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Travellers To Europe Must Apply + Pay For ETIAS From 2023!

Travellers To Europe Must Apply + Pay For ETIAS From 2023!

It’s official – travellers to Europe must start applying and paying for ETIAS from 2023! Here is what you need to know…

 

Travellers To Europe Must Apply For ETIAS From 2023!

The European Commission has just announced the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for all travellers to the Schengen States.

Slated to start in May 2023, ETIAS is meant to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks” amongst visa-exempt travellers.

EU travellers are exempt from ETIAS, and will continue to have freedom of movement throughout the EU, and the freedom to spend as much time as they want in any state in the Schengen zone.

ETIAS will only be obligatory for travellers from countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU – about 60 countries including the US and the UK.

Travellers who currently need a visa to enter the EU will still need to apply for a visa. They will not be allowed to use ETIAS.

 

How Does ETIAS Work For Travellers To Europe?

Travellers will need to apply for ETIAS through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for about 95% of applicants. But that could drag out to a month for “very exceptional cases”. Those who have their application denied will be allowed to appeal.

While applying for ETIAS will be quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information, there is a cost attached.

Every traveller aged 18 to 70 will need to pay an ETIAS fee of €7 (about US$7.40, £6, A$10.60, S$10.20, RM32.50). It is currently unknown if ETIAS will be free or cheaper for other age groups.

Applicants will be required to submit their data in the online application, which is said to take only “10 minutes” :

  • Unspecified personal data
  • Travel document (passport or equivalent document)
  • Member State of first intended stay
  • Background questions relating to previous criminal records, presence in conflict zones, orders to leave the territory of a Member State or third countries, return decisions issued.
  • Identity of the person / company assisting the applicant in the application process (if necessary)

The ETIAS system will automatically check the information provided against several EU databases, and approve or transfer it to ETIAS National Units for manual processing.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the passport. So if possible, travellers should definitely renew their passports before applying.

But note that the ETIAS can be revoked at any time, if the conditions for that travel authorisation are no longer met by the applicant.

 

ETIAS : Selected FAQs

Here are selected FAQs on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System for those who want to learn more.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.

Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. Only in very exceptional cases, could the ETIAS procedure take up to 30 days. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

Read more : EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

What will visa-exempt travellers have to do before their travel?

Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.

An electronic payment of a €7 fee for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.

The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.

Of the roughly 5% of applications which produce a hit, it is expected that 3-4% will receive a positive decision after ETIAS Central Unit verifies the data, with the remaining 1-2% being transferred to ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision applicants will be given a response by email with a valid travel authorisation, or a justification for the refusal.

Read more : EU Officially Accepts Malaysia’s Digital COVID Certificate!

What happens if a person has been refused travel authorisation from ETIAS?

If the travel authorisation is refused, the applicant retains the right to appeal. Appeals can be launched in the Member State that has taken the decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The applicant will be informed which national authority is responsible for the processing and decision on his or her travel authorisation, as well as information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal. If the traveller considers their treatment to have been unfair, he/she is also given the right to seek redress or request access to the information through the national authority.

What is the validity of an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The validity of the travel authorisation will be three years (or until the expiry date of the travel document).

What are the obligations for the carriers?

Prior to boarding, air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups overland by coach will have to verify the status of the travel document required for entering the Schengen Area, including the requirement to hold a valid ETIAS travel authorisation. A transitional period is foreseen for carriers transporting groups overland by coach during which it will not be obligatory for them to check the presence of a valid travel authorisation.

What will happen at the border crossing point? 

Upon arrival at a Schengen area border crossing point, the border guard will electronically read the travel document data, thereby triggering a query to different databases, including a query to ETIAS in the case of visa-exempt travellers. If there is no valid ETIAS travel authorisation, the border guards will refuse entry and record the traveller and the refusal of entry in the Entry Exit System.

If there is a valid travel authorisation, the border control process will be conducted and the traveller may be authorised to enter the Schengen area if all entry conditions are fulfilled or refused access as provided by the Schengen Border Code.

Read more : EU Air Travel : Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required!

What databases will be checked by ETIAS?

When verifying and assessing the information submitted by visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically cross-check each application against: 

A. the existing EU information systems:

  • the Schengen Information System (SIS),
  • the Visa Information System (VIS),
  • Europol data,
  • the Eurodac database (once the Eurodac recast is in place),

B. future EU information systems:

  • the Entry/Exit System (EES), 

C. Interpol databases:

  • the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD),
  • the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN),

D. a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.

Read more : Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee the respect for fundamental rights and data protection?

