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The EU: Schengen “Smart Borders” system proposed

The European Commission has proposed a move toward a “smart borders” system which will implement stricter border checks and electronic monitoring on non-EU national stays in the Schengen Area.

The main points of the proposed changes are below:

Entry-Exit System: This idea has been proposed to implement an EU wide entry-exit system where passports and fingerprints would be scanned when a traveller enters and exits the Schengen Area. Currently foreign nationals travelling throughout the EU will have their passports checked upon entry but not when leaving.

Registered travellers programme: This programme can automate the Schengen Border crossings by implementing checks which can take 20-40 seconds. This will reduce waiting times in the airport and security officers’ time. Travellers who partake in this program will be issued a card which can be used at arrival and departure gates.

Registration and pre-screening of visa-waived nationals: The European Travel Information and Authorisation system (ETIAS) is similar to the US ESTA will be implemented. This will allow visa waived nationals to enter basic information (name, passport number etc.) on a website and have their data checked by immigration authorities.

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Immigration team at immigration@sterling.com or call +44(0)20 8836 3359.

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