ETIAS is a pre-travel authorisation system for visa exempt travellers. Its key function is to verify if a third country national meets entry requirements before travelling to the Schengen area. The information submitted, via an online application ahead of their arrival at borders enabling pre-travel assessment of irregular migration risks, security or public health risk checks. This shall be done by automatically processing each application submitted against EU and relevant Interpol databases, and a dedicated ETIAS watch-list whilst respecting clearly defined screening rules.

ETIAS will reinforce EU internal security in two ways: first, through the identification of persons that might pose a security risk before they arrive at the Schengen external border; and second, by making information available to national law enforcement authorities and Europol, where this is necessary in a specific case of prevention, detection or investigation of a terrorist offence, or other serious criminal offences.