Under the proposed ETIAS application process, 60 countries will be eligible to apply for ETIAS online. ETIAS travel authorizations will apply first to those who do not currently need a visa to enter Europe. These countries include the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as a wide range of other eligible countries. Please note that toward the end of 2021, the citizens of all visa-exempt countries outside the European Union will be required to complete an ETIAS application before their trip to the Schengen Area.
According to the European Commission, ETIAS will integrate with and complement existing security databases, such as the as Schengen Information System (SIS), as well as those still in development like the Entry Exit System (EES). The EES will allow authorities to get a closer look at cross-border movement and travel history data. ETIAS will be integrated and interoperable with other EU authorization systems and will automatically cross-check each application against the Schengen Information System (SIS) Europe’s most often used security database, in place since 2013. SIS contains more than 80 million records
ETIAS approval allows you to bypass time-consuming and potentially costly visits to embassies and consulates. ETIAS is not a visa. It is a visa waiver. If the purpose of your trip does not fall under the scope of ETIAS, you will need to apply for a traditional visa with each country on your itinerary.
ETIAS, the European Travel Information System, provides qualifying visitors a visa waiver when traveling to the Schengen Area, a group of European countries that have agreed upon who can visit and how long they can stay. The Schengen Area was created by the European Union, or EU, in the spirit of harmonious and free travel between borders and has grown to 26 countries – most are in the EU but some are not. Given the influx of international travelers to the Schengen Area, more comprehensive security checks have had to be put in place. ETIAS, much like ESTA in the United States, will create centralized data on who is visiting and why, providing enhanced security for all.
The ETIAS will not burden your finances a lot. It is planned to have the ETIAS cost only 7 euros for each application. This is only valid for adults over 18 years old, as those under 18 will not have to pay any fees. You can pay the fee by debit or credit card. Immediately after you complete the payment, the ETIAS authorization will start processing. If approved, the ETIAS might be valid for 3 years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. Whether you will get the first period of validity or the second depends on the system’s evaluation of your information and risk.
When you arrive at the border of an ETIAS participating country, a customs agent will likely ask you a few questions about your travel purposes to make sure you’re traveling legitimately and legally as a tourist or business person there for 90 days or less. Keep in mind that ETIAS allows for up to 90 days of travel within a 180-day period. See more info on ETIAS EU.