If you are planning to visit one of the European countries in the near future, ETIAS is something you must have come across. Most people are wondering whether ETIAS is a new kind of visa. The answer to this is no. ETIAS or European Travel Information and Authorization System is a travel authorization that some travelers need to have while traveling to the Schengen countries of Europe. As it is a brand new system, not many people have information about the same. Here you would find answers to some ETIAS FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS is technically not a visa but a travel authorization document that allows a person to travel to the Schengen zone. It will only work for entering the 26 countries that belong to the Schengen area and not any other country in the European Union or the European continent. It has been introduced to prevent people who may be a security threat from travelling to the Schengen zone.
Who needs ETIAS?
Any person who is a citizen of a country that is exempt from getting a Schengen visa needs to have ETIAS to travel to the Schengen area. Citizens of these countries are allowed to stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days without a visa. These countries are as follows:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong S.A.R
- Macao S.A.R
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Timor Leste
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Who is exempt from ETIAS?
Citizens of the countries belonging to the Schengen zone do not need ETIAS. The 26 Schengen countries that are eligible for Schengen visa waiver are as follows:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
If citizens of one of these countries wants to visit another Schengen country, they do not have to apply for ETIAS.
Do people who have Schengen visa need ETIAS?
No, people who have Schengen visa do not need ETIAS to travel to the Schengen area of Europe. Travelers who have Schengen visa have already gone through intense security screening and hence do not need ETIAS.
What are the ETIAS requirements?
- A valid passport
- Email address
- Application form
- ETIAS application fee
The application form for ETIAS requires you to provide information like personal details (name, date of birth, place of birth, etc.), information about citizenship, email and phone number, address, education and work experience, and the name of the first Schengen country you want to visit. You would also have to provide information about any medical conditions, criminal records, whether you have been deported from any country, and whether you have travelled to any war countries.
It is extremely crucial to be 100% truthful while answering these questions. Any false information can lead to rejection of your ETIAS application.
What is the cost of applying for ETIAS?
The cost of applying for ETIAS is 7 Euros. People under the age of 18 years and above the age of 70 years do not need to pay ETIAS fee.
How to Apply for ETIAS?
The entire ETIAS application process happens online. Once it is live, you can apply for ETIAS through the official website or app. The first step is to pay the ETIAS fee, followed by filling the application form, and then submitting the form. In most cases, your ETIAS would be approved within a short duration.
What can cause rejection of ETIAS application?
Having a criminal record is one of the top reasons for rejection of your ETIAS application. However, a criminal record does not mean direct rejection. On the other hand, your application would undergo more scrutiny, which may cause delay in the entire process. Factors like when the crime was committed, whether it was a violent one or a non-violent one, whether there were any mitigating factors, etc. would be considered before a final decision would be taken. Apart from this, providing false or incomplete information on your application form would also lead to rejection.
How long does it take to complete the ETIAS procedure?
It takes around 10 minutes to complete the ETIAS form. Your session would expire after 10 minutes. Hence, ensure that you save your data as you go so that you do not have to restart the entire process.
What is the validity of ETIAS?
The ETIAS would be valid for 3 years.
Would I need to submit additional documents?
You may have to submit additional documents if the ETIAS National Unit of the Member State finds it necessary. You would receive the list of extra documents that you have to submit via email, and you would have to submit these documents within 10 days of receiving the request.
When will ETIAS be implemented?
ETIAS is likely to be implemented by the end of 2022.
Do children need ETIAS?
Yes, even children belonging to the countries exempt from Schengen visa need ETIAS. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for applying for ETIAS on behalf of minors. However, children, i.e. those under the age of 18 years do not need to pay the ETIAS fee.
The main purpose of ETIAS is to make the European continent, especially the Schengen zone, a safe place to travel. This travel document would ensure that people who are a security threat are prevented from entering the zone. If you have any more questions about ETIAS, consulting a travel agent would be the best way to get the right answers.