Personal data recorded in ETIAS will not be kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose. Data shall be stored for: 

  • the period of validity of the travel authorisation or, 
  • five years from the last decision to refuse, revoke or annul the travel authorisation. 

The data could be stored for an additional period of no more than three years after the end of the period of validity of the travel authorisation if the applicant freely and explicitly consents to keep his or her data longer. After the expiry of the data retention period, the application file and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System. 

Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol will have access to ETIAS, under strictly-defined conditions, for the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences. The designated authorities and Europol should only request access to ETIAS when they have reasonable grounds to believe that such access will substantially help them in carrying out their duties. 

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How To Renew Malaysian Passport Online : Latest Guide!

Find out how to renew your Malaysian passport online through the MyOnline Passport service!

 

You Must Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

MyOnline Passport is a service by the Immigration Department of Malaysia, which allows you to renew your Malaysian passports online.

Ever since international borders reopened, there has been a massive backlog of people renewing their passports.

On 11 May 2022, the Immigration Department stopped allowing most people to walk-in for their passport renewal. Except for a selected group of people, everyone else must renew their passports online.

Read more : Most People Cannot Walk-In To Renew Malaysia Passport!

 

How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

The MyOnline Passport service was originally designed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia as a convenient, online way for people to renew their Malaysian international passports.

However, it is now the only way to renew your Malaysian passport for most people, from 11 May 2022 onwards. Here is what you need to know about the process.

Only For International Passport Renewals

The first thing you must be aware is that MyOnline Passport can only be used to renew existing international passports issued by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

You cannot use it to apply for a new passport, or to replace a stolen or damaged passport. You also cannot use it to renew special or restricted passports.

To apply for a new passport, or to replace a stolen / damaged passport, or renew special or restricted passports, you must walk-in.

Children who are less than 13 years old, special needs individuals, and those performing the Haj, must also walk-in to renew their passports.

Who Can Apply For Online Passport Renewal?

The MyOnline Passport service is only open to applicants 13 years and older, with existing Malaysian e-passports (passport with microchip).

Underaged applicants (13-18 years old) must have the consent of their parent(s) / legal guardian(s) to apply online, and the parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must be present during the collection of passport.

Can Overseas Citizens Use MyOnline Passport?

This service is also open to Malaysian citizens living overseas, with collection centres in these countries :

  • Australia : Canberra, Melbourne, Perth
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia : Jakarta
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom : London
  • United States : New York

It Now Takes 3 Working Days To Renew Passport!

Originally…

If you submit the online application before 3 PM on a working day, you will be able to collect the new passport on the same day.

If you submit the online application after 3 PM on a working day, or anytime during a holiday, you can collect the new passport after 10 AM on the following working day.

Now

However, due to the massive demand, the Immigration Department announced that you will get an email notification within 3 working days if your online renewal has been approved.

If you do not receive the notification after 3 working days, you may walk into the selected collection centre.

Where Do You Collect The Passport?

Applicants can collect their renewed passports from a Passport Recipient and Issuance Office of their choice, from a list in the system.

The collection date and time will be provided, depending on the date and time the application was submitted.

How Much Does It Cost?

The MyOnline Passport service is free. You only need to pay for the standard Malaysian international passport renewal fees :

  • 13 to 59 Years Old : RM200
  • Above 60 Years Old : RM100

Payment must be made via a credit card or debit card / direct debit (FPX) on the website.

Read more : Please DO NOT Walk-In To Renew Your Malaysian Passport!

Please Check Blacklist Before Applying!

Every online passport renewal application will be vetted against the Immigration Department’s blacklist.

So please check if you are on the Immigration Department’s blacklist before you even apply.

  1. Go to the Immigration Control Status Checking page.
  2. Key in your 12-digit MyKad identity card number (without dash).
  3. Click on the Check button.

If you get the green No restriction result, then you may apply to renew your passport online.

What Is Required To Submit An Application?

Here is what you need to have, before applying for online renewal of your Malaysian international passport.

