Are you confused about the upcoming ETIAS visas? Wonder exactly it will affect you, and your next trip to Europe?
You’re not alone! Many travelers whether you’re from the United States or a country on the other side of the world have a lot of ETIAS visa application questions. So I turned to you! My fellow travel addicts to get your most burning questions about the new visa changes in Europe!
In this post, we answer all your hard hitting questions about the etias visa wavier program and by the end, you’re will be a pro at this new visa program rolling out in Europe!
So let’s dive into all the details with the ETIAS visa waiver program.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS THE ETIAS?
Before we get to your questions, we should first answer ” What is ETIAS’?”
The ETIAS or rather “European Travel Information and Authorization System” Is an up-and-coming electronic visa system. Well, technically this isn’t a visa. It is a
travel authorization for people visiting European nations from an already visa-exempt country. In short, this is a visa waiver program, not a visa itself.
The aim of this new ETIAS system keeps track of travelers from various countries around the world who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone.
At the moment the ETIAS program is expected to roll out in 2023, with the ETIAS becoming mandatory in 2023. However, at the present moment, it is unclear if the COVID-19 pandemic will delay the launch of this new program.
WHAT WILL TRAVELERS NEED TO DO ONCE ETIAS IS LAUNCHED?
So while a foreign national who doesn’t need a visa to travel through Europe can continue to travel the EU country without a visa. But getting an approved ETIAS will be required before entering The EU.
While this might seem confusing the process is much easier than getting a visa. For example, an ETIAS applicant won’t be required to visit a consulate or embassy to obtain ETIAS authorization.
But not to worry! But the process is quick and simple. So, say, your planning on spending an epic summer backpacking around Greece, well then you need to apply for an ETIAS online.
Or say you want to eat you’re way through Spain, no problem, just fill out the ETIAS application online for Spain.
DOES THIS MEAN I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE?
If you’re coming from an already visa-exempt country then no, you do not need to apply for a European visa to travel Europe. But I want to be clear here, “You do need an ETIAS visa waiver to enter an EU border!” once the program goes live.
For travelers coming from countries that already required you to get a visa, then yes! You are still required to get one before visiting a European country.
So if you needed to apply for a Schengen visa before hopping around the best islands in Greece. Well, you are still required to apply for a visa.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SCHENGEN VISA AND AN ETIAS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION?
So what is the difference between a Schengen visa and an etias travel authorization? Well first, as I mentioned in the masterful written (pat myself on the back) section above, the ETIAS isn’t a visa, it’s permission for already visa-free countries and it covers every European country.
On the other hand, the Schengen visa is typically issued from the European country where you’ll be spending most of your time.
DOES OBTAINING ETIAS APPROVAL GUARANTEE ENTRY INTO SCHENGEN AREA COUNTRIES?
Another important thing to note. “Does obtaining ETIAS approval guarantee entry into Schengen area countries?”
Well, yes and no. Yes, because if you have a valid passport, your ETIAS visa waiver, and another required travel document, then yes the ETIAS holder has access to all the Schengen zone.
And no, because – just like now – the final entry decision is made by the immigration officer when you’re crossing the EU border. So if they have reason to deny you entry, like no return ticket, or a passport that expires within the next 90 days then they can deny you entry into Europe.
WHICH EUROPEAN NATIONS WILL REQUIRE ETIAS AUTHORIZATION TO VISIT?
At the moment you’ll need the ETAIS to visit almost every country in Europe. This includes the 22 EU countries in the Schengen country, as well as some non-Schengen zone countries.
COUNTRIES IN EUROPE THAT WILL REQUIRE AN ETIAS
ETIAS Eligible countries are..
- Czech Republic
MICRO-STATES DE FACTO PART OF SCHENGEN AREA:
- Monaco San
- Vatican City
As of the time of writing this article, there are a small handful of countries that are not in the Schengen Area and therefore have their own regulations.
Note: Some other non Schengen member states have already agreed to implement the ETIAS requirement. These requirements can change quickly! So double-check if it is required before traveling to any of these member state!
5 NON-SCHENGEN EU MEMBER STATE THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE AN ETIAS
Again! These requirements can change quickly! So triple-check the latest European travel information before making travel plans to these countries.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO YOU NEED FOR THE ETIAS AUTHORIZATION?
Another thing to know before starting the application form is “What are the documents required to make an Etias application?”
Luckily the items you need are close at hand.
In order to apply for the European visa waiver, you need three things.
A Valid Passport ID
An Email Address
A credit or debit card to pay the etias visa fee.
That’s it! They make it super easy for ETIAS applicants.
