From year 2020, Malaysians who wish to travel to European Union countries may be required to undergo a new immigration process.
This new immigration process called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) may become a mandatory requirement for citizens from visa-free countries.
According to etiaseurope.eu website, citizens from visa-free countries can stay in the Schengen Area (all EU states except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and The United Kingdom) for a period up to 90 days.
“It is an immigration process used to address the potential threats of ineligible individuals before they can cross the borders of the EU states.
“ETIAS with the Entry–Exit System (EES) will speed up, facilitate, reinforce and modernise the border control procedures by offering better protection against document and identity fraud,” said the website.
Each citizen from the visa-free countries need to hold a valid ETIAS prior to boarding.
“Once issued, a valid authorisation will allow its holder to stay in the Schengen Area for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period and it is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance or until the expiry date of the passport, whichever comes first,” it said.
The application process is simple as it can be done online and it was recommended that applicants apply for an ETIAS at least 72 hours prior to departure.
“It only takes up to 10 minutes and only costs RM48.30 (10 Euros). Each individual travelling in a group needs to be authorised.
“However, applicants under the age of 18 do not have to pay the processing fee,” it said.
Among the documentation requirements for this process includes a valid passport issued by a visa-exempt country, a valid credit card to pay the application fee, applicants contact information including the address of permanent residence, phone number and email address.
It also stated that once the application has been submitted online, it would be screened across various systems to determine whether an authorisation could be granted or not.
“If your application is approved, you will receive an authorisation directly by email and in case of denial, you will receive an email explaining the reason for refusal.”
Among the countries which requires ETIAS online authorisation include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City State.