Australian passport holders who want to travel to European countries falling in the Schengen Area would have to register online. From 2021, it will be mandatory for over 60+ countries including Australia, Canada, and the USA to ensure an online registration to visit Europe. The European Commission introduced a proposal in 2016 to establish a new scheme known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to improve the security of Schengen countries by strengthening the borders. Australian citizens above 18 years of age will have to pay a fees of 7 Euros to travel to a Schengen Area Country. They could stay there for a maximum of 90 days within six months.
Out of 26 total Schengen countries, 22 have been included in the European Union and it includes France, Australia, Switzerland, and Germany. Earlier announcement about the declaration of ETIAS – “a visa” confused online media as well as readers. However, after some time, the European Union said that ETIAS, which is a travel authorization, is not a visa and it is similar to Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), the Canadian Electronic Travel Authorisation as well as the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).
Obtaining an ETIAS authorization can be done by following a simple procedure and it requires very less amount of time. One can avail the authorization by filling a form in ten minutes and it will only require a valid travel document. According to the EU, with the help of ETIAS, it will be possible for people to travel to Schengen countries in Europe multiple times for a time-period of five years.
North Carolina to Target Robocalls and Scammers With Penalties
Phone prankers usually mask their real number to pass robocalls to consumers. To take action against them, North Carolina lawmakers passed legislation on Monday to make it mandatory for callers to use their real name and number of the business they are representing. The legislation bill passed by 45-0 in the state senate. It was passed by the House last month and now it is waiting for the sign of Gov. Roy Cooper.
Telephone scammers usually block or trick caller ID to send spam calls to people. They make their calls in such a format that they are from a local number or from a family member. When the bill will be signed by the state Governor, people who do so will be fined up to $5,000.
Federal law has already declared the practice of using fake numbers illegal in all states. But this bill will give states’ authority an extra power to go after the scammers. The bill also would apply on fake messages and mobile posts.
Consumers can also enroll with the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, which stops companies to send telemarketing sales calls to the consumers. And if they violate the regulation, consumers can complain against them. Alternatively, consumers can detect the identity of spammers with the use of Glasscaller that identifies the suspicious caller.
Tim Moore sponsored the bill in State House Speaker, and said that these fake and robocalls are at a top concern for his constituents. When he went out campaigning last year, he heard about more people getting scammed phone calls.
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