What you need to know about the ETIAS visa waiver for Europe

A trip to Europe is one of those things that are on many people’s travel bucket lists. Why wouldn’t it be? The region is seriously diverse and attractive.

From Unesco World Heritage sites to trendy restaurants and contemporary art museums, Europe is packed with culture and history. Each country in Europe has powerful stories, imposing landmarks, and a fascinating heritage.

If traveling to Europe is one of your dreams, there are a few things you need to know about the ETIAS visa waiver for Europe that will be implemented in the year 2021. A

At this moment, citizens of 62 nations can travel to the Schengen Area without applying for a visa at an embassy or consulate. All they need is a valid passport and a return flight.

However, the ETIAS visa waiver will become a travel requirement for travelers from these 62 nations in order to enter any of the Schengen member countries.

EUROPE TRAVEL GUIDES TO INSPIRE YOUR TRIP

WHY WAS THE ETIAS VISA WAVIER FOR EUROPE CREATED?

In recent years, several European countries have been struck by terrorist attacks. The region is also facing an immigration crisis. With this in mind, the European Union drafted several proposals to address the security of its external borders. On November 2016, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the importance of protecting Europe and its borders.

The ETIAS system will determine a traveler’s eligibility by contrasting their personal details with european and international security databases such as the Europol and Interpol.

This system will be able to identify individuals that might pose a threat to the Schengen Area and its citizens and visitors alike. Europe welcomes thousands of people each day, and at the present time, citizens of 62 countries can enter the region without a visa.

The ETIAS visa waiver is an electronic travel authorization that will be required to enter any of the 26 countries in the Schengen Zone.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE ETIAS VISA WAVIER PROGRAMME FOR EUROPE

Obtaining the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe, specifically the Schengen Area, will be a fairly simple process. As of 2021, citizens of eligible countries will need to apply online for an ETIAS visa waiver.

To successfully obtain an ETIAS visa waiver to visit a Schengen member country, you will need a valid passport, an email address and a debit or credit card. Your passport will be electronically linked to your ETIAS application. The email address is necessary so that you can receive a notification once your online ETIAS application has been approved. The debit and credit card are required to cover the ETIAS fee.

When completing the online application form you will need to provide personal details such as your full name and date and place of birth. Furthermore, you will need to include your passport information and answer a series of security questions regarding your health and past trips to conflict zones.

The ETIAS application format is similar to the U.S. ESTA or the Canadian eTA. Once you’ve completed the application and paid the respective fee you will be able to submit the application.

The EU assures that most applications will be processed within minutes. If an application raises a red flag, it will be revised manually by a team of expert officials. In the case that an application is rejected, the applicant will have the right to appeal.

If your ETIAS application is approved, your ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for three consecutive years, or until your passport expires. ETIAS will grant its holder stays of up to 90 days in the Schengen Area within a 180-day period.

While the ETIAS visa waiver won’t be available until 2021, make sure you check entry requirements before traveling to European countries outside the Schengen Area. The UK, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania have different entry regulations.

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