In the future, travellers coming from visa-free countries will be required to obtain prior permission. This system is called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). ETIAS is a pre-registration system similar to ESTA in the United States. Visa-free third-country nationals coming from outside the Schengen area must apply for a travel authorisation in advance, in which case the entry conditions of the person can be assessed even before the person arrives at the border. Air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups by bus, are also obliged to check the passenger's travel authorisation in advance. For this purpose, an online service will be created to allow carriers to check the travel authorisation.
The ETIAS pre-registration system will be introduced at the EU's external borders in May 2023. The Finnish Border Guard is the national ETIAS authority in Finland.
ETIAS applications are mainly processed automatically. Applications requiring further clarifications are directed to manual processing. The ETIAS Central Unit, maintained by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, shall forward applications for manual processing to the national units. The unit responsible for processing applications in Finland is planned to be established in connection with a pre-screening team under the Gulf of Finland Coast Guard District.
Data retention and access
In principle, the ETIAS application data will be retained in the central system for a period of validity of the travel authorisation, i.e. a maximum of three years. In the Entry/Exit System, the data will be retained for three years from the last exit from the country. Law enforcement authorities will have access to system data when investigating serious criminal offences. Visa and immigration authorities have access to EES and ETIAS data under certain conditions.
The system statistics improve the preparation of risk analyses required by the Schengen Borders Code, and support political decision-making in immigration and visa policy.
Information systems are managed by eu-LISA, the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security, and justice.
Link to the legislative project:
Entry/Exit System (EES) | Migration and Home Affairs (europa.eu).