EES and ETIAS Update for British Citizens Living in Austria

There have been several articles in the UK press warning about the forthcoming EES and ETIASEuropean Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) The European Commission's proposed European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is intended to strengthen security checks on those persons who travel visa-free to the EU, currently nationals from over 60 countries. The largely automated IT system will identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen area, whilst at the same time facilitating crossing borders for the vast majority of travellers who do not pose such risks. Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for a travel authorisation through the ETIAS system prior to their trip. It is due to go live in 2024.. EES is due to launch in Autumn 2024 and ETIAS sometime in Spring 2025.

EES introduces biometric checks at the borders. Its purpose is to replace manual stamping of passports and better control the number of days that non-EU/EEAEEA The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom is not part of the EEA. citizens (and non-residents) spend in the Schengen zone.

ETIAS is NOT a Visa, it’s an electronic travel authorisation (valid for 3 years) for those who are visa-exempt when travelling to Schengen. ETIAS is similar to the US ESTA, Australian ETA or the forthcoming UK ETA.

Exemptions

There are several exemptions to both these systems which are not widely covered in the UK press.

BOTH Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration   beneficiaries (Article 50 holders) and other Third Country Nationals with valid residence permits are exempt from both these systems. There is official confirmation in several places regarding Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries including here

Most recently the British Consulate in Vienna have updated their Living in Austria Guide on this topic.

Austrian and other EU/EEA nationals are also exempt from these systems.

Caution

We currently have minimal details on how these systems will work in practice at the borders. The one thing that is clear, is if you fail to travel with both your passport AND residence permit (eg. Article 50 card) you will encounter more issues.

We are also currently advising people to voluntarily (it is not compulsory) update their MeldezettelMeldezettel Austria requires everyone living in Austria (both Austrians and foreigners) to register their place(s) of residence with the local authorities. The confirmation of this registration is called a Meldebestätigung (EN: confirmation of registration), although it is still affectionately known to many by its former name (the Meldezettel). This is done at your Meldeamt in the Gemeinde or Bezirk you live in. You are required to do your registration within three days of arrival. It is important to do this also because your qualification for permanent residence starts to run from the point of your registration. information with their current UK Passport details. This is because the ZMR contains a list of all Austrian residents and may be useful as a fallback!

It is also worth noting that spot checks can be carried out at the borders and temporary border control can be re-introduced at short notice within Schengen

Note 1: Passenger flows at the Schengen External Borders are managed by individual Member States!

Note 2: When EES initially launches it is possible that you will encounter delays at the border, especially at the ports (e.g. Dover).

Warning

When looking for information on these two systems, please try and use official EU websites (domain name “europa.eu”). When ETIAS launches it is highly likely that some unauthorised processing websites will appear to charge extra for what you can easily do yourself! They may also use your personal data for other means. Please advise friends and family to be careful and only use official websites and report abuse.

Useful Links

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