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We all dreamed of a wonderful European vacation, right? Spend a week in Barcelona, visit Sardinia in Italy or feast your way through Paris – there are many European travel dreams.
Citizens from around 60 countries, including the US, who can travel in Europe without a visa, will soon have to submit an ETIAS application electronically before entering a Schengen country.
However, it’s not as complicated as it sounds and just involves a few extra steps that you can add to your travel planning routine. Below is everything you need to know about attending ETIAS for your upcoming trip to Europe.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System and requires non-EU citizens who want to travel visa-free to one of the 26 nations of the Schengen area to register online and receive proof before they are allowed to board planes in the region . It is a fully electronic system that enables entry and tracks visitors from countries that do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area.
It is similar to ESTA (United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which many travelers must fill out to enter the United States. ETIAS aims to reduce the risk of crime and terrorism in Europe and to facilitate border procedures for visitors.
When does ETIAS come into effect?
ETIAS was originally scheduled to come into force in January 2021, but is now expected to be operational by the end of 2022, with transitional measures planned to ensure a smooth implementation.
A list of the ETIAS countries
The countries that require an ETIAS for entry include all countries within the Schengen area.
The Schengen area includes Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia , Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Who needs ETIAS?
ETIAS is aimed at citizens of countries who can enter the EU zone without a visa. This includes 62 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, etc. You can check to see if you have an ETIAS. require here.
How does the ETIAS system work?
The ETIAS system will be efficient and easy to use, which ultimately saves time for the client and processing.
The ETIAS replication can be done in three steps:
- Complete the online ETIAS application: It takes about 10 minutes to complete and includes biometric information, citizenship, address, contact details, EU country you are visiting, and background and eligibility questions.
- Pay the ETIAS fees and submit the form: When you have completed the application, you need to pay the fee and submit it. The system processes your information and checks your application.
- Receive the visa waiver by email: In addition to being sent by email, the proven ETIAS visa waiver is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport.
During your application, the system automatically processes your identity, travel documents and answers to background questions against databases (SIS, VIS, EUROPOL DATA, SLTD & TDAWN (Interpol), EURODAC, etc.) and its verification rules and watch list.
ETIAS is valid for three years or until the end of the validity period of the passport registered during travel, whichever comes first.
An example: Venezuelans travel to France
As Venezuela is part of the European Visa Exemption Program, travelers must complete an ETIAS application before traveling to Europe.
Once ETIAS becomes compulsory, Venezuelan passport holders will need to apply for an ETIAS for France (which is within the Schengen zone) prior to departure. With a proven ETIAS visa waiver, Venezuelan passport holders can spend up to 90 days in France.
Here is an example of obtaining an ETIAS for Venezuelans to travel to France:
- In online ETIAS for Venezuela to travel to France Venezuelans need the following documents:
- Venezuela passport: this must be valid for at least three months from the date of entry
- Debit or credit card: This is required to pay the ETIAS for France fees
- Current Email Address: the proven visa waiver is sent to the e-mail inbox
- When completing the ETIAS online form, you will need the following information to hand:
- Full name as it is on the passport
- Contact details including current home address and email address
- Passport information such as number and expiration date
How much does ETIAS cost?
It is planned that ETIAS will cost only € 7 per application for adults over 18 years of age. Passengers under the age of 18 do not have to pay any fees.
Enjoy visa-free travel to Europe
For members of over 60 countries who do not require a visa to enter Europe, don’t let the ETIAS registration process put you off. It’s just a 10 minute online application that is super easy and efficient!