European Travel Information and Authorization System
There are many countries not in the European Union (EU) or Schengen Zone whose citizens can enter without needing a visa. Specifically, there are currently 62 countries whose citizens are not in the EU, but can travel visa-free for up to 90 days for purposes other than to work or study - and who are allowed to visit as tourists or for business purposes if they apply through the European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS for short.
If you need a Schengen visa, visit this page to get all the information about how to apply for a Schengen Visa
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS is an electronic system that will keep track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. It resembles the U.S Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). The ETIAS system is expected to be in place by 2021.
ETIAS will undertake a detailed security check of each applicant to determine whether they can be allowed to enter any Schengen Zone country. Since citizens of countries who do not need a visa for travel purposes of up to 90 days in the EU do not need to apply for a visa, ETIAS ensure they do not pose a security threat by keeping track of and updating information on visitors.
How can I use ETIAS?
You can apply for ETIAS approval for use for business and tourist purposes, and it will also allow people to visit the Schengen countries for medical and transit reasons. In addition, it will be mandatory for all countries who are Schengen Visa-free.
Why ETIAS Authorization?
The main reason for the introduction of ETIAS authorization is security. With the increased risk of travelers worldwide, EU countries want to ensure travelers' safety through information and data gathering systems which will allow officials to pick up on those who are security threats before they enter European states. ETIAS authorization will also assist travelers by reducing procedures and application times, as well as liberalizing policies to those travelers who can obtain ETIAS authorization.
Who will need ETIAS?
Nationals of 62 countries will need to get the ETIAS authorization to enter the Schengen Area, including those from Australia, the U.S.A, Brazil, and Canada.
How do I apply for ETIAS authorization?
You will need to fill out an ETIAS application form, which is expected to take about 10 minutes to complete. It will be online, so you will not have to go through paperwork. You must give the following; your name, name at birth, date and place of birth, proof of citizenship of your home country, your address, email, and phone number, education and work experience, as well as the name of the first EU country you intend to visit. Additionally, you will be required to answer background and eligibility questions relating to any medical conditions, plans to travel to war-torn countries or places where you were deported or rejected, and criminal records. The only document you will need is your valid biometric passport - preferably with an electronic chip.
If you are a minor, your legal guardian must apply for your ETIAS, while family members of EU citizens from other countries must submit proof of relationship, and other background information. All travelers, including children, will require ETIAS authorization.
How long will ETIAS approval take?
If you are deemed not a risk, the whole procedure is expected to be completed in only a few minutes, but if there is a hit from the ETIAS database, the application will be manually processed - which is expected to take about 96 hours (four days), or a maximum of two weeks.
How long is the ETIAS valid?
If approved, the ETIAS will be valid for three years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during the application, whichever comes first.
What if my ETIAS application is denied?
If your application is unsuccessful, you will be given a reason as to why the ETIAS was denied. You could appeal this decision or adjust your application and try again.
How many times can I enter the EU with an ETIAS?
You can enter the Schengen Area as many times as you want, for as long as your ETIAS is valid, permitting you have not stayed for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period.
Do I need travel insurance to apply for ETIAS?
Unlike with a Schengen Visa, you do not need to obtain travel and medical insurance as a condition of applying for ETIAS authorization. However, it is strongly advised and is available from AXA from as little as €0.99 per day.
Related topics on Schengen visa
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the ETIAS system
Do I need ETIAS if I have a Schengen Visa?
If you have a Schengen Visa - then you do not need ETIAS authorization. When your visa expires you can apply for ETIAS if you are eligible.
Is ETIAS a visa?
No. ETIAS authorization is not a visa. Unlike Schengen Visas - ETIAS authorization will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.
Can a travel authorization be revoked?
Yes. Authorization can be revoked if the conditions for issuing your ETIAS no longer apply or if you are found to have violated any of the ETIAS rules.