ETIAS, an acronym for European Information System and Travel Authorization, is a system made by the European Union to make Europe a safer place alongside strengthening its borders. It is another step of protecting its citizens and the general Schengen area against illegal migration, illegal working, improving security, and against many other unlawful practices.
In other words, the ETIAS system will verify if a citizen of a third-world country meets the necessary entry requirements before flying to any location in the Schengen countries. Another essential factor to consider is that ETIAS is not a visa but is a visa waiver program that requires the completion of this process for you to enter the Schengen area instead of a visa. In other words, you have to go through this electronic system of the process instead of applying and procuring a visa.
Who must apply for ETIAS? – The ETIAS will not affect anyone with dual citizenship of the United States of America and a European Union country or any citizen of the European Union country.
Citizens from countries that will need to have an ETIAS travel waiver have to pay a fee that costs anywhere between 7-15 euros for three years. Keep in mind that this fee’s price may differ until the ETIAS system is fully completed and is in motion – on the first of January 2023.
All travelers must procure the ETIAS visa waiver, including infants and those below the age of 18. There is no payment for those below the age of 18 to apply for ETIAS.
How to apply for a visa waiver – ETIAS takes around 10 minutes since it is online, on the ETIAS website, and doesn’t require plenty of documents unless asked explicitly during the background check. The approval for ETIAS also takes a couple of minutes after you have submitted your application. This is quite similar to the system that the United States has – the ESTA.
Background on ETIAS – The European Parliament had made the approval for the ETIAS visa waiver system in 2016. The legal procedures were in progress ever since. Although it is effective from the first of January 2021, the European Union has given time for other countries to adapt to this procedure.
The European Union has also taken into consideration the fact that the ETIAS authorization – visa waiver will become a mandatory requirement six months after its implementation.
However, there will be issues if you have overstayed your visa or are working illegally. The individual will be flagged based on the intensity of the misconduct. The consequences usually include banning the individual from visiting the Schengen countries for some time – this is the understanding of the ETIAS until its initiation.
The ETIAS is an efficient system meant for the safety and security of Europe. It also simplifies the task of applying for a visa. You can now travel and visit your favorite European countries all without the painstaking task of waiting for your visa.
As the ETIAS is currently making this fully functional, aircrews and embassies will keep you informed throughout the process if you happen to travel to the EU anytime soon.