HOW LONG DOES AN ETIAS VISA WAIVER LAST
The ETIAS Visa Waiver lasts for three years. This means that once ETIAS applicants are approved you won’t need to apply – or more importantly pay – for it every time you want to visit Europe within those three years.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR THE ETIAS VISA WAIVER TO THE SCHENGEN ZONE?
Easy! Once the program goes live, expected to go live in late 2022, you can head to the ETIAS application website and apply.
Or if you’d rather have a company do the grunt work for you, then you can use a visa service like Byevisa.
WHEN CAN YOU APPLY FOR YOUR ETIAS EUROPE VISA WAIVER?
The latest information is that the program will go towards the end of 2022! So expect the application form to go live around that time. If the program does go live in 2022 then by 2023 a visa waiver will be required to travel to visit the stunning shores of Greece, or the iconic old town of Stockholm!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE ETIAS APPLICATION?
We don’t know for sure! But we expect that filling out your online application form will take less than 10 minutes.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ETIAS APPROVAL ONCE I APPLY?
How long before traveling should I apply for ETIAS? Most ETIAS Visa Waivers will be approved within 72 hours. However, the
ETIAS application process could take up to two weeks. I recommend applying for your ETIAS two weeks before traveling.
IF YOU HAVE YOUR ETIAS APPROVAL DO YOU STILL NEED A PASSPORT?
Yes, 100% of the time when you are traveling abroad you will need a passport. So you’ll need both an ETIAS waiver and a passport.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU ENTER THE EU WITH AN ETIAS?
The ETIAS is valid for three years, so you can enter the EU on that ETIAS as many times as you want.
HOW LONG CAN YOU SPEND IN EUROPE WITH AN ETIAS VISA WAIVER?
The same amount you can now. For many countries, including American Citizen, that is 90 days within a 6-month window.
How long can you stay in Schengen countries with your etias authorization?
DO U.S. CITIZENS NEED AN ETIAS TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE?
Once the program goes live, yes.
WILL BRITISH CITIZENS BE REQUIRED TO HAVE THE ETIAS AUTHORIZATION?
I can see how this is confusing. And many of you might be wondering “Do I need a visa for UK from Italy”? Short answer. Yes, British Citizens are required to get an ETIAS before traveling to Europe since they are no longer part of the European Union.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SCHENGEN AREA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION?
What is the difference between the Schengen Area and the European Union? This is another confusing point, but once you dive in it is relatively simple. The Schengen Area and the EU are two different things, many of the same countries just happen to be in both. The Schengen Area is an agreement that allows people to move freely between participating countries. While the EU is a political and economic pact.
This means you can cross an external border within the Schengen zone without going through border control.
WHICH COUNTRIES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION ARE NOT PART OF THE SCHENGEN ZONE?
Good question as some of these countries in the EU might require you to get a separate visa. Here is a list – in alphabetical order of – European countries not in the Schengen Zone. Albania, Andora, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, The United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
WHAT ARE THE ETIAS BENEFITS TO THE EUROPEAN UNION?
Mainly security. It helps the EU keep account of who is coming and going.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A SCHENGEN VISA?
This depends on your Schengen country of origin. If you are from the US, you just fly into Europe. There is no paperwork required.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST PORT OF ENTRY RULES FOR A SCHENGEN VISA?
For people from countries like China, that need to apply for a Schengen Visa there are some rules. To be honest, as I come from the US, I am not an expert on these rules. But from what I understand is that your first port on entry does not need to be where you’re visa came from. Just where you expect to spend most of your time.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO YOU NEED FOR THE ETIAS VISA WAIVER TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE?
The ETIAS visa waiver requirements are easy. All you need is a valid passport, a debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS fee, and an email address. That’s it, that is all ETIAS authorisation requires.
WHO WILL NEED TO SUBMIT EXTRA DOCUMENTS FOR ETIAS?
Some applicants might be asked to send through more documents. But this is determined by the ETIAS National Unit. And will be asked within two weeks of applying. This could mean you end on an ETIAS Watchlist or reported to the European authorities.
There we go! All you’re questions about Etias travel authorization answered. What did you think about the etias waiver. Do you think the ETIAS visa waiver program will help travel in Europe?
DOES HAVING A CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT YOUR ETIAS VISA APPLICATION?
A criminal record could affect your ETIAS, but probably not. The EU has stated that only those convicted of a serious crime, or terrorism will be denied an ETIAS.
About This SIte
Hi! I’m Stephen Schreck! A travel addict, wordsmith, and shutterbug.
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