  • an existing Malaysia e-passport (passport with microchip) that is not defaced or water-damaged
  • a digital passport-sized photo with these specifications :
    a) background must be white, and without shadows (coloured backgrounds will not be accepted)
    b) applicants must wear dark clothing that cover the shoulders and chest.
    c) applicants who wear a scarf or hijab must wear dark-coloured scarf / hijab, and it must not cover the face.
    d) uploaded photo must have been taken at a professional photo studio, in the format provided by the photo studio. Polaroid photos will not be accepted.
    e) applications that do not meet these specifications will be put on-hold, resulting in delayed issuance and collection.
    f) you may have your passport photo taken at the Passport Recipient and Issuance Office you selected to collect your passport, if your passport photo does not meet the required specifications
  • a valid credit card / debit card / online bank account to make the required payment

In addition, you must be sure that :

  • you are able to physically collect the new passport in-person (a representative may not collect for you)
  • for underaged applicants : both applicant and parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must be present to collect the new passport

Passport Photo Specifications

Here are the latest specifications for online submission of passport photos :

  • Background must be white and without shadows. Coloured backgrounds will not be accepted.
  • Applicants are required to wear dark clothing that cover the shoulders and chest.
  • Applicants may wear dark-coloured scarfs or hijabs but they must not cover the face.
  • You must take the photo at a professional photo studio, and upload the soft copy in the format provided by the photo studio. Polaroid pictures will not be accepted.

If the photo you upload do not meet the specifications, your application will be put on-hold, and you will be asked to resubmit the photo, or get one taken at a passport office.

What Is Required To Collect Passport?

Finally, when it’s time to collect your renewed passport, please make sure you bring :

  • your MyKad identification card
  • your existing Malaysian international passport
  • the payment receipt issued by the system
  • for underaged applicants : your parent(s) / legal guardian(s) must bring your Birth Certificate

You cannot send a representative to collect your passport. If you fail to bring the necessary documents, or collect your passport in person, the renewed passport will not be released.

Underage applicants must be accompanied by their parent(s) / legal guardian(s), or their renewed passport will not be released.

How Do You Start The Process?

You can start the process on this MyOnline Passport page.

You may make multiple passport renewals, but you must submit one application per person.

Please avoid registering from 10:55 PM to 12:30 AM, because that’s when the system undergoes daily maintenance and no payment can be processed during that time.

If You Get An Error Message…

If you get an error message while making payment, please contact your bank for further instructions.

If your photo was rejected, you can upload a new photo, or have your passport photo taken at the Passport Recipient and Issuance Office you selected to collect your passport.

If you get this error message – “Kindly contact the Immigration Department of Malaysia”, it means your online application was unsuccessful for one of these reasons :

  • The file containing your fingerprint was damaged or deleted. You will be required to go to the passport office to have your fingerprint taken again, to avoid problems at the airport arrival / departure gates.
  • Your application does not meet with the specifications listed on MyOnline Passport.
  • The information provided was inaccurate, and/or contradicts the information in the Immigration Department system.

How To Resubmit Photo / Supporting Documents

If you need to resubmit your photo or supporting documents, please use these links :

How To Check Application Status

Please use this link to check your passport renewal status.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Please DO NOT Walk-In To Renew Your Malaysian Passport!

If you are planning to renew your international passport, please DO NOT just walk into a passport office!

You will most likely be rejected, because most applicants are NO LONGER allowed to walk in!

 

Warning : Most People CANNOT Walk In To Renew Passport!

Ever since Malaysia announced the reopening of the international borders, everyone has been rushing to renew their passports.

Initially, passport renewals required prior appointments, but that was abandoned after appointments stretched to August and beyond.

People were allowed to walk in, but that led to a massive surge of people queuing for hours at Immigration offices. So the government announced two major measures, from 11 May 2022 onwards :

Extended Operating Hours

The Immigration Department announced extended operating hours to cope with the demand :

  • Until 10 PM : Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, and Melaka
  • Until 10 PM : All UTC (Urban Transformation Centre) outlets in peninsular Malaysia
  • Until 6 PM : Penang, Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, and Perlis
  • 8 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday : All passport offices in peninsular Malaysia (from 14 May onwards)

Walk-In Limited To Certain Groups

They also announced that only certain groups will be allowed to walk-in to renew their passports :

  • People applying for a new passport
  • Senior citizens (60 years and older)
  • Special needs individuals (must bring Social Welfare Department registration card)
  • Children who are less than 13 years old
  • People planning to perform the Haj (must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter)
  • Students (less than 21 years old) planning to study overseas
  • People who lost their passports (will require a police report)
  • People with damaged passports

Everyone else will have to renew their passports online!

