There are 62 countries that are not part of the EU but are still visa free. The citizens of member Schengen states can enter and leave the countries without the need for a visa.
All the citizens from the countries who are a member of the Schengen zone can enter the other countries in the zone without the need of any visa, and they can stay there for 90 days. Though they are not allowed to work and study, they are still allowed to take part in business activities and go to tourist locations there.
The migrant crisis and the recent terrorist issues have shown that there is a need for better security steps and management for the people entering the borders of the EU. The goal of the EU is to keep tightening the security on the borders tight and more secure for the residents and travelers.
Three are various concerns and steps that will increase the time of checking the travelers on the borders. It will make things difficult for the authorities as well. To make things better European Commission (EC) has come with a robust and innovative solution called ETIAS.
You will learn about this latest system and your eligibility for the ETIAS visa waiver in this article.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS: European Travel Information and Authorization System is a name completely electronic system that will screen the visitors and provide the authority with all the required security clearance and information on the travelers who seek entrance in the Schengen country. The citizens of the country who do not need any visa to enter Schengen country will have to go through the process of filling the online form and paying the fee through debit or credit card. U.S Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a real-life example of the system which is implied to provide the same results and secure the borders.
The legal requirements and procedure for the application of ETIAS were completed in 2016. On the first day of the year 2022, it will be launched and deployed. The EU Commission has suggested that the full swing obligation will be imposed by the end of the year for travelers entering the Schengen area from the member countries.
The citizens of the eligible list or the people who do not need any visa to enter the EU will be required to go through the ETIAS process. There is no need for the citizens of a member state to go through a long time taking and tiring process of applying for a visa and staying in the long line of applicants. The solution to the problems is the ETIAS system that will require to fill the online form that will only take 10 minutes .all the personal detail and information regarding the security will be cross-checked through all the local, national, and international databases of law enforcement agencies to check for the safety of the citizens and state and authorize the travel.
All the citizens from the Schengen area member state must go for the ETIAS authorization if they want to enter the Schengen area. This visa waiver will allow the traveler to enter the country for 90 days, and the holder can get involved in business activities, tourism or use it for transit purposes. The validity of the waiver is from90 days.
Why ETIAS Authorization?
Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President Addressed in 2016. On 14 September at the very year he said:
You must know who is crossing your borders. This way will tell you about who they are before they can reach here.
The most significant reason for the implication of the ETIAS system is the need for increased security. There are travelers coming from worldwide in the EU. The increasing number of travelers has increased security concerns. The system is associated and linked with the international law enforcement agencies and their databases. The ETIAS will cross-check the information and details of the application form all the database, and authorities will get to know about a potential threat and the person who is a security risk before he enters the border. Any person with flags in the database or misleading information and discrepancies will not be allowed to enter.
The traveling will become more secure, and it will help the authorities to make the security and safety of the citizens in the EU more comfortable and trustworthy.
The system is also going to help the member states and the travelers from those countries in the following ways:
- The system will help strengthen EU policies on visa liberation.
- Inhibit irregular migration
- Improving the management of borders
- Assist in detecting terrorism
- Less visa application times
- Help in decreasing crime
- Reduced procedural time
The implementation of the system will make traveling safer and secure, and there will be no long lines or hefty procedures for attaining visas.
Who will need ETIAS?
The countries and their nationals who have been awarded visa-free entry to the EU is the focus of the ETIAS system. Currently, there are 62 countries, and the list of eligible countries will keep on increasing with the passage of time. Click on the links below to check for eligibility:
- A -- H
- I -- P
- S -- Z
The ETIAS has not been launched and implemented to date. Currently, the above-mentioned 62 countries member does not need any ETIAS authorization to cross the border and enter any EU country.
ETIAS system and its work
The system is extremely simple to use and can save a substantial amount of time for travelers and authorities by simply following instructions, routines, and an online application form.
When you want to apply for an ETIAS waiver, you will have to fill an online application form that will only take 10 minutes to fill. The online form has reduced all the paperwork and manual filling time to save days and months of the visa waiver process. The system will record all the applicant's information, and the data will be screened and cross checked to form the international and local law enforcement agencies. Most of the cases will be cleared within minutes when applicants paid the fee through tier debit or credit card.
When you are a citizen of a visa waiver country, you have to provide the following information and personal detail to achieve the ETIAS authorization:
- Full name
- Nationality detail
- Current address
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Parents’ information
There are some other questions that you will also have to answer at the tie of the online application:
- Security information
- Human trafficking
- Past European travel information
- Information regarding travel to some conflict areas
- Employment history
- Drug use
- Criminal history
- Background and eligibility questions
- Medical condition
- Travel to war countries
- Places where you were deported or rejected
- Criminal records
- a legal guardian must apply for ETIAS for minors
For family members of EU citizens from other countries
- Proof of relationship
- residence card
- Other background information
Submitting the application
When you have provided all the information on the online application form must pay the fee to start the process. The system will then check the following:
- Risk factor
- Given information is correct or not
- Eligibility of the applicant
When all the information is correct, and according to the system, you are not a threat to the citizens and travelers in the Schengen area, you will be awarded the authorization. The whole process will be completed in minutes.
If there is a hit in the system, completing the cross-check and approval from the member state might take 96 hours to 2 weeks.
How much will ETIAS cost?
The ETIAS will remain light on your wallet, and you won't have to pay a heavy amount to get the authorization. The ETIAS visa waiver will take only €7. And every applicant above 18 years of age will have to pay the fee for each application. For minors, there is no fee at all from the ETIAS authorization.
FAQs about ETIAS
What is the ETIAS validity period?
The validity for the ETIAS will be three years. If you get your travel document registered, the validity will shift over these documents.
What are the causes of denial of an ETIAS application?
Following are some of the situations and scenarios which can take your application to the denial:
- The applicant is using reportedly lost, stolen, or missing documents.
- The applicant is a security risk for the citizens and travelers.
- The applicant is an illegal immigration risk.
- The applicant is a high epidemic risk.
- The applicant already refused to enter and stay.
- Failure to reply with extra information
- Unable to provide documentation within the deadline
- Fail to attend a required interview
What to do if my ETIAS application is denied?
When you apply through the online application form for ETIAS within minutes, you will get a response. Congratulation if your application is accepted. And if it is denied, you will get the reason for the denial, and you will have the right to appeal. If you can justify the allegation, provide the required documents for the reconsideration of your application, and have a go after clearance.
What is the procedure of appeal against ETIAS rejection?
When you have documentation proving that the denial is based on some mistake or is unjust, you can appeal it in your member state to the ETIAS national unit.