top of page
  • Writer's pictureFIO Legal Solutions

ETIAS and SES: The new information systems for travelers in the European Union

Source: Pixabay

As highlighted by the national media, Portugal is due to implement the European Union's “Smart Borders” package in the coming months. This package aims to strengthen the management of external borders by reviewing and creating advanced information systems.

In the first half of 2025, two crucial systems from this package will go live: ETIAS and SES. These systems will have a direct impact on travelers from countries that are currently exempt from short-stay visas, such as those traveling for tourism.

In this article, we'll briefly explain what ETIAS and SES are, and how these changes will affect travel to EU Member States from 2025.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS, or the European Travel Information and Authorization System, is an automated computer system created by Regulation (EU) 2018/1240 of September 12, 2018. ETIAS will collect the information of travelers who are exempt from applying for a short-stay visa for the Schengen Area in order to grant them prior travel authorization.

Like the ESTA, which it was inspired by, the ETIAS does not grant a visa, but a prior travel authorization, which must be applied for through an electronic platform created for this purpose (and not through a Consulate).

How much will the ETIAS cost?

The cost of this travel authorization will be 7 (seven) euros, and you will need to provide your passport details (or other valid travel document) to start the application.


When should I apply for ETIAS?

ETIAS must be applied for before you travel.

The recommendation published on the European Union's official website is that you should first obtain the ETIAS travel authorization before buying tickets and/or booking hotels. This is because the ETIAS application can be processed in up to 4 (four) days. However, if any additional information or documentation is required, the response time could rise to 30 (thirty) days.

How long is the ETIAS valid for?

Once the ETIAS travel authorization has been granted and issued, it will be valid for 3 (years) and will allow the foreigner to stay up to 90 (ninety) days in a 180 (one hundred and eighty) day period in the European area for each trip.

However, if the travel document used at the time of application (e.g. passport) expires within this three-year period, the permit will also cease to be valid. In this case, a new application will have to be made with the updated details of the travel document. The same applies if the travel document is lost, stolen or misplaced; a new travel authorization must be applied for with the updated information.


List of countries whose nationals must apply for ETIAS:

Does ETIAS guarantee entry to the European Union?

The issue of an ETIAS travel authorization does not guarantee automatic entry into the territory of the Member States of the European Union.

Travelers will continue to be subject to checks upon arrival at the external border of the European Union (e.g. airport) and must comply with the requirements set out in Article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code, such as:

  • Being in possession of a valid travel document issued less than 10 (ten) years ago, which authorizes the holder to cross the border and which is valid for at least 3 (three) months following the scheduled date of return.

  • Hold a valid travel visa or ETIAS travel authorization.

  • Justify the purpose of your trip and the conditions of your intended stay.

  • Have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of their stay and for their return to their country of origin or transit to a third country where they are guaranteed admission.

  • Not be listed in the Schengen Information System (SIS).

  • Not considered likely to disturb public order, internal security, public health or the international relations of any state.

What is the SES?

The SES, or the Entry-Exit System, was created by Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 of November 30, 2017, and consists of an “automated computer system for recording the entry and exit of travelers from countries outside the European Union. It will apply to travelers who need a short-stay visa and those who originate from non-EU countries exempt from the visa requirement.”

What is the purpose of the SES?

According to the European Commission, the SES will replace the current manual stamping system in passports.

The main objective is to speed up the processing of information when travelers cross the European Union's external borders, identifying possible situations of document fraud.

The SES will also be used to identify so-called overstayers, who are people who have stayed in the EU for longer than they were originally allowed to (through visas, for example).

List of Member States that will use the SES:

More information

For more information on the new information systems for travelers and the requirements you must meet to enter and stay in the European area from 2025, please contact FiO Legal. We are available to assist you in the safe and informed planning of your trip within the European Union!

18 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page