Twenty-six nations in Europe comprise the Schengen zone. These countries are a part of the European Union and have decided on a standard visa for travelers if they are willing to enter a Schengen country. These countries have mutually agreed to scrap away all their respective countries’ passports and act as one jurisdiction. One can freely travel between these nations if they carry a Schengen visa. Click here to learn details regarding ETIAS for France.
The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), in simple terms, is a visa waiver program. This program is done through an electronic online system, and the travelers who require it to visit the European nations will have to pay a set amount of fee, just like they did in the face of the Schengen visa. All travelers will require the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe, including infants. There is a similar visa waiver program in the USA called ESTA.
DIfference between applying for a visa and a visa waiver
While applying for a visa, for instance, a Schengen visa, there are many steps involved. One has to visit the European embassy in their respective nation and do a lot of paperwork. A lot of documentation is involved in a visa; you will have to show at the consulate.
On the other hand, applying for the ETIAS visa waiver is quite uncomplicated. The entire process can be done online in only ten minutes and would cost almost eight USD. Every person or a group traveling to Europe will have to go through this authorization. Individuals who are less than eighteen years will not have to pay a fee.
What are the steps involved in the verification
After you finish your online registration, the team from ETIAS will go through some of your essential details. The will undergo the following steps:
Evaluate all the information
Post the online registration; you will submit your details to the authority. Some of the documents that you provide in the visa process will remain similar in ETIAS as well. The body will collect your identity proof, address proof, and the contact details such as the phone number and the email ID. The traveler must have a valid passport that remains valid for six months after their return.
The ETIAS will evaluate if there is any potential threat to the EU from the traveler or not. They must ensure that the applicant does not pose as a ganger to the nation or Europe in any case (physically, publicly, or health-wise).
Determine the further process
After submitting all the details, the ETIAS will determine whether the access to visit the European nations should be granted. Various information systems in the EU cross-check all the details of the applicant. Organizations like Interpol, Europol, etc. and the guidelines of ETIAS, will make sure to go through all the required information before granting access.
Grant, or deny the access
Once the authority has cross-checked all the fields, they will inform the applicant about the status of their ETIAS. If they approve the access, then the applicant will receive the same through an Email. If the authority denies access and is not willing to grant sentry in the EU, even then, the applicant will receive an email. That Email will specify the reason for the denial.
One must apply for ETIAS at least seventy two hours before the departure. The authority also recommends bringing the print out of the Email to the airport and your passport. ETIAS validity depends on the expiration of the passport of the traveler. The ETIAS can be declared invalid or can be officially canceled. One needs to ensure the validity of the ETIAS before traveling. The application process’s duration is almost three working days, so travelers must be ready with all the documentation.
What are the documents that I need for ETIAS?
- The applicant must possess a valid passport that shall remain valid for six months after the return.
- Applicants must have a credit card to pay the fee of eight USD (seven EUR)
- The applicant’s identity proof and the permanent address details and the contact details like phone number and Email ID are required.
What is the significance of ETIAS?
- The ETIAS is introduced for a better environment in Europe. This visa waiver process will determine whether a person can enter the EU or not. Before entering Europe, this process will check if there is any potential threat due to the person or not.
- The ETIAS process goes through a lot of screenings. Various organizations make sure to recheck the details of travelers to verify the safety of the EU.
- ETIAS is quite similar to its American counterpart ESTA. Both are visa waiver processes that thoroughly check for a potential threat in people entering their territories.
- Without the correct travel documents, the authorities can deny entry to the EU.
- After gaining access to ETIAS, passengers can enter the EU and transfer freely between the Schengen nations. Travelers can travel freely between the borders as there is no strict regulation between the European Union countries.
- Citizens from sixty nations will have to carry an ETIAS before entering the Schengen countries. These are those countries that were exempted from the Schengen visa before. There can be an increase in the number of nations that require an ETIAS.
- The validity of the ETIAS is up to ninety days, which means that the passengers visiting the EU can stay there for ninety days for leisure or business purposes.
- ETIAS does not act as a study or work visa; the requirements remain the same as they were before. One can use the ETIAS for three years as an entry permit for the European Union. You will have to renew your ETIAS after three years of getting it or after the expiry of passport, or whichever of the two comes first.
In conclusion, travelers entering the EU must have access to ETIAS before traveling. This process is scheduled to become mandatory from 2024.