Read more : How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport Online!

 

Should You Walk In To Renew Your Passport?

Since I first published this article, I spoke to other people who tried to walk in and renew passports, only to be turned away.

Based on my own experience (see below), I can attest that the Immigration officers are dead serious about turning people away.

If you are not in the list of people permitted to renew passports on-the-spot, please don’t waste your time. You will only waste your time queuing up, only to be rejected. Try to renew your passport online instead.

Recently, a video clip went viral, showing a security guard demanding that reporters leave the crowded Pudu UTC passport centre. While such aggression is uncalled for, it shows the amount of pressure and tension surrounding this issue.

Every day, hundreds of people queue up at passport centres for hours, posing a real risk as social distancing is completely impossible. Most will be turned away.

If you are renewing a child’s passport or applying for a new one, the unwritten rule is that they will allow one parent to renew his/her passport as well. But this is not a guarantee. It is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of walk-in slots they have left.

Even if you qualify for on-the-spot passport renewal, you should be aware that every passport office will give out a limited number of slots per day. Once those slots are filled, everyone else will be asked to go home.

So make sure you go early in the morning. Preferably you should arrive 30-60 minutes before the passport office opens. Some told me that they queued up as early as 6:30 AM in the morning!

Preferably you should try to go on weekdays, as parents with school-going children have no choice but to go on weekends.

I would also recommend you go to smaller passport offices, especially in UTCs or those located in covered buildings. Imagine if you have to wait in the hot sun for hours!

 

How I Managed To Walk In To Renew My Passport!

Now, let me share with you my recent experience of walking into the Sentul Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) passport office to renew my passport.

We had earlier planned to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC, where there was no need to queue (pre-pandemic), so I was able to go in and come out with a brand new passport within an hour!

We went to the Sentul UTC early on a Saturday morning – arriving 40 minutes before they opened at 8 AM. By then, there was already a long queue of at least 50 people in front of us!

Some eventually left after reading the notice on the door, which stated that only certain groups would be allowed to walk-in to renew passports.

Expect to spend several hours, so please bring some water and food to eat and drink while you wait. Please note that you are not allowed to eat inside the passport office.

The Immigration office opened at 8 AM sharp, and people started filing in. Within minutes, we could see some people leaving, looking dejected.

As we got closer to the counter, we could see the Immigration officer rejecting some applicants, and giving others their queue numbers. It was a very stressful experience for everyone queuing up because no one knows if they would be rejected or allowed to proceed.

By the time we got to the counter, it was already 8:45 AM. The officer asked us why we were not renewing our passports online. Fortunately, my passport was water damaged, and our son was less than 13 years old.

My wife though did not have a valid reason, but it appears that they will allow one parent accompanying a child to renew his/her passport too, so she was allowed to renew hers as well.

Again, I need to stress – this is at the officer’s discretion, and subject to the number of available slots. So it pays to be polite and early.

The Immigration officer then checked our documents. If you don’t have the required documents, you will also be rejected. So please make sure you have these documents ready :

  • Original passport
  • Original MyKad. A photocopy is required if you are applying for a new passport.
  • Original birth certificate for children who are less than 18 years old
    Please note that they will not accept MyKid
    A photocopy is also required, if your child are applying for a new passport
  • Those performing the Haj must bring the Tabung Haji offer letter.
  • Special needs individuals must bring their Social Welfare Department registration card.
  • Students who are less than 21 years old must bring their overseas university / college offer letter or a similar document

As we waited for our numbers to be called, we watched many people get rejected at the counter. There were easily 300 people queuing up at this small passport office that morning – most were asked to renew their passports online.

At about 9:15 AM – just half an hour after we got our queue numbers – they announced that all of the walk-in slots had been taken up, and asked everyone still queuing up to go home.

