By: Iryna Hnatiuk
December 5 2023
(Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
Providing biometrics will be required under the EES, not the ETIAS, for those traveling to the EU with a visa.
What’s being claimed
A video is being shared claiming that travelers must provide fingerprints and facial scans to visit Europe. A Facebook user shared the video (archived here) with the headline “Rules of travel are changing.” It includes a series of misleading claims with the conclusion that all visitors must provide biometric data to enter the European Union (EU).
Here are the facts
The video states that visitors will not need a passport or visa but a newly introduced visa waiver, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), likely operational from mid-2025. This is linked to a visitor’s passport and is similar to the U.S. visa waiver system, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Like the ESTA, the ETIAS aims to reduce entry waiting times by requesting information such as passport ID number, visiting address, and duration of stay.
Visitors will still need a valid passport and visa (if required) and must register with one of the authorization systems for entry into the EU: the ETIAS or the European Exit Entry System (EES), scheduled to begin in 2024. When registering for the ETIAS, travelers will not be requested to provide biometric data, such as fingerprints or information about their health or vaccination status. However, the EES system does require biometric details. Expected to be operational in 2024, it is an automated system that will register non-EU visitors to the EU. This will include personal information such as name, travel document, and biometric data – including fingerprints.
Residents of countries who have a visa-exemption agreement in place with the EU will be expected to apply for ETIAS, which does not require biometrics, for example, the U.S. Those needing a Schengen visa for the EU must apply for the EES and provide their biometrics.
The video ends with a conspiratorial nod to control theories, suggesting that “this is just the beginning.” The stated intention of these initiatives is to improve efficiency, not control movement.
Providing biometrics will be required under the EES, not the ETIAS, and is necessary for those traveling to the EU with a visa. Those who do not need a visa can use the ETIAS system, which does not require biometrics. Both systems are authorization platforms and do not replace visas or passports. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.