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What is ETIAS and When Will it be Implemented: Join the waitlist!

Last updated: September 2022

The European Union (EU) recently announced the postponement of the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which was originally scheduled to take place in early 2022. The delay was due to multiple setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, causing the EU to slow down its rollout plans. This marks the third time the ETIAS launch has been postponed, with the first delay pushing it to January 2023, followed by a second delay to May 2023, and a third delay to November 2023.

However, the EU has recently announced a fourth delay, pushing back the ETIAS launch until 2024, which is expected to provide sufficient time for the implementation of the system's infrastructure and processes.

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.

At iVisa, 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 authorization system.

On this page, you’ll find information about:

  • What is ETIAS?

  • When will ETIAS be implemented?

  • Which nationalities need the ETIAS visa waiver?

  • ETIAS requirements and documents

  • ETIAS application fees: How much will the ETIAS cost

  • ETIAS validity

  • ETIAS application form: How to apply

  • ETIAS questions

  • ETIAS for people with dual citizenship

  • ETIAS vs. Schengen Visa

What is the ETIAS?

The ETIAS visa waiver program was designed by the European Union to screen travelers before visiting Europe. While the EU comprises 28 nations, the ETIAS visa waiver is only needed to enter Schengen member countries.

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it offers you an online document linked to your biometric passport. The system was created to strengthen external borders and improve security in Schengen member states. 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 a 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 valid visa from a diplomatic mission or consulate of the country you plan to travel to.

When will ETIAS be implemented?

Legal procedures for approval of the ETIAS information and authorisation system started in 2016, and it is expected to be implemented as of November 2023. Apply for ETIAS at iVisa using our 100% secure online application form.

ETIAS country list

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 accept the ETIAS travel authorisation: Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.

Which nationalities will need the ETIAS Visa Waiver?

Those citizens of any non-European Union country who can currently enter the EU Schengen zone without a visa are classed as visa-exempt visitors. There are presently 63 non-EU countries that are visa-exempt to enter the Schengen zone.

These 63 nationalities that are part of the visa-free travel agreement are the ones that will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver when it is available and mandatory. Before the authorization system launches, more countries may be added to the list, so we recommend that you take advantage of our visa checker tool to see if your nationality qualifies for this document or if you need a different type of 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 correct visa for you.

ETIAS requirements and documents

Apart from being from one of the visa-exempt nations traveling to a country within the EU Schengen area, you will need to submit a few documents to complete your ETIAS visa waiver application:

  • Valid machine-readable passport with a validity of at least three months from the date of entry

  • Debit or credit card to pay for your ETIAS processing fee

  • A digital photograph (if you don’t have one, use the iVisa digital photo service)

  • A valid email address where the confirmation of the approved 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.

You will be asked various security and personal questions to complete the application. Depending on individual circumstances, you may be asked to submit additional documents.

ETIAS application fees: How much will the ETIAS cost?

We don’t know exactly how much the ETIAS will cost, but it is rumored to be very affordable, with a government fee of about USD 8 per application. Fees may be waived for travelers under the age of 18.

As the entry visa has not yet been launched, no confirmed processing prices are available. Once you can apply for the ETIAS, iVisa will offer three options of payment and processing times:

  • 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.

ETIAS validity: How long is the ETIAS valid for?

The ETIAS travel authorization is valid for three years, unless your passport expires before that time, your ETIAS will expire alongside it.

During that time, you’ll be allowed to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a 180-day period. You can enter as many countries within the valid zone as you wish during the validity of your document.

ETIAS application form: How to apply for an ETIAS

Before traveling, submit the correct information to get your ETIAS visa waiver for a smooth entry. Simply follow the iVisa online user registration process and upload the required documents.

ETIAS application process

The ETIAS application is a 100% online process and shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to complete, no paperwork, consulate, or embassy visits involved! Depending on your country of origin, it will present you with separate fields to fill out.

ETIAS verification process

As part of the verification process in order to determine if you are eligible for ETIAS approval, you will be asked a series of questions, such as:

  • Biometric information: first name, last name, date of birth, and place of birth

  • Information regarding your citizenship

  • Contact information: address, email address, and phone number

  • Education and work experience

  • First EU country you intend to visit

  • Background and eligibility questions: medical condition, previous travel to war-torn countries or places where you have been deported or rejected from, and criminal records

  • For minors: the legal guardian must fill out the application on their behalf

  • For family members of EU citizens from other countries: you must submit proof of the relationship, residence card, and other background info

Paying for the ETIAS

The system will first:

  • Check you have filled out all fields and that the information is correct

  • Check your eligibility

  • Check the risk factors presented

If everything is in order, and you do not propose a risk you will be eligible to submit your ETIAS form and be asked to pay the relevant fee.

After completing the above verification process you just have to pay the fee you have chosen with regard to the preferred processing time. After this, you’re ready to submit your ETIAS application.

What happens if your ETIAS application is denied?

As the application is processed quickly you should get a response on your ETIAS application status from our visa experts within a few days. If it is approved then no further action is required, just wait for the document to arrive in your inbox. If it is denied you will receive a corresponding message with the reason why the ETIAS was denied.

You can appeal this decision, or based on the denial reason, you may be able to adjust your application and try the process again.

ETIAS background and security questions

To obtain a valid ETIAS, you’ll be required to answer some ETIAS background and security questions. 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.

ETIAS criminal background questions

You’ll have to inform authorities of any convictions for serious criminal transgressions over the past 10 years, including terrorism, human trafficking, trafficking of drugs, and violent crime.

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 to 20 years.

ETIAS health questions

The ETIAS forms part of The European Commission's initiative to implement new measures to safeguard residents and visitors to Europe in the future, in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, all visitors applying for ETIAS will need to have health insurance for their trip.

To successfully complete your application form, you are required to answer a series of questions relating to public health, including existing medical conditions, and infectious or contagious parasitic diseases must be truthfully declared.

ETIAS biometrics

As this will be a completely digital process and will involve electronically linking your identification and travel information to your passport you will need a biometric passport to apply.

ETIAS for people with dual citizenship

Having dual citizenship will not cause problems during your ETIAS application process. Applicants will need to use just one of their passports to apply. Of course, one of them has to be from an eligible country.

Citizens of the US with dual citizenship can obtain ETIAS without problem, unless they are holders of a European passport (of a Schengen member country), then they will not be required to obtain a valid ETIAS visa waiver upon arrival in Europe.

ETIAS vs. 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.

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.

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.

Where can I learn more?

If you have further questions about the upcoming ETIAS visa waiver or another travel document to visit Europe, please reach out to our excellent customer support team or email [email protected].

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.

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