Starting next year, visitors from almost 60 countries will have to apply for European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) before travelling to Europe. Wondering what ETIAS is? Here’s our complete guide on this travel requirement.
This travel authorisation is for visitors from countries that are allowed to visit the Schengen Area without a visa. These include Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong (SAR), Macau, Japan, South Korea, Israel, USA and Australia. However, people from India, Thailand, Bhutan and Indonesia are not eligible for ETIAS as they anyway require a visa to enter the Schengen region.
Schengen Area is a group of 27 countries in Europe that have abolished their borders for free and unrestricted movement of people.
It is important to note that ETIAS is different from the Schengen Visa, as travellers from across the globe will need either document to visit the Schengen Area, depending on the travel rules of the European Union (EU).
What is ETIAS and how will it affect Europe travel?
The system was initially proposed to be launched in 2022, but the latest update, according to the official website, states that ETIAS will be launched in 2024. Hence, travellers will need to be prepared to apply for this authorisation before they plan their travel to Europe. ETIAS is based on a similar visa waiver system in the USA, called ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and the eTA systems of both Canada and Australia.
While ETIAS is not a visa, it will be an important online system that screens travellers from visa-exempt nations before they arrive in the Schengen Area. The reason for this screening is to improve border security as well as to ensure that these visitors do not pose a risk to any nation under the EU and its people. “It will also help improve processing times for travellers at the border by providing agents with the information they need ahead of time,” the website adds.
Who needs to apply for ETIAS?
People who belong to a non-EU country and do not need a visa to travel to an EU-member state for a short-term stay will need to apply for the ETIAS. However, EU nationals and those who possess a residence permit, card or document issued by any EU country are exempt from the same, according to the website.
How can you apply for ETIAS?
The application process will be completely online as mail or postal applications will not be accepted. The ETIAS website states that you can also get a third party (family, friend or organisation) to complete the application for you.
Documents required for ETIAS
A passport valid for more than three months from the intended date of departure and should not be older than 10 years from the date of issue.
The ETIAS will be valid for three years from its issue date unless your passport expires. In this case, travellers will have to apply for a new ETIAS. The document can be used for stays up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
How much does ETIAS cost?
ETIAS fee is EUR 7 (THB 268, approx).
(All conversions were done at the time of writing)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Yes, ETIAS applications can be denied. In such a scenario, applicants will be informed about the refusal with reason.
Answer: ETIAS is valid for three years. However, in case your passport expires before that, you'll have to apply for a new ETIAS.
Answer: You need a valid passport as well as a method of payment for the application fee of EUR 7 (THB 268). The passport needs to be valid for more than three months from the intended day of departure from the EU, and should not be older than 10 years from the date of issue.
Answer: In case the authorities feel that they need some additional information related to your application, you may be asked to send supporting documents via email.
Answer: You can enter any ETIAS member country (aka an EU Schengen state) as long as you have a valid authorisation document.
Answer: Applications will be checked across Schengen Information System (SIS), Visa Information System (VIS) and Entry/Exit System (EES), EUROPOL DATA, SLTD (Interpol), EURODAC, ECRIS, the ETIAS screening rules as well as the ETIAS watchlist.
Answer: No, interviews are not required for an ETIAS. However, in exceptional cases, you may be called in for an interview.
Answer: No, ETIAS is not applicable for those who require a Schengen Visa.
Answer: Travellers who are not eligible for ETIAS are mostly those who require a Schengen Visa to visit the EU. So you can apply for the same when your plan your trip.
Answer: ETIAS is based on a similar visa waiver system in the USA, which is called ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). While one document is meant for entry into the EU, the other is required for USA.
Answer: ETIAS is valid for three years from the date of issue, and you can travel as many times as you want within this period. However, you can only spend up to 90 days in a 180-day period in the area.