As former members of the same federated state, Yugoslavia, the citizens of Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Serbia have practically always traveled to their neighboring country, Croatia, without engaging in bartering. Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and only recently converted to a full member of the Schengen Area on January 1, 2023, but the first two are not a part of the European Union bloc or the Schengen Area.

Before now, visitors from Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Serbia only had to present their valid passports at the borders of Croatia to enter the nation. To enter Croatia and the other 26 Schengen Area Member States, however, beginning in November 2023, every Bosnian and every Serb should submit ETIAS (the European Travel Information and Authorization System), an online travel authorization.

The EU has been working on the ETIAS system since 2016. Once they were scheduled to initiate in 2021, but it has been delayed multiple times as part of technical problems. Now, it’s updated with a new launch in November 2023. This scheme was developed because the EU focuses on increasing security within the bloc by knowing who is coming even before the visitors start their journey.

The ETIAS website has not yet been created, but in the future, both Serbs and Bosnians can visit the website and apply online for an ETIAS. Complete the application form and submit it. Easy inquiries on the form include the name and surname of the traveler, date of birth, place of birth, passport details, and a few background security queries.

Visitors must upload their photo and scan of their passport in the system. The ETIAS will be issued following application approval and will be valid for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. Travelers from Serbia and Bosnia will be permitted to visit Croatia and the other Schengen Area nations using the same ETIAS.

Beginning on November 1, 2023, over 1.4 billion people from more than 60 different nations must apply for an ETIAS before visiting a Member State. Travelers from other Western Balkan nations - North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania - that have visa-free agreements with the EU will also need an ETIAS.

Currently, Kosovo citizens must still apply for visas; however, after the ETIAS takes the reins, the EU will go through the necessary steps to grant Kosovo visa liberalization on January 1, 2024, at the latest. As a result, Kosovo citizens will also require an ETIAS.

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