For those who were lucky enough to get a queue ticket, the rest of the process was pretty similar to what it was pre-pandemic :

  1. When your number is called, you head to the allocated counter to submit your documents.
  2. The officer will verify your identity using your MyKad and a fingerprint scanner.
  3. The officer will then take your passport photo on the spot.
    This is FREE of charge, which is awesome! Just sure you wear dark clothes.
  4. You will be asked to check your details on the application form, sign it and authenticate it with your fingerprint.
  5. Your application will then be vetted by an officer at the back, against the Immigration Department’s blacklist.
    So please check your Immigration Control Status before you apply for your passport renewal!
  6. Once your passport renewal application has been approved, you will be asked to make payment :
    – Individuals 13-59 years old : RM 200
    – Senior citizen (60 years and above) : RM 100
    – Individuals performing the Haj : RM 100
    – Special needs individuals : Free
    Please note that they will only accept payment by credit card or debit card. Cash is NOT accepted.
  7. After payment, you should receive your passport within one hour.

All in – it took us about 4.5 hours to renew our passports at the Sentul UTC passport office. This is fast, considering the crowd we saw.

An officer I spoke to said that their small passport office was processing about 400 passports a day, while the larger passport offices were doing at least 1,000 passports a day.

About a hundred that day were reserved for walk-ins, while the rest were for online applications – they still have to drop in to submit their old passports and verify their identities before collecting their new passports.

I hope my experience helps give you an idea of the current passport renewal process, if you are allowed to renew on-the-spot at a passport office.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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EU Officially Accepts Malaysia Digital COVID Certificate!

The EU has officially accepted the MySejahtera digital COVID certificate from Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know!

 

EU Officially Accepts Malaysia Digital COVID Certificate!

On 4 April 2022, the EU Ambassador to Malaysia, Michalis Rokas, announced that Malaysia has officially been connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate trust framework.

Some great news: The EU 🇪🇺 has accepted Malaysia 🇲🇾 @officialmosti
request for establishing the equivalence between EU’s Digital Covid Certificate and Malaysia’s MySejahtera.

This decision was actually agreed during the EU Commission Implementing Decision 2022/534 on 1 April 2022, but only took effect after it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, L 105 on 4 April 2022.

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/534 of 1 April 2022 establishing the equivalence, for the purpose of facilitating the right of free movement within the Union, of COVID-19 certificates issued by Malaysia to the certificates issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/953 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

 

EU Accepts Malaysia Digital COVID Certificate : What Does It Mean?

But what exactly does it mean by this EU decision to accept Malaysia’s MySejahtera digital COVID certificate?

To help you understand what this means, I created this FAQ :

What Is The EU Digital COVID Certificate?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a digital verification system that certifies that the person has

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19, or
  • received a negative test result *, or
  • recovered from COVID-19

The EUDCC basically confirms that the person does not have COVID-19, or has immunity against COVID-19.

* Validity : 72 hours (PCR tests), 48 hours (rapid antigen tests)

It is basically the European Union equivalent of the MySejahtera digital COVID-19 certificate issued by Malaysia.

Read more : EU Digital COVID Certificate – A Comedy Of Errors!

Does It Mean Malaysians Will Receive The EUDCC?

No, Malaysians will not receive the Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC), which is the EU equivalent of the MySejahtera digital COVID-19 certificate.

The EUDCC is used only by residents in the 27 EU countries, and a few non-EU countries that are in the Schengen Area, or have an open border with the EU :

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

If you have been fully-vaccinated with an EU-authorities vaccine, you may request for an EUDCC, but that’s a separate matter altogether.

So The EU Accepts The MySejahtera Certificate?

Yes. European Union countries will accept the MySejahtera digital COVID-19 certificate as equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

This is reciprocal – Malaysia will also accept the EUDCC as equivalent to the MySejahtera digital COVID-19 certificate.

This means that holders of certificates issued by these two countries will be able to use them under the same conditions as holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate.

At the same time, the two countries agreed to accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel from the EU to their countries.

What Are The Advantages Of Connecting To EUDCC?

The instant Malaysia is connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, all MySejahtera digital COVID-19 certificates are automatically valid in the EU.

Malaysian travellers to the EU will be exempted from travel-related testing or quarantine across the entire EU+ are, including all Schengen Member States, and the four Schengen Associated States – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Is This Necessary For Free Movement In EU?

No, the MySejahtera digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate or the the EU Digital COVID Certificate are not necessary for free movement, which is a fundamental right in the European Union.

Unvaccinated individuals are still free to travel across the EU. They are just subject to restrictions like testing or quarantine.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

Will travellers be BARRED from entering Europe unless they get the right vaccines approved by the EU Digital COVID Certificate???

