EUROPE

New fingerprint checks for Brits could lead to long queues at Balearic airports next year

Now that the UK is a “third country” as a result of Brexit, the mountain of travel documents needed to enter the EU is continuing to rise and at a cost.

Extra passport checks – requiring non-EU citizens to provide photographs and fingerprints – are expected to increase processing times almost seven-fold.

The EU’s new entry-exit system is going to be introduced in May next year.
The EU’s new system of biometric checks will apply to British passport-holders travelling to Europe’s Schengen Area via airports, ports or border checkpoints.

Travellers will be required to provide a facial image and four fingerprints. Only children under 12 will be exempt.

And, from November 2023, UK travellers will also have to apply for a visa-waiver, which will cost €7 and be valid for three years.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (Etias) will allow non-EU travellers to visit the Schengen Area without a full visa.

It was due to be introduced at the same time as the biometric checks at the border, but the European Commision has postponed it by six months.

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