Explaining ETIAS – The Visa Waiver Scheme

ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, launches in November 2023, and is a visa waiver scheme for Non EU nationals visiting countries in the Schengen area, including Spain and The Canary Islands.

Price and validity

Application will cost €7 and be valid for a period of three years, giving holders the right to visit all countries in the Schengen area. For those under 18 or over 70, the ETIAS will be free of charge.

No Passport stamps required

Once the system is up and running, it will be entirely electronic, with E Gates scanning passports and cross checking to ensure an ETIAS is in place, speeding up entry.

Required information

The ETIAS application will request the following information:

  • Personal information including your name(s), surname, date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ first names, email address and phone number
  • Passport information
  • Details about your education and occupation
  • Details about any criminal convictions and previous travel to war /conflicted zones and any deportation decisions

You should apply for ETIAS travel authorisation before booking your travel. The majority of applications should be approved within 96 hours of submission. Some applicants may be requested to hold an interview with the authorities which could take up to 30 days.

Why has this been put in place?

It should speed up entry to Schengen countries and it’s a way of improving the security of EU member states within the Schengen region by capturing data on travellers that currently visit the area without a visa.

The ETIAS will pre-screen travellers from “third-countries”, who are citizens from countries not needing a Schengen Visa. The screening relates to terrorism or migration related risks. The objective is to identify individuals who pose security threats before they are able to travel to the Schengen area. It will also help to ensure visitors do not overstay their 90 days in any rolling 180 days within the zone.

It’s very similar to the ESTA scheme that has been in place for visitors to The United States for many years, and the UK are also implementing a similar scheme which will be called ETA.

How do I apply?

This link will take you to the official ETIAS website, but it’s not open for applications at this time. Bookmark the page and come back here once it’s open for applications, or subscribe to our newsletter below and we’ll let you know the moment, it’s open: Official ETIAS website.

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