Malaysians travelling to EU countries may need to go through a new immigration process
“The new way to travel”
Blame Brexit—or don't; because either way, it won't change anything now. Beginning 2020, Malaysians looking to visit European Union countries may have to go through a new immigration process called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). It will be mandatory for citizens from visa-free countries, which means Malaysia will be affected too. According to the ETIAS Europe website, the purpose of this process is to "address the potential threats of ineligible individuals before they can cross the borders of the EU."
Here are some things you need to know about ETIAS.
- It is not a visa.
- It only applies if you're travelling to the Schengen Area (aka all EU states except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and The United Kingdom).
- It'll allow you to stay in the Schengen Area for a period of up to 90 days and is valid for 3 years.
- The application process can be done online and would only take approximately 10 minutes.
- An ETIAS would cost you 10 Euros (approx. RM48.30). However, applicants under the age of 18 would not need to pay the fee.
- Some of the required documents for this process include a passport, credit card (to pay the fee), and contact information (permanent residence address, phone number and email address).
- Once the application is submitted, the ETIAS system will verify the information, process it automatically (and cross check against various EU information systems such as Europol, Interpol and so on) and either issue or refuse the authorisation (you'll find out via email).
- It is recommended to apply for an ETIAS at least 72 hours prior to departure and it is advised to bring your ETIAS authorisation email printout to the airport to prevent being denied boarding.
- The details surrounding ETIAS is still in a proposal stage and hence, the information above might change before the system is in effect come 2020.
For more information, visit the ETIAS Europe website.