ETIAS Europe: How it Works, Simply Explained

Curious about ETIAS for Europe? Learn how this European Travel Information and Authorisation System impacts your future adventures. 

Well, starting from 2024, if you’re from one of over 60 visa-exempt countries, you’ll need to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization to enter most European countries in the Schengen Zone. But don’t worry, ETIAS is not a visa, so the process is less complicated than you might think.

ETIAS Europe Website

What is ETIAS? ETIAS Application Process

Let me break it down for you! ETIAS, the European Travel Information, and Authorisation System, aims to enhance border management, and security, and combat crime and terrorism across Europe.

It’s an online application linked to your passport, usually valid for up to three years or until your passport expires. Just remember, if you renew your passport, you’ll need to apply for a new ETIAS travel authorization.

The 90 / 180 rule

With a valid ETIAS travel authorization, you can enter the territory of these European countries as often as you want for short-term stays – normally for up to 90 days in any 180-day period

Before you embark on your European adventures, ensure you’re aware of the new ETIAS for Europe requirements. The application process should be straightforward and speedy, so you can focus on what truly matters: soaking up the beauty of Europe and creating unforgettable memories.

ETIAS Europe Sample Form

Which European countries are requiring an ETIAS in the border?

These 30 European countries require visa-exempt travelers to have an ETIAS travel authorization.

Countries require ETIAS

How to apply for an Etias? Online Application

Here’s how to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) for Europe. Whether you’re planning a visa-free trip to Europe’s Schengen Area, we’ll show you step-by-step how to obtain your ETIAS authorization. Let’s get started, shall we?

  • Access the ETIAS application platform from your mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, especially if you’re from a visa-exempt country like the United States, Australia, or Canada.
  • Fill out the online application form, providing the necessary personal and travel information.
  • Double-check your details for accuracy and completeness before submitting.
  • Pay the required fee using a secure online payment method.
  • Submit your application and wait for it to be processed.
  • In most cases, you should receive your approved ETIAS within a few minutes.
  • Print or save a digital copy of your ETIAS for presentation during your trip to Europe’s Schengen Area.

Documents Required for ETIAS Application

We’ll cover the required documents, steps, and important details you need to know for the process of applying for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) for Europe

  • A valid passport from your visa-exempt country (e.g., United States, Australia, Canada).
  • Ensure your passport remains valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned departure from Europe.
  • Have a valid credit or debit card for payment of the ETIAS application fee (7 EUR).
  • Provide an email address to receive the approval notice. Gather these essential items, and you’ll be ready to start your ETIAS application process.

Itinerary and Accommodation For ETIAS in European Destinations

As you plan your exciting trip to Europe with ETIAS, don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance. ETIAS requires visa-exempt travelers from countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, the Bahamas, and Barbados to apply online before visiting over 30 European countries.

When completing your ETIAS application, make sure to provide accurate itinerary and accommodation details such as the hotel address and booking confirmation. This information helps ensure a seamless journey and demonstrates your preparedness.

Plus, having confirmed accommodation gives you peace of mind knowing you have a cozy place to stay throughout your adventure. You can book a room or a house in any European country online.

Others Travel Insurance and Embassy Contact Details

While not mandatory for ETIAS, having the contact information of your home country’s embassies in the countries you’re visiting can be a lifesaver. They’re there to assist you if any issues arise during your trip.

And don’t forget about travel insurance! It’s like a safety net, providing coverage for unexpected situations like accidents or trip cancellations. Buy travel insurance here!

ETIAS Approval

After submitting your application and paying the fee, most applicants will receive approval within minutes. The approved ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for three years or until your passport expires (whichever comes first). It’s important to have a printout or saved copy on your phone when entering countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, or Sweden in the Schengen Area.

In the rare case that your ETIAS application is NOT approved, don’t panic. You will receive a notification detailing the reasons for the denial. You may have the option to appeal the decision or rectify any errors or missing information. Contact the ETIAS authorities for guidance on how to proceed.

Remember, ETIAS is not a traditional visa. It’s a simple and efficient travel authorization meant to simplify and enhance security measures for travelers to Europe.

Who needs an ETIAS travel authorization? Eligible countries.

When planning your trip to Europe, it’s essential to know which countries are part of the ETIAS system and how it works for different groups of countries.

Nationals of any of these visa-exempt countries need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization.

Countries need ETIAS

In the European region, countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine need to apply for an ETIAS authorization before traveling.

The Iguazu Falls surrounded by lush vegetation in Argentina, a country eligible in ETIAS Europe

If you’re traveling from the Americas region, countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and many more also need to apply for an ETIAS authorization.

Remember to check the ETIAS requirements for your specific destination to avoid any travel complications.

Neon signs and lights in a street at night in Japan, a country eligible in ETIAS Europe

From Asia-Pacific region? Countries such as Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong S.A.R, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and others fall under the ETIAS authorization requirement.

For travelers venturing from the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates is part of the ETIAS authorization requirement.

Who does not need an ETIAS travel authorization?

