The European System of Information and Travel Authorization (SEIAV) was initially announced by the European Commission in November 2016, and Regulation (EU) 2018/1240 (the ETIAS Regulation, for its acronym in English) came into force on September 12, 2018. From mid-2025, about 1.4 billion people from more than 60 visa-exempt countries will need this authorization to travel to any of the EU countries.
The authorization, linked to a traveler’s passport from third countries, will be valid for up to three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. With a SEIAV travel authorization, travelers will be able to enter the territory of these European countries as often as they wish for short stays, usually for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, it will not guarantee final entry (which will depend on border control).
When completing the application, travelers will be asked to provide the following information:
- Personal information, including name(s), surname(s), date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ names, email address, and phone number;
- Travel document details;
- Details about education level and current occupation;
- Details about the planned trip and stay in any of the countries requiring SEIAV;
- Details on criminal convictions, stays in specific war or conflict zones, and decisions requiring them to leave the territory or return decisions, as well as additional related questions.
Records of all data processing operations in the SEIAV information system will be kept by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice in the SEIAV central system. Each data processing operation within the SEIAV information system will be recorded as an independent entry.
The log will record the time and date of each data processing operation (“timestamp”). Each entry in the log will store the unique identifier of the authority, as well as of the official or staff member accessing, modifying, or deleting the data stored in the SEIAV central system.
To obtain the travel authorization, the application must be submitted directly by the applicant, or by a third party or commercial intermediary authorized by the applicant to submit the application on their behalf.
The main objective of the ETIAS Regulation is to increase security. Thus, when assessing the applications submitted, the Central Unit will consider, through automated processes, whether the presence of a third-country national in the Schengen Area represents a security risk, illegal immigration, or high risk (epidemic, terrorism, etc.). Additionally, the ETIAS Regulation aims to improve the effectiveness of cross-border controls and complement the objectives of the Schengen Information System.