Malaysians Visiting Europe Must Go Through This New Application Process From 2024
A new immigration process called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will become a mandatory requirement for Malaysians prior to entering Europe's Schengen Area from 2024
The ETIAS is an online authorisation that only applies to citizens who are from countries, such as Malaysia, that enjoy visa-free access to the European Union (EU) countries.
With a valid ETIAS authorisation, each citizen from the visa-free countries can stay in the Schengen Area for a period of up to 90 days and can use the ETIAS authorisation for multiple entries.
It is not a visa
According to the EU's official ETIAS website, while citizens from visa-free countries can still enjoy the privilege to access the EU without an entry visa, ETIAS will become a mandatory requirement as part of an EU intergovernmental legislative initiative created to enforce the security of its Member States.
This also affects Singaporeans and citizens of around 60 countries who can enter EU countries for short trips without first applying for a visa. But it does not guarantee entry. When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify if you meet the entry conditions.
The application can be done online, costing EUR7 (approx RM35.59)
Once an application is submitted, the ETIAS system will verify the information you have provided and automatically process the application to cross-check against various EU information systems — such as SIS, VIS, Europol, Interpol, Eurodac, and so forth — for security purposes.
After having determined if an authorisation to enter the EU can be granted to you, the ETIAS system will then issue or refuse the authorisation.
If the system approves your application, you will receive the authorisation directly by email. However, in case of denial, an email with reasons for refusal will be sent.
Keep in mind that while the process is simple and should take about 10 minutes, in certain cases, it might be delayed for days, so apply well in advance of your planned journey.
Your application process could be extended by up to 14 days if you are requested to provide additional information or documentation, or up to 30 days if you are invited to an interview.
Once approved, your ETIAS travel authorisation is valid for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can leave and return as many times under the overall limit of your authorised stay.
While applying for ETIAS, you will need to provide your criminal record and details of your trips to conflict zones
Here's the information you will be required to share:
- Your personal details like name, sex, date, and place of birth,
- Home address, contact information, nationality, and travel document information.
Inform authorities of any convictions for serious criminal offences. Examples include terrorism, sexual exploitation of children, trafficking of human beings or drugs, murder, and rape.
You must also reveal details, if any, of stays in specific conflict zones and of any prior administrative decisions requiring you to leave a country, all over the last ten years.
After the authorisation of your ETIAS application is done, there are a couple of things you need to take note of:
- Make sure to carry a printout of your ETIAS authorisation, even though it is linked to your passport. Without the email printout, you might be denied boarding at the airport.
- The validity of the ETIAS is strictly related to that of the passport used to complete the application. Meaning if you're travelling in a group or with your family, every member of the group needs to be authorised by ETIAS. You cannot travel merely on the authorisation of a sole member of the group or your family. Additionally, if you had an ETIAS for your passport, then within that three years you renew your passport, you may have to reapply for the ETIAS again.
- Do check the status of your ETIAS a few days before your departure date as it can be revoked and annulled if the conditions for issuing it no longer apply.
- If you're visiting multiple EU countries, you will have to pass through the first country you have stated in your application. For example, if you're planning to visit Portugal, Spain and France, and you have written in your application that the first country you will visit is France, then you must go through France before visiting Spain and Portugal.
These are the countries for which you would need ETIAS: