Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are not members of the EU, but will also require an ETIAS. Monaco, Vatican City, and San Marino will also require ETIAS. The European countries that are not part of the Schengen Area and will not require ETIAS are the UK, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus, although in the case of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, this might change in the future.


Until 2022, Colombian citizens can enter the Schengen area with a valid passport, but with the implementation of ETIAS, the process will have an additional step. Colombian citizens will first need to obtain ETIAS authorization before they enter the country.

ETIAS will not just be mandatory for Colombian citizens. It will become a requirement for all travelers who come from visa-exempt countries. The process will be done online and will require the Colombian traveler to obtain authorization before entering the country.

What are the requirements? The process is very straight-forward and will require the traveler to provide a valid passport (that will remain valid for at least three months beyond the intended period of stay), a valid e-mail address, and a card to pay the waiver fee. The waiver fee will consist of the established fee plus any administrative charges and will be made clear as the application is launched.


The purpose of ETIAS is to strengthen border security and keep a tighter record of the people visiting the Schengen Area and specific information about who they are, when they arrive, when they leave, and so on. The application will require specific information, most of which will need to come from the valid, current passport the person has. The information will involve:

  • The full name of the citizen
  • All relevant passport data, for example, date of issue and expiration and passport number
  • Travel plans, including the date of arrival and date of departure, as well as the country where the citizen intends to enter
  • Questions about the citizen’s health
  • Question concerning security

It’s important to provide correct information to prevent delays or the waiver being denied. Once the process is completed, the citizen will receive the visa waiver digitally as a PDF file on the email address they provided during the application. Starting in late 2022, ETIAS will be mandatory for all citizens of Colombia and other visa-free countries as well.


Once the Colombian citizen receives the visa waiver, they can have unlimited access into all countries part of the Schengen Area for a 90-day period within a 180-day period, just as happens now. This means that the person can spend a maximum of 90 days within 180 days inside the Schengen Area without a visa.

What will happen once the application is sent ? The personal information will be screened by EU Border Control. In particular, it will be screened against criminal databases, such as the Interpol watchlist and other criminal databases to establish if the person might be dangerous. The screening takes place across a variety of databases (VIS, SIS, EURODAC, and more). The main goal is to prevent individuals who have taken part in unlawful activities or who have entered the EU illegally from accessing the Schengen area. If the application is flagged, it will be reviewed manually, which might mean a longer processing time.

It is possible that the application gets denied, although this will happen in few cases. This can happen if the person who is applying has been involved in serious criminal activities in the past or has been deported from a Schengen country in the past. In these cases, the person might not be considered as safe and will not be granted access to the Schengen Area through the denial of a visa waiver.


Can I apply for a visa waiver if my passport expires soon?

If the passport requires soon, the person will receive the recommendation of renewing the passport. The visa waiver is only linked to a single passport, not an individual, so it is important that the person uses the same passport to enter and exit the country and also to continue to travel.

If I renew my passport, will I need to request another waiver?

Yes, because the process of ETIAS binds the information to a specific passport. If you renew your passport, you will need to take the process again.

If I have more than one passport/citizenship, is the waiver valid for all of them?

No, because the waiver is associated with a specific passport and the information for that passport. If you require it for another passport, you will need to undergo the process again.

How long does the process of getting a waiver takes?

It takes around 10 minutes.

For how long is a visa waiver valid?

The visa waiver is valid for three years, unless the citizen changes their passport. Each waiver is tied digitally to a specific passport and is no longer valid if the passport expires.

For what purpose does the visa waiver work?

The visa waiver allows access for purposes of tourism, transit, and short-term business. It does not provide residence or employment rights. Those require different documentation.

What happens if I work in Europe with a visa waiver?

This is not allowed. A person who is found working without the proper permission might be deported and have their travel authorization revoked. This can also affect their prospects for getting another visa waiver.

For how long can I enter the Schengen area with a visa waiver?

For a period of 90 days over a 180-days period. If, for instance, you spend three whole months in a Schengen area country, you will need to exit the country and will be able to return after the 180 days are up.

Can people with a criminal record receive a visa waiver?

It depends on the criminal record. Those who have a serious record are likely to be denied entry. Individuals with minor offenses may still be granted access. It may depend on whether the person has been included in international criminal databases, has been deported, and the type of offenses committed in the past.

Do I have to stay in a single country for the duration of my visit?

No, once the visa waiver has been granted, you can travel freely within the Schenegen area for up to 90 days within a 180-days period.

What happens if I want to stay longer?

You may need to apply for a visa or seek another type of permission to access the country.

Is the process different for Colombians?

No, citizens of all countries that are exempt from visas are required to apply for ETIAS and have to undergo the same process.

Where do I need to go to get a visa waiver?

The process is done online and can be completed from any type of electronic device, like a smartphone, a computer, or a tablet. The process is not done in person.

Will I need to pay a fee whenever I travel?

Each visa waiver will be valid for 3 years, unless the passport that was used for the process expires. Applicants will be advised to use a passport that does not expire right away. If the passport is renewed or three years pass, you will need to pay another fee.

Why was the application denied?

The most likely cause for a denied application is a criminal record or the fact that the person is included in an international database that flags them as criminal or as people who have been previously deported from the EU.

Is ETIAS required for all of Europe?

No, it is only required for countries in the Schengen Area. Those outside may provide specific requirements and have a different application process.