At present, many nationalities can be granted entry to Europe even without a visa, for example, Spain. But it will all change in 2021 upon the implementation of the EU Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). Continuing the example, under the ETIAS, Spanish locals will need an Etias Spain to enter the European Union (EU). What exactly are the key differences between the ETIAS and the Schengen Visa?
The Schengen Visa
The Schengen Area in Europe puts aside all kinds of immigration control to allow free movement of citizens between the borders of their 26 member states. Locals of each member state can live in any of the Schengen countries without the need for any Visa. Some non-EU citizens planning to visit the Schengen area must apply for a Schengen visa.
The Etias Visa
Currently, there are over 60 countries all over the world that are not required a visa to travel to Europe, only a passport. With the implementation of ETIAS in 2021, those ‘visa-waived’ countries would have to apply for an ETIAS in addition to a valid passport.
Let’s Clear Everything Up
EU and Schengen nationals do not need ETIAS.
Non-EU nationals who are locals of the 60+ countries who presently don’t need a visa will now need an ETIAS upon entry in the EU. This is the classification that needs ETIAS.
Non-EU nationals who do need a visa in entering Europe, or countries classified as third-world, will not be eligible for ETIAS and would still need a Schengen visa.
Visitors to Europe who are eligible for ETIAS do not need a Schengen visa. Those who do not qualify for ETIAS will need a Schengen visa.
Other Notable Differences
An ETIAS is linked to the passport of the traveler allowing entrance to the European Union, but not necessarily Schengen. A Schengen visa is for one specific Schengen area member state only, and cannot be used as a ticket to free travel all around Europe.
An ETIAS application is filled out online. Payment of 7 Euros is needed along with the application. A Schengen Visa must be done in person at the embassy of the destination country. It takes a far longer time to furnish a Schengen visa than an ETIAS.
Europe remains one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the world because of its marked splendor and beauty. At present, many countries outside the EU are allowed visa-free entrance, but the ETIAS would cause a shift. Before admittance into the EU for travel, Spanish locals would now need an ETIAS Spain, as do other nationalities who were previously free to enter.
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