You will not need an ETIAS travel authorization if you are:

  • A national of a European country requiring ETIAS
  • A national of any of these countries needs a visa to travel to any of the European countries requiring ETIAS, and not an ETIAS travel authorization. See below
  • A national of the United Kingdom who is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement
  • A national of Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, the Holy See (the Vatican City State), or Ireland
  • A refugee, a stateless person, or a person who does not hold the nationality of any country and You reside in any of the European countries requiring ETIAS and hold a travel document issued by that country
  • A holder of a residence permit or a residence card issued by any European country requiring ETIAS
  • A holder of a uniform visa
  • A holder of a national long-stay visa
  • A holder of a local border traffic permit, but only within the context of the Local Border Traffic
  • A holder of a diplomatic, service, or special passport

Countries Requiring VISA instead of ETIAS

The eligibility for ETIAS is determined by the EU based on factors such as diplomatic relations and security.

As of today, a national of any of these countries needs a visa to travel to any of the European countries requiring ETIAS

Stay informed about eligibility changes on the official ETIAS website. ETIAS aims to enhance border security and streamline the travel authorization process for your European adventures.

In the African region, countries such as Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote D’ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe fall under the VISA authorization requirement.

Bhutanese Dzong surrounded by trees under a clear skies in Bhutan, one of the countries requiring VISA instead of ETIAS Europe pass

Moving to the Asian region, countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen are included.

In the American region, the countries of Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname are part of the VISA authorization requirement.

Lastly, in the Oceania region, the country of Papua New Guinea is listed as requiring VISA authorization.

Can Schengen Visa Holders Need ETIAS?

If you already have a valid Schengen visa, great news! You don’t need to register for ETIAS right now. However, once your visa expires, you can easily register for ETIAS if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Do British Citizens Require ETIAS Europe?

Yes, now that Brexit is finalised, British citizens are no longer part of the EU. However, they can still enter other EU countries visa-free, but they must register for ETIAS when it becomes active. The UK is now considered a ‘third-country’, which means ETIAS is a requirement for travel to the EU starting in 2024.

While Brexit may have caused a slight hiccup in your travel plans, obtaining ETIAS authorization should be a straightforward process.

Schengen Visa vs ETIAS Europe

When it comes to your trip to Europe, it’s important to distinguish between a Schengen Visa and ETIAS. If you need a visa to visit EU countries, the Schengen Visa is your go-to. It allows you to explore the 26 member countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

On the other side, ETIAS is a new electronic travel authorization designed for visa-exempt travelers. It streamlines the process and enhances safety for short-term visits to the Schengen Area.

  • Purpose: ETIAS aims to ensure safety and screen visa-exempt travelers for security, migration, and health risks. Meanwhile, the Schengen Visa is necessary for non-visa-exempt travelers.
  • Application Process: With ETIAS, you can conveniently complete your application online and receive a speedy response. However, obtaining a Schengen Visa involves a more intricate process, including an appointment at a consulate or embassy.
  • Fees: ETIAS fees are a flat rate of 7€ for travelers aged 18 to 70, making it affordable and accessible. Schengen Visa fees vary based on factors such as age, nationality, and the purpose of your visit.
  • Travelers’ Eligibility: ETIAS is designed for citizens of visa-exempt countries, streamlining the process for many travelers. However, if you’re from a non-visa-exempt country, obtaining a Schengen Visa is a necessary step.

Limitations and Guidelines of ETIAS Europe

Travelers can enjoy the convenience of long-lasting authorization. Typically, ETIAS is valid for three years or until the expiration of the passport used during the application, whichever comes first. This extended validity allows multiple entries into the Schengen Area, giving you the flexibility to plan your trips within the authorized timeframe.

French Passport Application

90/180 Day Rule for the ETIAS Europe

Under ETIAS, you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. That’s plenty of time to immerse yourself in the wonders of Europe and create unforgettable memories.

Just keep in mind that once you’ve reached your 90-day limit, it’s time to bid farewell to the Schengen Area. But don’t worry! You can always plan your next adventure and return when the next 180-day period begins.

Remember, within that 180-day period, make sure not to exceed a total of 90 days of travel in the Schengen Area. It’s essential to keep track of your days and plan accordingly, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey throughout Europe.

By staying mindful of the 90-day rule and the 180-day travel period, you can make the most of your visa-free stay and savor every moment of your European adventure. Safe travels and enjoy exploring the beauty that awaits you!

Extension for ETIAS Europe

While ETIAS offers convenience for short-term travels, there may be instances when you desire to extend your stay beyond the 90-day limit. It’s important to note that ETIAS doesn’t provide extensions as it primarily caters to short-term visits.

If you find yourself wanting to stay longer, consider applying for a national visa from the specific country you’re visiting. Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding visa extensions, and a national visa can grant you a longer stay based on their guidelines.

One of the advantages of ETIAS is its longer validity perion to France and more countries compared to a Schengen visa.

Planning Your Trip

ETIAS How it works pin cover, people walking in the airport and a three marron passports

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