You Will Need An ETIAS Visa Waiver To Visit Europe From 2021
March 12th, 2019, Posted by travelwith2ofus
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Over the last few years, the concerns of security have been growing across the globe, including Europe. In an attempt to address this growing concern, the EU has been working hard to implement better security measures with the ETIAS visa waiver as one of the solutions.
What is an ETIAS Visa Waiver
The European Travel and Information Authorisation system, also known as ETIAS is a European visa waiver that has been created to boost better border control and travel safety in the region.
ETIAS was announced by the European Commission in 2016 and will be available to all visa-exempt non-EU nationals looking to travel the Schengen area. The main aim of the ETIS is to strengthen European external borders.
This is following the many uncontrolled migration flows and terrorist attacks in most European nations. This visa waiver will have similarities to the systems that are already in place in Canada, Australia and the US, and is designed to cater to similar objectives.
The ETIAS visa waiver program is among the measures put in place by the EU to uphold the region's safety. It is an automated program designed to identify and prevent any risks related to visa-exempt visitors touring the Schengen Zone.
This visa waiver aims to identify travelers that may pose a threat to the region and will be used to analyze the applicant's data and compare it with the security databases to prevent potential threats from entering the EU. The ETIAS will;
• End irregular migration
• Enhance border management
• Fortify the measures against terrorism
• Complement the EU visa liberalization policy
• Save travelers time and hassle
The ETIAS visa waiver will only be used for business and tourism travel. It will be checked by carriers prior to departure, whether you are traveling by air, land or sea.
If an ETIAS is not approved, the traveler will not be allowed to board the traveling vessel. Citizens from eligible countries will be required to provide an approved ETIAS on arrival of any Schengen member country.
When will European countries start requiring ETIAS Visa Waiver?
The ETIAS visa waiver is expected to be operational starting January 01, 2021.
Countries that can apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver
Currently, there are 60 Countries outside the EU that can travel around without needing to get a visa. Citizens from these countries are allowed to go into countries in the Schengen Zone for travel or business for up to 90 days.
These countries include the USA, Canada, Australia, Ukraine among others. Here is the full list of countries that can apply for the ETIAS Visa Waiver.
What’s the cost of an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
The cost of the ETIAS will be €7 except for applicants below the age of 18, who will not be required to pay the fee.
How to apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver
You will need to provide your personal biometric data, including name, date of birth, gender, nationality, etc., EU member state of entry, passport or any other travel document information. You may also be asked some background questions about your health, criminal record, and previous EU immigration record.
The application process for an ETIAS Visa WaiverOnce you have submitted all the required documents and information, the application will be passed and checked across DATA/SLTD (Interpol)/ SIS/ ECRIS/ VIS/EUROPOL/EURODAC, the ETIAS watchlist and ETIAS screening rules.
Since the entire process is automated, the decision should be reached by the system within minutes of submission. If, however, the application data is matched to data from any of their databases, it will have to go through manual processing by the ETIAS National Units and the ETIAS Central.
If the application for an ETIAS is approved, it will be valid for three (3) years or at least up to the date that the applicant's passport expires, whichever comes first.
This travel authorization document, however, does not grant applicants the right to study, work or live in the EU. Those who wish to work, study or live in any Schengen country should apply for the appropriate permit or visa at the embassy or consulate of that member country.
If on the other hand, the application is rejected, the applicant will be provided with a reason for the denial, including the rejecting country and the authority that ruled against document being approved.
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