s external borders.

Neither EES nor ETIAS are currently operational. They are due to be introduced by 2024 and 2025.

The European Union and external border management

These European initiatives are part of a series of measures to improve the external border management of Schengen Area Member States.

These future automated systems aim to make Schengen Area external border checks more effective and reliable by enabling Member States and EU agencies to better share information to combat cross-border crime and terrorism and enable more effective border management, while strictly observing the fundamental rights and European legislation on personal data protection.

The EES (Entry Exit System): a new automated data registration system for nationals of non-EU countries travelling to the Schengen Area

EES is a new, automated personal data collection system for nationals of third-countries entering the EU, whether they require a visa or not, which will be used upon entering and exiting the Schengen Area.

In practical terms, EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports of third-country nationals and will enable electronic monitoring of each entry and exit, denial of entry and the length of stay of nationals of non-EU countries when they cross the Schengen Area’s external borders for a short stay (up to 90 days within a total period of 180 days).

Who is it aimed at?

It is aimed at citizens of non-EU countries, who require ETIAS registration and a short-stay visa and who are entering the EU for a short stay (no more than 90 days in a total period of 180 days) in the territory of a Schengen Area Member State.

What personal data will be registered?

  • The time and date of entry and exit
  • The place of entry and exit
  • The traveller’s first name(s) and surname
  • The traveller’s passport number
  • The traveller’s photograph
  • The traveller’s fingerprints
  • A potential decision to refuse entry for a short stay

Further information on the EES

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System): a new prerequisite for travellers exempt from short-stay visas to enter EU territory

ETIAS is a travel authorization, and not a visa, put in place by the European Commission. It will be required by the 30 Member States of the enlarged Schengen Area. It is due to be introduced by 2025. It is a fully automated system, similar to ESTA in the United States, which aims to enhance controls on relevant travellers within the European Union, in order to detect potential threats.

Who is it aimed at?

ETIAS is aimed at citizens from some 60 non-EU countries who were previously exempt from short-stay visas when entering the enlarged Schengen Area.

ETIAS authorises travel for a maximum period of 90 days. It must be requested by relevant third-country nationals before travelling to Europe and will be valid for multiple entries for 3 years, or until the travel document registered at the time of the application expires.

ETIAS applications must be made online by completing a simple form. The travel authorisation is usually issued within 96 hours of the date of the application and payment of a €7 fee. This processing period may be extended if further inquiries are needed.

It should be noted, however, that no fee will be charged to nationals of those third countries aged under 18 and over 70, nor to family members of European citizens or third-country nationals who have the right to move freely within the European Union.

See the list of countries here

Certain specific cases will apply

Further information on the ETIAS system