The European Commission has again delayed the implementation of the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS). ETIAS is an automated electronic visa waiver program intended to facilitate travel across borders in Europe while better identifying security risks for the Schengen bloc. ETIAS was previously set to be launched in May 2023 but delayed until November 2023. The launch of ETIAS was then further delayed until 2024. Media reports had earlier indicated that another delay was likely, and the European Commission has now confirmed that the system’s implementation has been postponed until mid-2025.Continue Reading EU Officially Pushes Launch of Electronic Visa Waiver Program to 2025
On April 18, 2023, the European Parliament approved a visa liberalization regime for Kosovar nationals that enables visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Under the plan, citizens of Kosovo will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area without requesting a visa, for periods of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. EU citizens will likewise be allowed to travel to Kosovo without a visa. The law is set to enter into force once the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) becomes active, which is expected in 2024.Continue Reading European Parliament Approves Visa-Free Travel for Kosovo
The European Commission has delayed the implementation of the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS). ETIAS is an automated electronic visa waiver program intended to facilitate travel across borders in Europe while better identifying security risks for the Schengen bloc. ETIAS was previously set to be launched in May 2023 but delayed until November 2023. With this new announcement, the launch of ETIAS is likely delayed until 2024.Continue Reading EU Delays Launch of Electronic Visa Waiver Program
On December 8, 2022, the Council of the European Union voted unanimously to accept Croatia’s bid for admission to the Schengen Area. The decision means that as of January 1, 2023, all internal land and sea border controls between Croatia and neighboring Schengen states will be lifted. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted starting March 26, 2023. Croatia will also begin issuing Schengen visas beginning January 1, 2023, and will make full use of the Schengen Information System. Croatia’s addition to the Schengen Area is one of a series of recent developments in the country’s increasing integration with the European and international communities. These developments include Croatia’s adoption of the euro, addition to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, and grant of free movement in Switzerland.Continue Reading Schengen Area Adds Croatia to Free Movement Zone
The European Commission has announced the creation of an automated electronic visa waiver program, the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS), to be launched in May 2023. The new visa waiver program is intended to facilitate travel across borders while better identifying security risks for the bloc. ETIAS is one of several recent updates to the European Union’s migration scheme, including the digitalization of Schengen visas.Continue Reading EU Announces Long-Awaited Electronic Visa Waiver Program
On April 27, 2022, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – proposed the digitalization of the Schengen visa process. If implemented, the proposal would enable an online visa application platform and replace visa stickers in passports with a secure electronic status. Applicants may still need to visit consular posts to submit biometric data, such as fingerprints. Under the Commission’s proposal, Schengen Area member countries would have five years from the date of implementation to switch to the digitalized visa platform.
Continue Reading EU Moves Toward Digitalizing Schengen Visas
On April 22, 2022, the Irish government announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the country’s multiple entry short stay visas. The changes mean that foreign nationals from all visa-required countries will now be eligible to apply for a five-year, multiple entry short stay visa. The government’s announcement is intended to ease administrative burdens and facilitate multiple short-stay trips by visa-required nationals as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Ireland Expands Eligibility for Multiple Entry Short Stay Visas
On March 28, 2022, the Italian parliament approved a law creating a new “Digital Nomad” visa for remote workers from outside the European Union (EU). The government has thirty days to implement the law and to provide the operational details, including the required documents and application procedures. Once implemented, the new visa is expected to provide flexibility for non-EU nationals seeking to live and work in Italy without first obtaining sponsorship from an Italian employer. Italy’s adoption of a Digital Nomad visa follows the introduction of similar immigration pathways in Romania, Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries.
Continue Reading Italy Creates New “Digital Nomad” Visa
Note: Originally published on March 3, 2022, on Mayer Brown’s dedicated Ukraine Crisis Spotlight site.
The European Union (EU) passed a “Temporary Protection Directive” for Ukrainians and others fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The directive will provide immediate, temporary protection to these individuals. The provision is intended to be used in exceptional circumstances when the member states’ asylum systems would be overwhelmed by a mass influx of refugees.Continue Reading EU Welcomes Ukrainians Fleeing the Conflict
Note: Originally published on March 4, 2022. The number of people departing Ukraine has been updated from over 1.2 million to over 2 million.
Over two million people have departed Ukraine for neighboring European countries since the Russia-Ukraine military conflict escalated on February 24, 2022, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data portal. A spokesperson for the UNHCR reported that as many as 4 million Ukrainians—nearly 10 percent of the country’s population—are expected to flee to other countries if the fighting continues.Continue Reading Ukraine: Two Weeks Into the War with Russia, Over Two Million Displaced