! Spanish News Today – Changes to travel to Europe in 2022 that affect visitors to Spain


Publication date: 11/19/2021

Non-EU citizens will still have a few hurdles to overcome before coming to Spain next year

From 2022, some rules will change slightly for non-EU citizens wishing to travel to countries in the Schengen area. While the two measures, known as EES and ETIAS, will not drastically change things, Brits coming to Spain should be aware of the new regulations and how they affect them.

EES – the new entry and exit system from Europe

Essentially, the EES means that people traveling from a non-EU country to the Schengen area, from the UK to Spain for example, will no longer have their passport stamped. Instead, border security guards will be replaced with digital scanners that will include an entry and exit system.
While many airports in Spain, including Alicante, already use these biometric scanners, the new devices will collect much more information from passengers, such as the number of days they have spent in the country. This will allow the authorities to better monitor compliance by non-EU citizens with the 90 days out of 180 rule.

According to the European Commission, “the entry / exit system will not apply to non-European citizens holding a residence permit or a residence permit. Their personal data will not be recorded in the entry / exit system “.

“Holders of such documents need only present them to border guards to prove their status. “

ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorization System

The European Union has created this system for citizens of visa-exempt countries to visit the Schengen area. One of the main objectives is for ETIAS to contribute to the security of European borders, as the travel permit will facilitate the identification of possible threats and risks associated with people wishing to travel to one of the countries in the Schengen area.

ETIAS (known as SEIAV in Spanish) will not limit free travel in any way, but by the end of 2022 all foreign visitors entering Spain or other member countries will need to apply for the permit before arriving. The measure only applies to tourists and people traveling for business or for short stays, and has no impact on those who have a visa for their country of destination or people who have permanent residence in a country of the EU (TIE holders in Spain).

The European Commission said the permit can be applied for online and is usually approved within minutes. It remains valid for three years and costs 7 euros, although it is free for those under 18 or over 70.

All information provided to ETIAS online will be reviewed and compared to a range of security databases such as Interpol and Europol.

Citizens of third countries who wish to work, live or study in Europe, or who wish to stay for periods longer than 90 days, must apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy corresponding to the country in which they wish to settle.

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