Ever since the European Commission (EC) announced it in 2016, non-European tourists visiting European countries in the Schengen Zone are now required to obtain authorization with an ETIAS visa. Security concerns are stated as the main reason for the approval of ETIAS visa waivers. The most notable upside to the ETIAS, however, is that it is a quick and much more affordable authorization process compared to visas. Below are some commonly asked questions about getting an ETIAS visa.
Who Can Get an ETIAS?
Visitors without any need for a visa to travel to the EU Schengen Zone are eligible for an ETIAS. To date, there are 62 countries whose citizens may apply for an ETIAS visa. Infants and senior citizens are also required to avail an ETIAS visa waiver.
What Will I Need to Apply?
The one thing you will need is your passport. The application can be filled up online, which will take a quick 10 minutes. Details you will need to list are personal & contact information, citizenship, any medical condition or criminal records, and the first EU country you intend to visit. You will also be asked to pay a small fee upon submitting your application. Travelers below the age of 18, however, do not need to pay this fee.
How Long Can ETIAS Be Used?
An ETIAS authorization is valid for 36 months or three years but also until your passport expires, whichever occurs first. You can enjoy travel to any of the countries in the Schengen States for up to ninety (90) days in a six (6) month duration.
Where Can I Travel to If I Get Authorization?
Once approved, you may now visit any of the European countries that make up the Schengen Zone. The EU country you stated you would visit first is going to be the country you can start traveling to as soon as you get your ETIAS visa.
If I Already Have a Visa in One of the Schengen States, Will I Still Need an ETIAS?
No. As long as your visa for one of the Schengen countries is valid, then that alone is enough authorization. A long-term visa from any of the member states gives you the privilege to travel to all the other countries in the Schengen Zone.
The goal of ETIAS is to provide a simple and automated solution to increase safety for travelers and citizens across the whole Schengen Area. The ETIAS also supports the visa liberalization policy promoted by the EU. The ETIAS visa is set to be implemented during 2021, so people visiting or planning to visit the Schengen member states are encouraged to read up on the details of applying for authorization as early as possible.
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