Europe is cranking up the security dial and adding a sprinkle of complexity for non-EU travelers, with fingerprint verification at the border. So if you’re planning a trip to France, Spain, Italy, or any EU country starting next year, prepare for an extra step before enjoying your vacation.
The European Union Entry/Exit System (EES) is set to be implemented in early 2024, bringing fully automated procedures for incoming non-EU travelers from countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and more. At the border, self-service kiosks will be utilized, capturing fingerprints, and photographs, and scanning passports.
Although these plans have been in progress for a while, the collection of biometric data has been a key component of the long-term strategy, parallel with the EU’s recent ETIAS visa scheme. The collected data will be deleted three years after the traveler’s most recent visit to the EU, or whenever an employee decides to “accidentally” erase it from the system—whichever comes first!