Obtain your ETIAS Visa to travel to Europe
ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorisation System
Many countries outside the European Union (EU) whose citizens can enter the EU Schengen area without a visa. Currently, 62 non-EU countries are visa-free.
Citizens of these countries can enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days for work or travel reasons. During these 90 days, these visitors can neither work nor study, but can participate in commercial and tourist activities.
In addition, recent security concerns related to terrorism and the migration crisis have called for better management of people crossing EU borders. The EU has always set itself the objective of making travel within its borders safer.
The European Commission (EC) has found a solution to reduce procedures and waiting times and to solve safety problems.
ETIAS is the acronym for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System.
The system checks security information and charges fees for travellers travelling to an EU Member State for commercial, tourist, medical or transit reasons. The current procedures for applying for and verifying EU visas to enter the Schengen area depend only on the nationality of the visitor and are free of charge.
ETIAS (like ESTA) will streamline this visa procedure for those who currently do not need a visa but are subject to additional security checks before entering the EU. ETIAS travel authorization is mandatory for nationals of countries that do not require a visa to enter Europe, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
ETIAS Visa will be required to travel and enter the following European countries in the Schengen Area:
Note: ETIAS can only be used for transit, tourism and business travel. ETIAS is requested by tour operators before departure. The absence of an ETIAS system could have serious consequences, including a refusal to enter the Schengen Member State. Travel authorization will be mandatory from 2021.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a fully electronic system that allows visitors from countries that do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area to be registered and controlled. In a way, it is similar to the United States Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA), which has a similar objective. Legal procedures for the adoption of ETIAS began in 2016 and the system is expected to be operational in 2021.
ETIAS subjects each applicant to a detailed security check to determine whether they are allowed to enter a country in the Schengen area. Since citizens of countries that do not require visas in the EU to travel for up to 90 days do not have to go through a lengthy visa application process, this european authorization system ensures that these people do not pose a security threat. This travel authorisation system collects, monitors and updates the information necessary to determine whether entry into the Schengen countries is safe.
ETIAS is not only used for commercial and tourist purposes, but it also allows visitors to travel to Schengen countries for medical and transit reasons. In addition, it is mandatory for all countries without a Schengen visa.
Why ETIAS authorization?
Safety is the main reason for approving the ETIAS authorization. In view of the increased global risk for travellers, the EU wishes to ensure the security of travel in their countries. ETIAS will significantly reduce security problems through its information and data collection systems. This means that this travel system recognises whether a person represents a threat to the security of the Schengen States. This will prohibit the entry of the person and avoid the risk of being present within the EU’s borders. Basically, a problem must be solved before it exists.
However, the ETIAS authorization will not only increase travel safety but will also support EU countries and all travellers in the following ways:
- Reduction of procedures and application times
- Improving the management of the EU’s borders
- Assistance in the detection and fight against crime and terrorism
- Preventing irregular migration
- Strengthen the EU’s visa liberalisation policy
As a general rule, the ETIAS authorisation will facilitate and secure travel to the EU.
How does ETIAS work?
The European Border and Coast Guard Service is responsible for the ETIAS visa in cooperation with Europol and the authorities of other Member States. The possession of an ETIAS does not guarantee the entry of its holder into the European Union, the decision to grant or refuse entry being taken by the national border guards by means of a personal verification procedure at the port of entry. However, the ETIAS application is an automated system that checks in advance whether a request is submitted to the EU or rejected. This prior verification process will facilitate and accelerate border controls.
The application procedure is simple, direct and can be done online. Anyone travelling in a group must be authorized. However, applicants under the age of 18 are not required to pay the processing fee. Once the application has been submitted, the ETIAS application system:
- Check applicants’ data before travelling to the EU’s external borders. Basic information on third-country nationals without visas will be collected, such as identity, permanent address and contact details (e-mail addresses and telephone numbers).
- Applicants must hold a valid passport issued by one of the countries on the visa-waiver list. The available information will be used to assess whether an applicant poses a risk to the European Community in terms of migration, security or public health.
Automatic processing based on application information to compare it with different EU information systems (SIS, VIS, Europol, Europol, Interpol, Eurodac, etc.) and a checklist. It will be decided whether authorisation to enter Europe can be granted or refused.
Issue or refuse an authorization. In the case of an authorization, the applicant will receive the ETIAS authorization directly by e-mail. In case of refusal, an email will be sent to you with the reasons.
It is strongly recommended to start applying for an ETIAS at least 72 hours (3 days) before your departure. Although the authorization is linked to your passport, it is advisable to take the fingerprint of your European Authorization Visa email with you to the airport to avoid any denied boarding.
The validity of the ETIAS visa application is closely linked to the validity of the passport used to complete the application. The approval may be revoked and revoked if the conditions for its issuance no longer exist. Therefore, it is recommended to check the status of your ETIAS application a few days before the departure date.
ETIAS key points
Start – ETIAS begins on January 1, 2021.
Application – ETIAS must be applied for online before entering the EU. Every eligible traveller, regardless of age, needs an ETIAS to travel to the EU Member States.
Eligibility – Nationals of countries with visa-free access to European Union countries need an ETIAS system. Dual citizens holding an EU and ETIAS-eligible country passport do not need ETIAS if they enter and leave Europe with their European passport. Applicants with a criminal record can apply for ETIAS. It is likely that British travellers will also need an ETIAS system in 2021 unless the United Kingdom cancels its plans to leave the EU.
Form fields – For each ETIAS application, the following data are required: personal biometric data (name, gender, date of birth, etc.), passport or travel document information, Member State of entry into the EU, information on the applicant’s health status, criminal record and immigration history in the EU.
Application procedure – Each application is checked against the SIS / VIS / EUROPOL-DATEN / SLTD (INTERPOL / EURODAC / ECRIS, etc.), the ETIAS rules and verification list control. If the request is verified against the information in one of these databases, it will be processed manually by ETIAS headquarters and/or national units.
The decision on the request – As a general rule, 95% of requests receive a decision within a few minutes. When an ETIAS application is approved, it is issued for a period of three years or from the expiry date of the applicant’s passport, whichever comes first. Processing time can be up to 96 hours if additional tests are required. However, if the applicant requires additional documents, the processing time can be up to four weeks. If the application is rejected, the applicant will receive a reason for rejection and information on the country or authority that has decided not to approve it. ETIAS refusals can be challenged by applicants who submit an application to the EU Member State that has raised objections to the European Visa concession.
Boarding – ETIAS can only be used for transit travel, tourism and business travel. This system is controlled by airlines before a passenger boarding by air, land or sea. If the visa is not approved, the passenger cannot board an aircraft, boat or bus.
Arrival in the EU – Upon entering the Schengen area, a police border guard decides on the admission of a traveller on the basis of information from the SEE system, travel documents approved by ETIAS and the traveller’s decision.