Visitors to Schengen Area to face new travel measure

Tourists take some pictures around the Louvre in Paris in this undated file photo. (Sipa via AP Images)

TAIPEI (CNA) — A new travel measure to be introduced by the Europe Union (EU) from 2021 where travelers visiting countries in the Schengen Area must obtain an approved ETIAS online is not directed at Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Sunday.

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, a new measure that is intended to address terrorist threats and strengthen border controls.

However, there are countries in the EU which are not in the Schengen Area and a traveler cannot enter these countries with the ETIAS authorization.

In a statement, MOFA reminded Taiwan nationals who plan to visit Schengen countries they will in the future need to obtain an ETIAS online prior to the trip, while stressing the measure is not directed at Taiwan.

According to the ETIAS website, all visitors who previously traveled visa-free to Europe, such as those from the United States, Australia and many others, will also need an approved ETIAS to enter ETIAS member countries.

Travelers to Schengen Area countries should provide their passports details, e-mail and credit card numbers on the ETIAS application website and pay corresponding fees, MOFA said in the statement.

ETIAS authorization will be valid for 3 years and travelers can stay in Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period, MOFA said, adding that most applications can be approved within minutes.

By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim