A new Entry/Exit System (EES) for Europe will take effect in May 2023. The European Union is implementing this large-scale IT system as part of the 2016 Smart Borders Package.
This automated system will scan non-European Union travelers’ passports and register personal information, biometric data (i.e., fingerprints and facial images), and entry and exit dates as they pass through the EU’s external borders.
In an April 2016 proposal for the Entry/Exit System, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commission’s commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, said: “The use of new technologies can help manage the flow of travelers arriving at our external borders, while at the same time tackling irregular migration and enhancing our internal security. Today, we address an important gap in our information systems and take concrete action to make our borders stronger, smarter, and more efficient for the ever-increasing numbers of travelers coming to the EU.”
How Will Tourists Benefit From The EES?
The new EES will make border checks faster and easier. Travelers will access passport-reading machines at external points of the Schengen Area. As a result, the laborious process of manual passport stamping will be a thing of the past.
The EES will make it easier to maintain safety and security by identifying people who have no right to enter, have stayed in European countries using the EES for too long, or are using fake identities or passports. In addition, the data collected will aid in preventing, detecting, and investigating terrorist offenses and other serious crimes.
What’s The Real-Life Entry Process?
You’ll walk up to the EES device and scan the first page of your biometric passport. Then, you’ll look into the camera as the automatic gate opens and the lights turn on. You’ll stand still while your photo is taken and compared to documents and data stored in the EES. As soon as the second gate opens, you’ll walk through. The entire process should take a maximum of a minute. Be sure you meet all the visa requirements to enter the area as you plan your trip.
If travelers are not granted permission to cross the automatic border, they will be sent to the nearest border guard.
How Does The EES Compare To the ETIAS?
Unlike the ETIAS application, which only applies to citizens of visa-exempt countries visiting the Schengen Area, the EES applies to both visa-exempt and visa-required third-country nationals.
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