A new border security system scheduled to be launched in 2021 by the European Union will continue to allow visa-free entry by nationals of countries and areas that already have such status, including Taiwan, but will require completion of an easily obtained travel authorization document, the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taipei said Saturday.
In response to local media reports that a new EU travel policy would curtail visa-free entry by Taiwan travelers, the EETO said the document required under the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) would not be a visa.
"Nationals of visa liberalization countries will continue to travel to the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorization via ETIAS prior to their travel," the EETO said in a statement.
It said the ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system that will issue a positive response within a few minutes, in more than 95 percent of the cases.
According to an EU press statement issued in July, travelers will have to complete an online application that should take no more than 10 minutes and will require only a passport or equivalent travel document.
The application fee will be EU$7 or US$8.1 for travelers between the ages of 18 and 70, according to the statement.
It said the travel authorization will be valid for three years, or until the expiry date of the travel document.
The ETIAS is being introduced by the EU, to take effect in 2021, as an automated system to identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen area.
The information gathered via the ETIAS will allow for advance verification of potential security or irregular migration risks to "significantly contribute to closing existing security information gaps," the EU said.
The system will apply to all non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the Schengen area, the EU said.
Taiwan obtained visa-free status on Jan. 11, 2011 for entry to the Schengen zone.