Starting in 2021 Dominicans, and citizens from 61 other countries, traveling to and within the European Union’s so-called Schengen Zone will have to undergo a new form of travel clearance.
The EU said the new procedure is in keeping with recent security concerns regarding terrorism and the migrant crisis in Europe.
It is called ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, a completely electronic system that allows and tracks visitors from countries that do not need a visa to enter the EU.
Dominica is among 61 countries worldwide which are not part of the EU but whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone.
Citizens of these countries are allowed to go into countries in the Schengen Zone for business or travel purposes for up to 90 days. During these 90 days, these visitors are not allowed to work or study but can engage in business and tourism activities.
When ETIAS comes into effect in three years time, citizens from these 61 countries, including, Dominica will undergo a detailed security check to determine whether they can be allowed entry into the EU.
It will gather, track, and update necessary information regarding visitors to determine whether it is safe for them to enter EU countries.
In addition to being use for business and tourism purposes, ETIAS will also allow people to visit EU countries for medical and transit reasons, the EU said, adding that it will decrease security concerns substantially through its information and data gathering systems.
What this means, is that ETIAS will detect if a person is a threat to the security of EU countries.
The EU said that this will lead to the person being denied entry and avoiding the threat from being present inside EU borders.
The legal procedures to pass the ETIAS started in 2016, and the system is expected to be in place by 2021.