ETIAS - European Travel Information and Authorization System

From 2021, Visa exempt citizens that travel to Europe for short stays, will be required to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver.

Information about the ETIAS Visa Waiver for Europe

ETIAS for Europe is a multiple entry travel authorization which will permit the holder to travel to Schengen countries for a total stay of 90 days with each entry, for purposes of tourism, transit, business or medical treatment.

The European Commission is implementing the ETIAS visa waiver program for all nationalities who do not currently need a visa to travel to Europe, with the intention of strengthening and protecting the borders of the Schengen passport-free zone. The new system will prescreen visa-exempt travelers for any potential security or health risks before they even reach European borders, and is expected to come into effect by the end of 2021.

ETIAS is not a substitute for a student or work visa. Any foreign nationals who wish to live, study, work, or stay in Europe longer than 90 days will be required to apply for another visa from a diplomatic mission of their country of destination.

ETIAS Countries

There are currently 26 European destinations where the ETIAS will be required from 2021.

The ETIAS visa waiver will be required from 2021 for all nationalities who do not currently need a visa for Europe to travel to and within the Schengen Area countries for short stays.

Currently the 26 countries in the Schengen Area, includes 22 European Union countries, and 4 non-European Union members: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. The Schengen zone also includes the 3 microstates: Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, which maintain open or semi-open borders with other Schengen countries.

There are several European Union countries, including Ireland and the UK, who have opted out of the Schengen zone and maintain their own entry requirements. Other countries who have recently become European Union members, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, have yet to sign the Schengen agreement.

Citizens of all the European countries who have signed the Schengen agreement are permitted passport-free travel within Schengen zone borders. All citizens of the EU are able to travel within the Schengen Area using either their national ID card or passport, and are not subject to any other type of border control.

Below you can find the list and an interactive map that summarizes the ETIAS countries.

ETIAS Countries

(*) ETIAS visa waiver expected to become a requirement for these countries in 2021

Countries that need ETIAS

Once the ETIAS system is implemented, all foreign citizens who are currently visa-exempt for Europe will be required to complete an ETIAS registration before traveling to the Schengen Area for short stays. This will include citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, and Mexico. The full list of countries that need ETIAS can be found below.

ETIAS for Europe is a multiple entry travel authorization which will allow the holder to travel to Schengen countries for a total stay of 90 days with each entry, for purposes of tourism, transit, business or medical treatment.

As an ETIAS is valid for 3 years from the moment of issue and allows multiple entries to Schengen zone countries during its validity, there is no need to submit an ETIAS application before every trip to Europe.

Countries eligible for ETIAS

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

How does ETIAS work?

Travelers to Europe required to apply for ETIAS will need to complete a simple online application with basic personal, passport, and travel information. Applicants will also be required to answer a few questions related to health and security matters before they submit the online form. In total, it should not take more than 10 minutes to complete the application.

All of the answers provided on the application will then be checked against European security databases such as SIS, VIS, Europol, and Interpol, in order to pre-identify any potential health or security risks to Europe.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be electronically linked to the applicant’s passport. When registering for ETIAS, the applicant should ensure their passport is valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of arrival in the Schengen Zone. Applicants with dual nationality should ensure they use the same passport to apply for ETIAS that they will later use to travel to Europe.

When entering the Schengen Zone, the traveler will simply be able to present their passport to immigration officials to gain entry to Europe.

An approved ETIAS will be valid for a total of 3 years from the date of issue, and allows multiple entries to all of the 26 Schengen countries during its validity. This means that applicants will not need to submit an ETIAS application until the visa waiver, or the associated passport, expires, whichever comes first.

When will ETIAS be implemented?

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is expected to become obligatory for eligible travelers by the end of 2021. The ETIAS system was first proposed by the European Commission in April 2016 and approved in November of that year, and is expected to be launched in 2021.

Eu-LISA, the European Union Agency which manages the operations of its large-scale information systems, is responsible for developing the new visa waiver system, as well as for managing the security databases which ETIAS applicants will be checked against.

Once implemented, all visa-exempt travelers planning to visit Schengen countries for short stays will be required to pre-register for an ETIAS before they can enter European Union borders.

It will also be necessary to submit an ETIAS application for all minors under the age of 18, although parents and legal guardians will be able to do this on their behalf.

Schengen visa Information

All non visa-exempt citizens for Europe who are not eligible to apply for ETIAS will be required to obtain a visa to travel to the Schengen Area no matter the duration or purpose of their stay.

The map above provides visual information about ETIAS eligible countries and Schengen visa countries.

