ETIAS, visa for Europe

by Luis Sánchez | Thu 29 Apr 2021
ETIAS, visa for Europe

What is ETIAS?

The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is the new European visa system for those having a passport being issued by a non-Schengen country. This travel permit or visa will allow for a more exhaustive control of all travellers visiting Europe from outside the continent, which will reinforce security and determine whether it is safe to enter any of the countries that make up the European Union and the Schengen area.
Although this visa is a novelty in Europe, most countries in the world have had a similar authorization system in place for years. Many countries have implemented an electronic travel authorization (ETA), which allows them to control all persons travelling to their territory.
There are few countries in the world where you can travel without an authorization, and more and more countries are opting for electronic authorization, which is faster and safer.
The security of border controls throughout the Schengen area is the main reason for implementing ETIAS.

When does ETIAS enter into force?

ETIAS should have come into force in mid-February 2021, but due to the current situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ETIAS has been postponed until late 2021 or early 2022.
From that moment on, all non-Schengen citizens will have to go through this procedure to travel to the European community. This system collects basic travellers data which, upon scrutiny by the authorities, will determine the possibility to enter any country in Europe.
All the countries in the Schengen area want ETIAS to be an accurate and secure system for all members, so the European Union is working together to this end.

Which countries must apply for ETIAS?

Currently, 62 nationalities are eligible to apply for ETIAS, a mandatory requirement for citizens of countries outside the European Union who wish to travel to Europe.

Which countries can I travel to with ETIAS?

You can travel to all European countries that are part of the Schengen area. The Schengen area is made up of the following 26 countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
As it can be observed from this list, the concepts European Union and Schengen area should not be confused: on the one hand, there are member states of the European Union that do not belong to the Schengen Area, and they are consequently not part of the ETIAS system. On the other hand, there are member states of the Schengen area that do not belong to the European Union for which the ETIAS authorization will obviously still be valid.
To travel to any of these 26 countries, foreign nationals must apply for ETIAS.
The countries in Europe that do not belong to the Schengen Area are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland, United Kingdom and Romania. These countries are outside the EU electronic authorization system and have their own rules for entering the country.

What is the Schengen area?

The Schengen area was formed following the Schengen Agreement. With this agreement, 26 European nations removed passport control among them to promote free movement of their citizens.
Of these 26 countries that signed the agreement, there are 4 that do not belong to the European Union. These 4 countries are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which belong to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and are integrated into the Schengen area.

Will the United Kingdom apply for ETIAS for entry?

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2021.
Following its departure, a trade and cooperation agreement has been decreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom, but it is not governed by the same rules as the rest of the countries of the union.
The United Kingdom does not belong to the Schengen area, like Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania, so these countries will have to implement their measures for immigration and movement of travellers.
It is very likely that the UK will implement its own ETA (electronic travel authorization) so that both Schengen and non-Schengen nationals can apply for it to travel to the country. If this measure is implemented, UK residents or nationals will have to apply for an ETIAS to travel to Schengen countries, and Schengen countries will have to apply for an ETA to travel to the UK.

How long will the ETIAS authorization be valid?

Nothing is certain yet, but it is expected to be valid for a maximum of 3 years. Long-term authorizations are always subject to the passport expiration, so if the passport expires before the authorization expires, the authorization will be invalid, even if the term has not been completed.
Will it be possible to travel to all European countries with a single ETIAS authorization?
While it will indeed be possible to travel to all Schengen member countries with a single ETIAS authorization, European countries that do not belong to the Schengen area will be excluded.
The condition is that the ETIAS authorization must be obtained for the first Schengen country the traveller arrives in. Once in that country, you will be able to move freely through the rest of the associated countries without any problem.

What is the cost of the ETIAS visa?

As with the validity, there is no definitive price yet, but it is expected to be between 7 and 10 euros.

Can the ETIAS authorization be denied?

Of course, like any other authorization or visa, ETIAS may be denied if the person applying for it does not meet the requirements, has a criminal record, or may create a problem for the security of the country.

About the author
Luis Sánchez

Luis Sánchez
Hello! I'm Luis, a boy from Extremadura who loves to travel and share his experiences with readers. I write articles for and I also help users to process electronic visas for all countries in the world that require it. I'm more of the mountains than the beach, so the quiet destinations with green landscapes are my favorites.

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