Find out why this is just a comedy of errors, and what the FACTS really are!

 

EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

The EU Digital COVID Certificate went live on 1 July 2021, connecting 21 EU nations into a unified system that manages COVID-19 certificates.

Unfortunately, the healthcare portal – CodeBlue – triggered panic when they made this shocking claim (our emphasis) :

“Malaysians vaccinated with AstraZeneca-Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine may be barred from entering Europe, as the European Union’s (EU) Digital Covid Certificate — which came into force yesterday — only recognises EU-approved shots for free travel within the bloc.

They then went on to explain how the EMA has only approved AstraZeneca vaccine factories in the EU, US, the UK and China.

The implication is that since people who received AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in South Korea and Thailand “may be barred from entering Europe“.

In truth – there is NOTHING to suggest that anyone will be barred from entering the EU because their vaccines were not manufactured in an approved facility.

 

EU Digital COVID Certificate : Just A Certificate For EU Residents

The CodeBlue article makes it sound like the EU Digital COVID Certificate is a prerequisite for travel into Europe. That’s really not the case.

The CodeBlue article also wrongly suggested that people could be barred from entering Europe merely because they were vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine that were manufactured in factories not recognised by the EMA.

Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : EUDCC Is An Immunity Passport

Countries around the world are coming up with immunity passports to authenticate people who have been vaccinated or have immunity against COVID-19.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a digital verification system that certifies that the person has

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19, or
  • received a negative test result *, or
  • recovered from COVID-19

The EUDCC basically confirms that the person does not have COVID-19, or has immunity against COVID-19.

* Validity : 72 hours (PCR tests), 48 hours (rapid antigen tests)

Fact #2 : EUDCC Is For Schengen Area Residents

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is meant to be used by residents in the 27 EU countries, and a few non-EU countries that are in the Schengen Area, or have an open border with the EU :

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

Fact #3 : EUDCC Not Applicable To Non-EU Residents

Everyone else not residing in the list of countries above generally do not qualify for the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

After all, they will have their own vaccination or test certificate from their own countries!

However, travellers from other countries who have been fully vaccinated with an EU-authorised vaccine may be issued an EU Digital Covid Certificate “on a case by case basis“.

Fact #4 : EUDCC Not Required For Free Movement Within EU

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is “not a pre-condition” to travel freely within the European Union.

However, it will exempt the traveller from free movement restrictions in EU member states that are designed to curb COVID-19.

Those without the EUDCC will simply have to comply with COVID-19 free movement restrictions in a particular EU member state, which can include testing and/or quarantine.

Fact #5 : EMA Approval For Vaccine Use In EU, Not Travel

The EMA (European Medicines Agency) evaluates and approves COVID-19 vaccines for use within the EU. This approval process does not include just the clinical data but also the manufacturing sites.

Only EMA-approved vaccines produced at EMA-approved manufacturing sites can be administered within the European Union, as EMA told Health Policy Watch :

It is important to note that in the context of a vaccine authorisation the company has to submit a list of manufacturing sites to EMA and it is EMA’s role to evaluate and potentially approve it. The benefits and risks of Covid-19 vaccines need to be properly assessed based on detailed information on manufacturing as well as on nonclinical data and well-designed clinical trials.

However, EMA vaccine approval has NO DIRECT BEARING on travel restrictions by EU member states!

In fact, European Commission spokesperson, Stefan De Keersmaecke, said :

“As set out in the Council Recommendation on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU, adopted by Member States on 20 May,  entry into the EU should be allowed to people fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines authorised in the EU.”

“This does not mean that the vaccines has to be produced in facilities covered by the marketing authorisation in the EU.”

“Member States could also allow entry for people vaccinated with vaccines having completed the WHO Emergency Use Listing process.”

Fact #6 : EU Member States Decide On Entry Requirements

The EU Digital Covid Certificate is only meant to provide a standardised system to certify an EU resident is “COVID-19-free”.

It is ultimately up to each EU member state to decide on recognising certificates from other countries, vaccines manufactured in other countries, and even vaccines that are not approved in the EU.

On this matter, European Commission spokesperson, Stefan De Keersmaecke, said :

Member states are free to accept the documentation issued in third countries for vaccination. These should contain information that at least allows [the country] to identify the person, the type of vaccine and the date of the administration of the vaccine.”

Member states could also allow entry for people vaccinated with vaccines having completed the WHO Emergency Use Listing process.

