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Are you planning to travel to Europe towards the end of 2023? You may now need to jump through an additional hoop through ETIAS. ETIAS is not a visa or any particular document to carry, and not every traveller to Europe is eligible to apply for it.

So, what exactly is ETIAS? Read on to find out.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a form of electronic travel authorization. The ETIAS will now be launched and will become fully operational from November 2023. Therefore, travellers having a visa-free agreement with the European Union and visiting Europe from November 2023 onwards will be required to obtain an approved ETIAS online prior to their departure.

ETIAS is not a visa, but rather a form of a security check or visa waiver. ETIAS aims to strengthen European security by screening travellers before they enter the Schengen Area. In addition, the ETIAS procedure will determine whether or not a nation is permitted to enter the Schengen Area.

Finally, the ETIAS will decide if a person poses a security danger to any Schengen nations by cross-checking information against multiple databases.

ETIAS news & updates

The European Union (EU) has recently postponed the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) for another six (6) months to November 2023.

The ETIAS was scheduled to become fully operational by May 2023. However, the EU Commission has now updated the date to November 2023. Therefore, travellers having a visa-free agreement with the European Union and visiting Europe from November 2023 onwards will be required to obtain an approved ETIAS online prior to their departure.

Which countries are eligible for an ETIAS visa waiver?

ETIAS is applicable only to nations that already have a visa-free agreement with the European Union. They are:

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

How to apply for ETIAS?

The procedure to apply for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is quite easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple online ETIAS application form to receive ETIAS travel permission. In addition, applicants must provide their personal information such as their name, date of birth, address, and information about their travel and security questions.

Permission would be granted in as little as a few minutes. Thus, the entire online application and registration procedure will take no more than 10-20 minutes per applicant.

What are the documents you need to apply for ETIAS?

A biometric passport is the only formal document required to complete the online application. The application will also need a debit or credit card, as well as an email address. Biometric passports are favoured because of the security benefits they provide, such as preventing unauthorized viewing or “skimming” of passport information – but are not compulsory.

How much is the fee for the ETIAS application?

Applying for ETIAS authorization will cost you 7 euros. Travellers under the age of 18 will need to apply for ETIAS as well, but will not pay a fee.

How long is the ETIAS valid for?

Short-term visits of up to 90 days are permitted under the ETIAS travel authorization. When visiting any area of the Schengen Area, tourists and business travellers will be required to obtain an authorized ETIAS. ETIAS travel permission, if issued, can be utilized for three years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

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