Planning a European vacation in 2021? Do you regularly travel to Europe for work or leisure? If so, watch out for the new ETIAS roll-out and stay tuned to see if you will need to take extra steps before heading to the airport.
ETIAS stands for European Union Travel Information and Authorization System. Through an online application submitted by travelers arriving from visa-free countries for tourism, transit, business and medical purposes, it provides a low-level security check for EU and Schengen member states. Unlike a full visa process for an EU country, which requires an interview and fingerprinting, the ETIAS can be completed and approved online, costs a fraction of the visa fee, and takes less time for approval overall.
While the ETIAS has been discussed for the past five years, security interests quickened its implementation after a series of terrorist attacks in the EU. This system is similar to the U.S.’s online ESTA visa waiver system that was implemented after the September 11 terrorist attack.
ETIAS is required to travel to some EU countries, former EU countries, as well as Schengen countries. Specifically, ETIAS will be required for travel to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom.
Currently, the following countries are expected to be included in the 2021 ETIAS roll-out:
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, South Korea, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the grenadines, Samoa, Republic of Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela. Currently the United Kingdom is listed amongst countries whose nationals will need an ETIAS to travel to ETIAS countries. However, this may change depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
An application for ETIAS, if approved, gives the traveler three years validity period in which he or she can travel for periods of 90 days in a 180-day cycle, and entry into any or multiple ETIAS countries.
The ETIAS costs €7 for applicants between 18 to 70 years of age but will be free for those under 18 and above 70. The application process is expected to take around 10 minutes, with an approval period of up to 96 hours (or eight days). The ETIAS must be approved before the traveler can board a flight or be allowed into any ETIAS member state. A small percentage of applications may take up to 4 weeks, so travelers are encouraged to apply with plenty of time to spare prior to their trip.
Those travelers who have a Schengen Visa, long-stay visa, or residency in any Schengen or EU state will not need to apply for the ETIAS.
Visa Adviser will provide the ETIAS requirements by country, and a link to the application form in our app when the ETIAS comes online.
Be on the lookout in 2021!