By the end of 2022, non-EU citizens who currently do not need a visa to enter Europe will be expected to apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) travel authorization. This includes the United States, Australia, the UK, among many others.
According to the Council of the European Union, a travel authorization will be valid for three years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. For each application, the applicant will be required to pay a travel authorization fee of 7 euros.
The ETIAS for Europe will grant travelers authorization to visit the ETIAS countries, which are the 26 members that compose the Schengen Zone. The countries that make up this specific region acknowledge the abolishment of internal borders with other member countries.
The EU decided to implement ETIAS to improve security in the Schengen Area. By obtaining a travel authorization, visa-free travelers will still undergo a security check prior to their arrival to the EU.
Currently there are 60 countries that will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver when visiting the Schengen Zone. It is likely that ETIAS will be available to more countries in the future.
ETIAS Eligible Countries
- Antigua y Barbuda.
- Bosnia y Herzegovina.
- Costa Rica.
- El Salvador.
- Hong Kong.
- Marshall Islands.
- New Zealand.
- San Cristobal y Nieves.
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent.
- Solomon Islands.
- South Korea.
- Timor Leste (East Timor)
- Trinidad y Tobago.
- United Arab Emirates.
- United States.
The ETIAS visa waiver has been designed for short-term stays of up to 90 days. Tourism and business travelers will be expected to have an approved ETIAS when traveling to any of the Schengen member countries.
At the moment, there are 60 eligible countries that will be required to submit an online ETIAS application. Many of these countries’ citizens can currently travel to Europe without the need of a visa. The ETIAS for Europe is a system that will pre-screen travelers before they even board a plane. All information provided on the ETIAS application will be closely examined and checked against security databases.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for short-term stays and for business or leisure purposes. Those who wish to study and work in Europe for more than 90 consecutive days will need to apply for a different visa. Once approved, an ETIAS can be used for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.
Currently, there are 26 countries in Europe that will require an ETIAS travel authorization as an added security measure. Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area, and have their own regulations regarding travel authorizations.
The ETIAS is a travel authorization for business or touristic purposes, and will not be a substitute for a student or working visa. Any third country nationals who wish to live, study, work, or remain in Europe longer than 90 days, will have to apply for a visa suited to their specific situation.
Citizens of the EU traveling in the Schengen Area can do it with either their national identity card or passport, and are not subject to any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
The visa waiver for Europe, ETIAS, will be available online for all travelers who wish to visit one or more countries in the Schengen Zone. Travelers need to meet the ETIAS requirements in order to complete and receive an ETIAS travel authorization successfully.
In order to apply online for the ETIAS, applicants need a valid passport, an email address, and a debit or credit card to pay for the application fee. These are the essential ETIAS requirements for applying for the European visa waiver.
The ETIAS application only requests that travelers complete basic biographic information including full name, date of birth, and country of residency. When completing the ETIAS application, the applicant should provide their passport details. At the end of the process, there will be a set of security and health questions.
Most applications will be processed within minutes. All applications are checked across a series of security databases, among them, SIS, VIS, EUROPOL DATA, Interpol, and more. ETIAS has its unique screening rules and a watchlist. Once an application has been revised, the applicant will receive a confirmation message with the travel authorization at the email address provided..
ETIAS can only be used for transit, tourism, and business travel, although it can also apply as a visa waiver to study or work for stays of maximum 90 days. ETIAS will be requested by travel carriers prior to the beginning of the trip. Not having an ETIAS could have serious consequences, including denial of entry to the Schengen member country. The travel authorization will be an obligatory requirement towards the end of 2022.