Unlike ETIAS, which permits travel to all of the 26 Schengen countries, a Schengen visa is only issued for one individual European country. In order to submit a Schengen visa application, it is necessary to apply from the nearest embassy or consulate of the individual country the traveler wishes to visit.

There are several types of Schengen visa, depending on the purpose and duration of the intended stay in Europe. A Schengen visa may be issued as a single, double or multiple entry visa. Unlike ETIAS, a Schengen visa may also be issued for purposes of work or study in a European country.

The Schengen visa application requirements state that the applicant must attend an embassy appointment with a range of supporting documentation. This includes a valid passport containing at least 2 blank pages, travel insurance covering a stay within Schengen member states, and proof of sufficient financial means to cover the trip.

ETIAS-eligible citizens who wish to spend more than 90 consecutive days, or study, work, or live in Schengen countries, will also be required to apply for a Schengen visa corresponding to the duration and purpose of their intended stay.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ETIAS FAQ

  • What is the ETIAS visa waiver for Schengen countries?

    The European Travel Information and Authorization (ETIAS) for the Schengen Area is an electronic visa waiver due to be introduced by the end of 2021. It will permit eligible citizens to travel to and within the 26 Schengen Area countries for short stays.

  • What purposes are the ETIAS visa waiver suitable for?

    An approved ETIAS visa waiver will allow travel to the Schengen Area for purposes of business, tourism, transit, or medical treatment.

  • Who needs to apply for the Schengen zone ETIAS waiver?

    All citizens of visa-exempt countries for Europe will be required to apply for the ETIAS waiver to travel to the Schengen zone for short stays. Please refer to the ‘Countries that need ETIAS’ section above, or the visa checker above the FAQ section, to check your eligibility.

  • What is the difference between ETIAS for the Schengen Area and a Schengen visa?

    An approved ETIAS visa waiver allows the holder to travel to all of the 26 Schengen Area countries for multiple short stays during its validity. It is only available for citizens of countries who are visa-exempt for Europe, through an online application process.

    Unlike ETIAS for Europe, a Schengen visa is issued for one specific European country and is not available through an electronic application. Eligible citizens are required to apply for a Schengen visa at an embassy or consulate of the specific Schengen country the traveler wishes to visit.

  • How long can I stay in Schengen countries with my ETIAS authorization?

    An approved ETIAS authorization will permit the holder to travel to Schengen countries for stays of up to 90 days with each entry, within every 180-day period.

  • How can I apply for the ETIAS visa waiver to the Schengen zone?

    Eligible citizens will be able to apply for ETIAS through a simple online application, to receive an approved Europe visa waiver electronically linked to their passport.

  • What documents do I need for the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe?

    In order to submit an ETIAS application, it is necessary to have:

    • An eligible passport valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of entry to the Schengen Area.
    • A valid debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS fee.
    • A current email address at which to receive the ETIAS visa waiver approval notice.
  • When can I apply for my ETIAS Europe visa waiver?

    It is expected that travelers will be expected to submit a Europe visa waiver application at least 72 hours before the intended entry date to the Schengen Area, in order to allow for sufficient processing time for the ETIAS.

  • How long will it take to process my ETIAS Schengen visa waiver?

    The standard processing time for the ETIAS Schengen visa waiver has not yet been announced. It will be published on this site once made available.

  • Do I need an ETIAS for European countries for my children?

    Yes, it is necessary for all travelers from Europe visa-exempt countries to have an individually approved ETIAS, including all children under the age of 18 years old.

  • Will I need to apply for an Schengen ETIAS for every trip to Schengen countries?

    No, it is not necessary to apply for a European visa waiver for every trip to a Schengen country. An approved ETIAS is valid for 3 years from the date of issue, and allows the holder to travel to the Schengen zone multiple times during its validity.

  • Can I use my ETIAS for the Schengen Area to travel to other European Union countries?

    An approved ETIAS grants the holder permission to travel to all of the 26 countries in the Schengen passport-free zone.

    To travel to other European Union countries not in the Schengen Area, it is necessary to apply for a visa for the individual EU country the traveler wishes to visit.

  • If I have dual citizenship, which passport do I use to travel to the Schengen zone?

    Applicants with dual citizenship are required to use the same passport to complete the ETIAS application as that which they will later use to travel to the Schengen zone. This is because the approved visa waiver is electronically linked to an individual travel document. If the traveler’s passport expires during the validity of the ETIAS, it is necessary to submit a new application.

  • Am I guaranteed admission to Schengen countries with my ETIAS Europe visa waiver?

    No, the ETIAS visa waiver for Europe only grants the holder permission to travel to Schengen Area. The final decision for entry will be made by the individual immigration officer at Schengen zone border control.

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