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Long Queues and Scams in the New EU Entry System.

The European Union is implementing a new Entry-Exit System (EES) and a wider European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) that will significantly impact non-EU travellers from October 2024 onwards. Here's a breakdown of the changes and the potential challenges they pose:


  • EES (October 2024): This system will require non-EU visitors to register biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) at automated border kiosks. Passport stamps will be eliminated, with the system electronically recording entry and exit from the Schengen zone.
  • ETIAS (Mid-2025): A €7 visa waiver will be mandatory for most European visits. Travellers between 18-70 years old will need to complete an online application before their trip.

Potential problems

  • Lengthy queues: The additional biometric checks and new procedures could lead to significant delays, especially at busy ports like Dover. The UK's European Scrutiny Committee even predicts waits of up to 14 hours.
  • Infrastructure concerns: Several EU countries worry they won't be ready with the necessary infrastructure (automated kiosks) by the deadlines.
  • Delays for EU residents: Even travellers with EU residency permits might face delays if their passports aren't flagged correctly in the system.
  • Scams: Fraudulent websites mimicking the official ETIAS application could mislead travellers and steal their money. Be cautious and only use the official EU website when ETIAS launches.

Impact on travellers

  • Longer travel times: Factor in extra waiting time at borders, especially during peak seasons.
  • Careful planning: Ensure you have all the necessary documents (valid passport, approved ETIAS application) before your trip.
  • Be scam-aware: Only use the official EU website to apply for your ETIAS visa waiver.

What actions are possible?

  • EU authorities: Ensure proper infrastructure rollout, thorough system testing, and clear communication about the new procedures.
  • Travellers: Stay informed about the latest updates, plan accordingly, and be vigilant against scams.

The new EU entry system aims to improve border security and information sharing. However, concerns linger about potential travel disruptions and the need for a smooth implementation process.


What's changing for non-EU travellers?

From October 2024 (EES) and mid-2025 (ETIAS), non-EU visitors will face new procedures:

  • EES (Oct 2024): Registering fingerprints and facial scans at border kiosks. Passport stamps are gone.
  • ETIAS (Mid-2025): Obtaining a €7 visa waiver for most visits, requiring an online application (18-70-year-olds).

Will there be longer queues?

There's a high chance of lengthy delays, especially at busy ports. The UK predicts waits up to 14 hours! EU countries also worry they might not be fully prepared by the deadlines.

What about EU residents with non-EU passports?

It's unclear how the system will handle these situations. Delays might occur if their residency status isn't properly recognized.

How can I avoid scams?

Beware of fake websites mimicking the official ETIAS application. Only use the official EU website (once launched) to apply for your visa waiver.

What can I do as a traveller?

  • Stay informed about the latest updates on EES and ETIAS.
  • Plan extra waiting time at borders, especially during peak seasons.
  • Prepare all necessary documents (valid passport, approved ETIAS application).
  • Be vigilant against scams - only use the official EU website for your ETIAS application.

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