Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Home » Non-EU Travellers Warned About Unofficial ETIAS Tourist Visa Websites

Non-EU Travellers Warned About Unofficial ETIAS Tourist Visa Websites

by Gaioz Arabidze
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The EU border agency, Frontex, has warned non-EU tourists to be careful about giving out their personal data given there are now more than 50 unofficial websites offering to deal with the required ETIAS tourist visas when the system is finally rolled out next year.

Under ETIAS, which is expected to become operational in 30 European states in 2024, visitors from non-EU visa-free countries, such as the US, the UK and Canada, will be required to apply for a travel authorisation before starting their trips. The cost of the application will be €7.

“We have become aware that the number of unofficial ETIAS websites in multiple languages has recently increased to over 50,” said Francois Laruelle, Director of the ETIAS Central Unit Division at Frontex.

While some of these websites are run by genuine businesses, others may not be as trustworthy,” said Laruelle.

The ETIAS regulation allows commercial intermediaries to apply for the travel authorisation on behalf of clients.

“However, as the application process will require travellers to submit details of their passport details, credit card number and other personal data, it is important to ensure that such sensitive information is not misused,” a Frontex statement says.

Travellers will be able to submit the ETIAS applications exclusively through the official ETIAS website once the system becomes operational. Intermediaries will have to use the official ETIAS website too to apply on behalf of their clients. Any additional charges to the €7 fee will go to the intermediaries.

“When applying for an ETIAS authorisation, it is important for travellers to consider whom they are giving their personal information to and how much they are willing to pay in addition to the application fee. It is important travellers take time and assess these factors carefully,” added Laruelle.

Frontex hosts the ETIAS Central Unit, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle ETIAS applications, help travellers and carriers, as well as screen and identify risks when the system will operate.

“As the introduction of ETIAS affects the nationals of about 60 visa-free countries – potentially 1,4 billion people – it is essential to make sure they are well informed about the upcoming changes in the rules of travel to Europe,” Frontex added.

The European Commission and Frontex will launch a public information campaign about ETIAS six months before its entry into operation.

Source : The Local

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