Last updated: June 2022
Europe has always been a popular holiday destination. Rich culture and history, delicious food and bustling cities are why millions of tourists visit the continent every year. If you’d like to travel to the European Union, you may have to register for an ETIAS - or the European Travel Information and Authorization System - starting in 2023.
At iVisa.com, we can help you obtain the ETIAS ahead of your trip, as soon as it’s implemented. Read on for further information about the ETIAS system.
On this page, you’ll find information about:
What the ETIAS system is
Who needs to apply for the ETIAS
How to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver
The difference between ETIAS and Schengen visa
COVID-19 entry requirements for Europe
Where you can find more information
What is the ETIAS?
The ETIAS visa waiver program was designed by the European Union to screen travelers before traveling to Europe. While the EU comprises 28 nations, the ETIAS visa waiver will be required to enter only Schengen member countries. For your convenience, find a list of these countries below.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it offers you an online document linked to your biometric passport. This system was created to strengthen external border controls and improve security in the Schengen Zone. When you apply for this document, you’ll be subjected to the ETIAS screening rules that involve checking your criminal records in the databases of local and international authorities. Travelers that fail the background check will not be allowed to enter the Schengen area within the EU.
The ETIAS is NOT substitute for a student or work visa. That’s why we remind you that if you want to live, study, work, or stay in Europe longer than 90 days, you’ll still be required to get a proper visa from a diplomatic mission or consulate of the country you plan to travel to.
Do I need to apply for the ETIAS?
The travelers that can apply for an ETIAS are travelers from current countries that don’t need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. We recommend that you take advantage of our visa checker tool to see if your nationality qualifies for this document or if you need another visa. All you need to do is select your country of origin from the dropdown menu and your destination. If your nationality is not among the eligible countries, we recommend that you contact your nearest embassy to process the right visa for you.
How long is the ETIAS valid for?
The ETIAS travel authorization is valid for three years, unless your passport expires before that time, in which case your ETIAS will expire alongside it.
During that time, you’ll be allowed to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within each 180-day period. You can enter as many countries within the valid zone as you wish during the validity of your document.
How to apply for the ETIAS online
Before traveling, submit the correct information to get your ETIAS visa waiver for a smooth entry. Simply follow the iVisa.com online user registration process and upload the required documents.
Documents needed to get your ETIAS visa waiver
To complete your ETIAS application, you will need to provide the following:
Valid passport with a validity of at least 3 months from the date of entry
Debit or credit card to pay for your ETIAS processing fee.
A valid email address where the accepted ETIAS Travel Authorization will be sent
We recommend that you have this information on hand when you fill out your ETIAS application, as you will need to ensure that the information on the form and your valid passport match.
Do I need an ETIAS if I’m transiting through the Schengen Zone?
Yes, passengers who are transiting through any of the Schengen countries and have an onward ticket to a country outside the Schengen area will also need to complete the application process for this travel document.
How to apply for the ETIAS online with iVisa.com
Get your ETIAS visa waiver in three easy steps:
First, read the info, fill out your details such as your full name, date of birth, and address, and provide all requested information.
Second, verify your information. Upload a scan of your passport ID page and double-check that all the information entered is correct. Then, choose the processing speed that best fits your travel needs.
Third, attach any documents required and click on the submit button to submit the application form to apply for your ETIAS visa waiver.
Once your ETIAS application is approved, you’ll receive your travel authorization via email. We recommend carrying both an electronic and printed copy during your travels to show to airport officials.
What are the costs and processing time of the ETIAS?
Currently, we don’t know exactly how much the ETIAS will cost.
As the entry visa has not yet been launched, no confirmed prices are available yet. Once you can apply for the ETIAS, iVisa.com will offer three options of payments and processing times for you to choose from. Depending on how fast you need the document or your budget, we have an option to suit your needs.
Standard Processing Time: This option will take a bit longer, but it is affordable and ideal for travelers who have time to get all the required documents.
Rush Processing Time: This is a faster option for travelers willing to pay extra for receiving their ETIAS quickly, in case their travels are coming up soon.
Super Rush Processing Time: This is our fastest option, perfect for those travelers who are in a rush to visit the European Union and need their ETIAS urgently.
Do I need to get an ETIAS for my child?
Yes, parents or guardians will need to fill out an application on the child’s behalf and state this on the form. The ETIAS will be linked to the document of the parent or guardian. Parents and guardians will be subjected to a screening process that will help reduce the risks of illegal immigration and child trafficking.
More about the ETIAS background and eligibility questions
To obtain a valid ETIAS, you’ll be required to answer some ETIAS background and security questions, focusing on your criminal history. You’ll have to inform authorities of any convictions for serious criminal transgressions over the past 10 years, including terrorism, sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking, trafficking of drugs, murder, and sexual assaults.
You’ll also have to answer if you have stayed in specific war or conflict zones and if any prior administrative arrangement required you to leave a country over the past 10 years. If it’s from terrorism, the period increases to 20 years.
It’s obligatory to answer with honesty. Otherwise, your application could be rejected. Don’t forget that the ETIAS system will screen all information provided through security databases such as Europol and Interpol.
What is the difference between an ETIAS and a Schengen Visa?
The ETIAS travel authorization is an online document available to nationals of countries that don't need a visa to enter the Schengen area. It’s also good to remember that the ETIAS is not a visa, but a visa waiver. The document's purpose is to improve security in the European continent, and it’s only available for tourism, business or transit purposes.
An EU or Schengen Visa will also allow travelers to enter for tourism, business, and transit, and on top of that, depending on the visa, they can also get one for work, study and even live in the Schengen area.
The bottom line is that there are different visas depending on your needs. If you need one because of your nationality or because you're planning a long trip to Europe, you will need to visit an embassy or consulate, or consult the experts at iVisa.com.
What are the Schengen Area member states?
There are 26 countries in the Schengen Zone. Of these, 22 are members of the European Union, and the other 4 are part of the European Free Trade Association. The ETIAS visa waiver program applies to all of these countries.
The 22 members of the EU that will be accepting the ETIAS are Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, and Malta.
The other Non-EU member states that are still ETIAS member states are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Please remember that the following microstates are also part of the EU and also accept the ETIAS: Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
COVID-19 entry requirements
Bear in mind that COVID-19 entry requirements will change depending on the country you want to visit. To check the specific requirements for the country you are traveling to, use the iVisa.com via checker tool.
Where can I learn more?
They are available around the clock and can answer all your questions about any travel authorization or visa you need. Just click on the chat pop-up on our homepage, and you’ll be connected to a travel expert.