Fact #7 : Vaccine Factory Approval Not Necessary For Entry Into EU

This must be emphasised again – the approval of any vaccine factory is NOT necessary for entry into the EU.

This was already clarified by European Commission spokesperson, Stefan De Keersmaecke, on 30 June 2021.

But because of erroneous reporting by various media organisations including CodeBlue, the European Union clarified again on 7 July 2021 :

“Entry into the EU is in principle allowed to fully vaccinated persons with one of the vaccines authorised in the EU, including those produced in facilities not covered by marketing authorisation in the EU.

“Member States could also allow entry for people vaccinated with vaccines that have not been yet authorised in the EU but have completed the WHO Emergency Use Listing process.”

As you can see – their 7 July 2021 statement is the same as it was on 30 June 2021. Nothing has actually changed.

We should note that the EU also said, “There is no obstacle or hurdle. Therefore, some recent reporting concerning the AstraZeneca vaccines’ origin is inaccurate.

Fact #8 : Vaccine Passports Are Political Decisions

I would like to end by pointing out that vaccine passports are ultimately, political decisions.

It is up to the European Commission and individual EU member states, and of course, all other countries around the world to decide WHICH vaccine / immunity passports they will accept.

In the end, EVERY COUNTRY wants to open its borders to tourism and business. It is in their interest to accept ANY genuine proof of vaccination for entry into their country.

Right now, it’s a matter of negotiating reciprocal recognition, and how to authenticate the different digital certificates.

So stop panicking over vaccine or immunity passports. Get yourself vaccinated first!

 

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Thank you in advanced! ❤️

 

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Must Foreigners In Malaysia Carry Passport At All Times?

Must foreigners in Malaysia carry their passport at all times, because there is a massive operation to weed out illegal foreigners?

Find out what’s the latest viral message, and what the facts really are!

 

Must Foreigners In Malaysia Carry Passport At All Times?

A viral message has gone out, purporting to be a warning from Malaysia Immigration Director-General Dato’ Indera Khairul Dzaimee Bin Daud, with his picture attached :

All FOREIGNERS residing in Malaysia from now on should carry their PASSPORT with them at all times.

We are on [a] massive OPERATION to weed out all illegal foreigners and to enable us [to] roll out vaccination for our citizens.

FOREIGN Embassies should take note.

 

Foreigners In Malaysia Must Carry Passport At All Times

Fact #1 : The Viral Message Is Fake, But…

First of all, we should point out that the Malaysia Immigration Department has officially denounced the viral message as FAKE.

That said, we believe that they are referring to the claim of a “massive OPERATION to weed out all illegal immigrants” or that it was “to enable us [to] roll out vaccination for our citizens.

Before we get to the law, let’s take a look at their statement, with our English translation :

PENAFIAN : BERITA PALSU

Orang ramai dinasihatkan supaya tidak terperdaya dengan BERITA PALSU menggunakan gambar Ketua Pengarah Imigresen.

Segera laporkan kepada Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia jika terdapat sebarang berita yang meragukan supaya tindakan sewajarnya dapat diambil.

DENIAL : FAKE NEWS

The public is advised not to be fooled by the FAKE NEWS using the picture of the Director General of Immigration.

Immediately report to the Malaysian Immigration Department if there is any suspicious news so that appropriate action can be taken.

Fact #2 : Foreigners Must Have Passport / Travel Document At All Times

Even though the message above is FALSE, foreigners should carry their passport or travel document with them at all times during their stay in Malaysia.

According to Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, all foreigners must be able to produce a genuine passport / travel document / entry permit with a valid endorsement / pass upon request.

Failure to produce a valid passport or travel document, with a valid pass, could result in these penalties

  • a compound of RM3,000, or
  • a fine of up to RM10,000 and/or up to 5 years imprisonment

In their advisory to foreigners, the Malaysian Immigration Department states :

As such foreign visitors are reminded :-

  1. To take precaution on the safety of their passport / travel document and must carry with them during their stay in Malaysia.
  2. Must ascertain that they produced their passport / travel document to an Immigration officer at the point of entry and has been issued with the relevant pass.
  3. To report immediately to the Immigration Department for the lost of their passport / travel document.

So it really doesn’t matter if there is a massive operation to weed out illegal immigrants or not. All foreigners should carry their passport / travel document with them at all times.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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