How exactly will the EU’s new entry-exit system work?

The article was originally published in English

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

The EU’s post-Brexit Entry and Exit System (SES) was due to launch in 2022, then moved to May 2023, before being further delayed until the end of last year.

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

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

This is what you can expect.

What exactly is I/O (SES)?

Basically, SES is a new electronic system that will replace the physical stamp on passports when they pass through passport control upon arrival.

All EU member states will participate in the system, with the exception of Cyprus and Ireland, where passports will 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 are registered. In general, this means that your movements are recorded when you cross the border into or outside the European Union or the Schengen area.

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

Who will the SES apply to when it comes into force?

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

Instead, the SES will apply to people who come from what the EU calls a “third country”, i.e. people who are not citizens of the EU or the Schengen area.

This includes most people traveling from Britain and other countries.

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

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

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

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

This is because there are dual borders in both places (British and French), meaning you don’t have to go through these checks again when you get to the other side.

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

The European Union plans to continue with travel restrictions in 2025.

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

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

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 should be introduced by 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 and not accepting applications, so it is not yet possible to get one. ​official SEIAV available. 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 for a fee of €7, and the processing time should be between 30 minutes and 96 hours.

Simply put, this means that if you are traveling to the EU for a short stay and are not a citizen of an EU or Schengen country, you will need a SEIAV.

As in SES terminology, ‘short stay’ refers to visits, holidays or business trips lasting up to 90 days and carried out within a 180 day period.

If you are traveling on a visa you don’t need a SEIAV and if you have a British passport but live in the EU you don’t need one either.

What are the SEIAV rules when they come into effect?

This costs €7 for most travelers, but is free for those under 18 and over 70.

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Each order has a term of three years and allows the holder to make multiple trips with the same order during this period.

However, there are some caveats to take into account.

If your passport expires within its validity period, you must apply for a new passport.

The passport is also not valid if it expires during your stay. In these cases, you must apply for a new SEIAV before your trip to cover your stay.