How exactly will the EU's new entry/exit system work?

How exactly will the EU's new entry/exit system work?
The article was originally published in English

After numerous postponements, a new timetable for the EU's post-Brexit entry/exit system (SES) has been released.

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The EU's post-Brexit entry and exit system (SES) was due to launch in 2022, then was rescheduled to May 2023, before being delayed further until the end of last year.

Despite constant setbacks, the film is finally scheduled for release this fall. But a large proportion of British adults say they have no idea how EES works.

Fortunately for those baffled by the new system, ABTA – the Travel Association – has revealed exactly what EEE will look like in practice.

Here's what to expect.

What exactly is I/O (SES)?

In short, SES is a new electronic system that will replace the physical stamp on passports when passing through passport control upon arrival.

All EU member states will participate in the system, with the exception of Cyprus and Ireland, where passports will continue to be manually stamped. The four non-EU member states in the Schengen Area – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – will participate in the system.

All entries and exits to and from participating European countries will be recorded. In general, this means that your movements will be recorded whenever you cross borders into or outside the European Union or the Schengen Area.

When the system comes into effect, when you arrive in a new country, you will have to present your passport, as always, take a photo of your face and scan your fingerprints electronically.

To whom will the SES apply when it comes into force?

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People who are already citizens of the European Union or Schengen countries will not be covered and will be able to travel freely throughout the region.

Instead, the SES will apply to people coming from what the EU calls a “third country”, meaning people who are not EU or Schengen Area citizens.

This includes most people traveling from the UK and other countries.

It applies to anyone traveling for a short stay, i.e. for visits, holidays or business trips for a maximum total of 90 days in a 180-day period.

British passport holders residing in the EU are exempt from SES monitoring.

In the vast majority of cases, checks will be carried out in Europe upon your arrival at the destination airport or port.

If you are traveling via the Port of Dover or by international train from the UK, these checks will be carried out on departure while going through passport control on the UK side.

This is because there are dual borders – British and French – in both places, which means you won't need to go through these checks again when you get to the other side.

What is the SEIAV that will come into force in 2025?

The European Union plans to go further with travel restrictions in 2025.

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The European System for Travel Information and Authorization (SEIAV) will be another new system for travelers within the bloc.

The new travel authorization system must be requested before traveling to the 30 European countries participating in the system. Ireland is exempt because it is part of the Common Travel Area.

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The system is a similar concept to the current ESTA system in the United States and the current ETA system in the United Kingdom.

It is supposed to be introduced in mid-2025, but there is no specific date for its entry into force.

This means that at the moment, it is not necessary to have a SEIAV to travel to Europe, and since the system is not working, the website itself is not working or accepting applications, so it is not yet possible to obtain an official SEIAV. Sites claiming to offer this service are currently unofficial sites and should be avoided.

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When it becomes official, visa-exempt travelers from third countries will have to apply at a cost of €7, and the processing time should be between 30 minutes and 96 hours.

In simple terms, this means that if you travel to the EU for a short stay and are not a citizen of an EU or Schengen country, you will need a SEIAV.

As with SES terminology, “short stay” refers to visits, holidays or business trips lasting a maximum of 90 days and carried out within a period of 180 days.

If you are traveling on a visa you will not need a SEIAV and if you hold a British passport but are resident in the EU you will not need one either.

What are the SEIAV rules when they come into effect?

This will cost €7 for most travellers, but will be free for under 18s and over 70s.

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Each order will last for three years and will allow the holder to make multiple trips during this period using the same order.

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However, there are some caveats that should be taken into consideration.

If your passport expires within its validity period, you will need to apply for a new passport.

The passport will also not be valid if it expires during your stay. In these cases, you will need to request a new SEIAV before your trip to cover your stay.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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