Will children need ETIAS?
Do children need ETIAS? ETIAS will impact millions of travelers. Non-EU citizens from visa-exempt nations, such as the UK, will need to apply for ETIAS to travel to the Schengen Area soon, and this regulation will also affect minors.
ETIAS defines a minor as “a third-country citizen or a stateless individual under the age of 18 years” and does not consider them exempt from its criteria.
ETIAS is based on nationality rather than age. But why does the EU require children to register for ETIAS, and how can parents or guardians submit an ETIAS application on behalf of a child?
Why do children need ETIAS visa waiver?
It is crucial to comprehend the reasons for the European Union’s ruling that persons under the age of 18 must apply for ETIAS. The primary purpose of the European Travel Information and Authorization System is to improve security in the Schengen Area by tightening border controls.
This method compares the information of visa-exempt individuals to several international security databases. It identifies people who may be dangerous before they reach European soil.
Children make up a considerable part of non-EU nationals who enter the Schengen Area’s borders each year. Starting next year, children will need ETIAS to travel to these countries.
To enter Europe, children can travel alone or with an adult companion. Before, children were able to travel in Europe without background checks. But that puts them at risk of exploitation from terrorism, organized crime, and other illegal intents.
On the other hand, ETIAS requires minors also to receive authorization, similar to US ESTA and Canadian eTA visa waiver programs. The ETIAS system will also do a background check on the minor’s parents or guardians to understand whether they pose a threat on European soil. If the system finds the parent, legal guardian, or accompanying person hazardous to European citizens, the child is also unlikely to be allowed to enter Europe.
Why child data protection is a core value of ETIAS
With everything going on in the world, parents are becoming more and more concerned about their children’s safety. Specifically, in the last decade, parents have started to worry about their child’s information circulating online with the advent of social media. It only makes sense that a parent would be concerned about sharing their child’s info online, even for traveling.
Parents and guardians concerned about disclosing their child’s personal information to the EU can rest assured that their information will be handled in their child’s best interests. Children need ETIAS to travel with their parents. The European Union has recognized this issue and works tirelessly to make the system foolproof. An applicant’s data, especially a minor applying for ETIAS, will not be disseminated if not across the needed security databases.
Moreover, ETIAS protects personal information using cutting-edge technology. The system will give special attention to kids and the most vulnerable members to ensure their safety.
Apply for ETIAS on behalf of a minor
Families with children need to keep up-to-date as the ETIAS launch draws close. When applying for ETIAS, parents or legal guardians can apply for their child through the online portal.
A parent or guardian should submit the following information on the minor traveling with them:
- Full name
- Home address
- Email address
- Phone number
The rest of the application process does not change. If you are the parent or guardian, accurately and carefully copy the child’s passport details. Children need ETIAS. The minor should receive authorization for travel in Europe in no time after their and their parents’ information is verified. The ETIAS authorization is then linked to their biometric passport for a three-year validity period.
Can a minor apply by themselves?
No, a minor traveling to Europe cannot apply for ETIAS by themselves. A person with permanent or temporary parental power or legal guardianship must complete and submit the ETIAS form. Siblings or other relatives cannot complete the request if they are permanent or temporary guardians. Nonetheless, children need ETIAS to travel to Europe.
If the child travels alone or with someone other than their parents or legal guardians, authorities may ask for a travel permit. The individual accompanying the minor should look into the requirements of the member state that is the final destination. That’s because the EU does not regulate travel permits.