Citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU) can, in many cases, enter the Schengen area without a visa. Now in the near future travelers will be required with submitting an application to obtain the ETIAS.

In fact, there are currently 60 countries that can enter Europe (Schengen area) for 90 days for travel or business reasons. During this time, they are not allowed to work; but can participate in commercial or tourist activities.

Recent security concerns regarding terrorism and the refugee crisis require better border management. The EU has always stated that its objective has always been to make travel safer within its borders.

To shorten procedures and waiting times taking into account safety issues; The EU Commission has presented a solution: ETIAS. This will replace the traditional requirements that will be in force until the implementation of this System is completed.

Latin american travelers may find this article interesting: Requirements for Latinos to enter the European Union.

This article contains all the information about the new European system and who has the right to submit an application.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). It is a totally electronic system; that allows to travel to the Schengen area in Europe and at the same time registers visitors from countries that do not need a visa. It is very similar to the Travel Authorization System (ESTA) of the United States.

The legal procedures for this System began  to work in 2016. The system is expected to go into effect in 2020. ETIAS will submit each applicant to a comprehensive security control to determine if they can enter the Schengen area in Europe.

In addition to travel and commercial purposes, ETIAS allows entry to the Schengen area for medical treatment or transit.

The travel authorization system will collect data to track the necessary information on visitors to Europe.


Why is the approval of ETIAS important?


The main reason for introducing ETIAS approval is safety. With the increase in the risk represented by travelers around the world; the EU wants to ensure safe travel within its member states. ETIAS aims to significantly reduce security concerns through its information and data collection system. The system will detect if someone in any way represents a threat to the security of the Schengen area in Europe. This can lead to a person being denied entry to prevent the threat from entering the EU. It’s basically about solving a problem before it’s a problem.

How does ETIAS benefit Travelers?
  • Reduces procedure and application times.
  • Improves border management in EU countries.
  • Detects and reduces crime and terrorism.
  • It significantly reduces illegal immigration.
  • Strengthens the no-visa of the EU.

Who needs ETIAS?

ETIAS is aimed at citizens of countries that can enter the EU zone without a visa.

These countries must have the ETIAS approval:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong , Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City and Venezuela.

Until the system is introduced in 2020, more countries could be added to this list.

How do you need to do?

1. Complete the application form.

It is expected that filling out the ETIAS application will take around 20 minutes. The process will be online, so it does not require printing on paper. Depending on the country of origin, you must complete several data fields. The following information must be provided:

  • Name
  • Surnames
  • Birthdate
  • Place of birth
  • Information about citizenship
  • Address
  • Email and phone number
  • Work experience
  • Country of the EU where the applicant intends to enter.
  • In the case of minors, the legal guardian must present the ETIAS application.

Family members of EU citizens from another country must present evidence of the relationship, residence permit and other background information.

2. Submit the application.

To send the request, it must be completed in full and the fee paid. The system the will check if the information entered is correct, as well as assesing the risk factors.

If everything in the application form is correct, the applicant will be authorized and approved. The whole process takes usually only a few minutes.


Cost of ETIAS.

ETIAS will cost around 7 euros for each application. This only applies to adults over 18 years of age. Children under 18 do not have to pay any fees. The fee will be paid by debit or credit card. Immediately after the payment is made, the authorization process will begin.

How long does it last?

Once ETIAS has been approved; The authorization is valid for 3 years or until the passport expires. The validity period granted depends on how the system evaluates the information and the risk.

In case of rejection.

Within a few minutes of submitting the application, the system will provide information on the status. If it is not approved, the applicant receives a notice of denial. This notification is accompanied by a reason why it was rejected. The applicant can now file a complaint or adjust the request and try again.

Necessary documents.

The only document that the applicant needs for ETIAS is a valid passport. The passport usually contains the corresponding information.

Verification of the information provided.

ETIAS is connected to several databases that allow you to verify the information in minutes. Therefore, it is important that all applicants answer the questions honestly. If the system detects incorrect information during the control, it rejects the travel authorization. If the ETIAS approval has already been granted and it turns out that the information provided was incorrect, it will be revoked.


Do travelers need ETIAS if they have a Schengen visa?

No, anyone with a Schengen visa does not need the ETIAS permit. When entering the Schengen states, it is simply necessary to present the visa at the border. If the visa has expired, the traveler can request a travel permit from ETIAS, if he has the right to do so.

Oficial website of Schengen Visa: CLICK HERE

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