EU Warning: ETIAS Not Yet Operational

EU Warning: ETIAS Not Yet Operational

Countries required to use Etias have been warned of fraud opportunities around the upcoming Etias European visa waiver.

ETIAS will allow visitors from visa-waiver countries to freely travel through 30 European countries for up to 90 days for tourism, transit, or business. 

The travel waiver doesn’t come into effect until November 2023, however, some scammers are attempting “to mislead applicants into believing that their site is the official channel for submitting an ETIAS application”.

In EU guidelines, passengers paying for Etias visa waivers run the risk of encountering fraudsters who will “engage in abusive practices”.

Third-Party Companies

The EU has already announced that third-party companies will be able to sell the visa waivers, and many websites have already been set up with ‘Etias' in their domain name. There are concerns that it will leave the scheme open to potential scams.

The guidance warns of “attempts to mislead applicants into believing that their site is the official channel for submitting an Etias application”.

“This may give the false impression that the additional fee charged by the commercial intermediary is a mandatory part of the application process,” explained the document.

The guidance also reportedly warns of third parties making “fraudulent use of the personal or financial data provided by the applicant” or charging “unreasonably high prices for their services”.

It similarly flags the possibility of fraudsters failing to submit the application “in the required time, format and quality on behalf of the applicant”.

Etias Cost And Processing

The ETIAS visa waiver will cost holidaymakers €7 and this can be obtained through an application that can be done online and typically takes around 10 minutes. 

Travellers must apply at least 96 hours before departure for an EU country in order to have their document approved in time.

Those who want to apply for the waiver when it comes out will need some key documents.

To apply for the visa waiver, you will need:

  • A passport, valid beyond the intended stay in Europe
  • An email address
  • A debit or credit card

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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