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Travel to the EU


A new law means holidaymakers will have to give their fingerprints if travelling to EU countries like France, Spain, Greece and Italy. The EU Entry/Exit System (EES) was originally set to be introduced in 2022 before being delayed to May 2023. It was then delayed once again to the end of 2023.This new EES is an automated IT system for registering travellers from non-EU countries, according to the government. This includes the UK and means each time you cross a border into or out of the European Union, you will need to scan your passports and other travel documents at a self-service kiosk before crossing the border.This will then register your name, type of travel document, your fingerprints and captured pictures of your face, the date and the place on entry and exit. According to the government, it is likely non-EE or Schengen citizens who do not need a visa to enter the EU will have their fingerprints and pictures taken the first time they cross a border into the EU. This data will then be erased three years after your last trip to the EES area for data protection reasons.If you need a visa to enter the EU, you will not need to give your fingerprints as you will have already provided these as part of the visa application. The European Commission says this will apply to every EU country, except Cyprus and Ireland. It will also apply to Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. All nationals of countries not in the EU or Schengen will need to use the system when travelling to these countries for short stays. Those who are legally resident in or who have long-stay visas for EU countries will be exempt.

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