ETIAS will impact many individuals from Citizenship by Investment Programmes, but not Malta's
The European Commission, from 2021 onwards will enforce the ETIAS on those citizens coming from a visa waiver jurisdiction. On the 5th September 2018, the ETIAS system was adopted by the Council, and it can be defined as an electronic travel authorisation system, such as the ETA (which is applicable in the US and Canada), rather than a visa. Various individuals who have obtained their citizenship through a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) will be affected by ETIAS. A €7 fee for ETIAS travel approval will be imposed upon those individuals who have obtained their citizenship through the CBI. Those individuals trying to access the border without an ETIAS will be denied. The jurisdictions which will be affected by the ETIAS are, Moldova, Grenada, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Commonwealth of Dominica, Vanuatu, Montenegro, Antigua and Barbuda.
ETIAS Exemptions: Citizenship by Investment Programmes
The following passports obtained through a Citizenship by Investment Programme, will not be subjected to the ETIAS:
- Cyprus (EU Member);
- Malta (EU Member);
- Bulgaria (EU Member);
- Turkey (visa required);
The application process for the ETIAS
The application process for the ETIAS is straightforward and quite clear. Those individuals who possess either a passport which permits entrance to the EU or else a CBI passport will be obliged to follow the following:
- A fee of €7 needs to be paid for every application submitted through the ETIAS system;
- The ETIAS is valid for 3 years, for unlimited admissions.
ETIAS obliged to visit the EU – 30 jurisdictions
The EU Member States which form part of the Schengen area will be subjected to the ETIAS travel authorisation, including Malta, and also those jurisdictions which do not yet fully apply the Schengen acquis, including Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.
One of the benefits of the ETIAS is that when there is an application, the system examines the security databases, and produces a decision within a very short time
Databases examined by the ETIAS
During the process of examining and assessing the data provided by the visa-exempt travellers, the ETIAS will automatically authenticate every application against:
- The current EU information systems, which are, the Visa Information System (VIS), Europol data, Eurodac database and Schengen Information System (SIS);
- The future EU information systems being, the Entry/Exist System (EES);
- The Interpol databases which are the Interpol Stolen Lost Travel Document database (SLTD), the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN) and a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.
ETIAS and Malta
Malta is both a member of the Schengen Area and of the European Union. Those individuals who will be visiting Malta without an EU passport or else with a passport issued by a Schengen State will be required to obtain an ETIAS authorisation, from 2021 onwards.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.