ETIAS is the abbreviation for European Travel Information and Authorization System, a permit that the European Union has been developing since 2016 to strengthen security and better manage migration control.
Being from a country that has always needed a visa to visit the Schengen area, the Etias permit will only affect me slightly. However, to those 63 countries worldwide that have always had free entrance to Europe, you need to be up to date with this system. I will leave you a list of the countries later, so you can double-check if you apply for Etias.
In this article, I will explain in detail what Etias is, who is eligible for this travel permit, and when it is supposed to start working. Additionally, we will run through frequently asked questions, steps to follow in your application, and tips to ensure you get your permit.
This article was written in 2023, and we will keep updating it to ensure you get the most accurate information possible.
Once Etias starts working, you need to be very specific when indicating what countries you are visiting. For example, if you are coming to Spain for a two-week holiday, but your flight comes from Germany. In your Etias application, you must specify you will enter first through Germany and then continue your journey to Spain.
The ETIAS becomes operation on 2024.
What is ETIAS or Euro-visa waiver?
As I mentioned, Etias is a new authorization travel system created by the European Union to better control border crossings and improve security within its nations.
This is NOT a visa; it is an electronic permit to allow entry into the Schengen area and keep track of the people who move from one country to another.
“The ETIAS, besides being used for business and tourist purposes, will also allow people to visit the Schengen countries for medical and transit reasons. In addition, it will be mandatory for all Schengen visa-free countries”. - Schengen Visa Info
More information on the official website of the European Union 👉🏻Etias EU 🇪🇺.
Countries that need an Etias permit
All the countries listed below have a visa-free travel agreement with the European Union, which allows them to travel within the Schengen area for 90 days/ three months every half a year.
All countries on the list are now required to apply and hold an Etias permit (as soon as it gets enforced) to enter the Schengen area for tourism or business reasons.
This includes UK citizens! Even though the United Kingdom is European, its decision to leave the European Union now implies that all UK citizens apply for Etias to enter the Schengen area.
|Country||Schengen visa agreement|
|Antigua y Barbuda||Visa-free travel|
|Bosnia y Herzegovina||Visa-free travel|
|Corea del Sur||Visa-free travel|
|Costa Rica||Visa-free travel|
|El Salvador||Visa-free travel|
|Emiratos Árabes Unidos||Visa-free travel|
|Estados Unidos||Visa-free travel|
|Hong Kong||Visa-free travel|
|Islas Marshall||Visa-free travel|
|Islas Salomón||Visa-free travel|
|Macedonia del Norte||Visa-free travel|
|Nueva Zelanda||Visa-free travel|
|Reino Unido||Visa-free travel|
|San Cristóbal y Nieves||Visa-free travel|
|Santa Lucía||Visa-free travel|
|San Vincente||Visa-free travel|
|Timor Leste||Visa-free travel|
|Trinidad y Tobago||Visa-free travel|
Frequently Asked Questions about Etias
How long does it take to get an ETIAS permit?
The ETIAS permit is an electronic authorization to travel within the Schengen area. The process is done online, and completing the form takes less than 10 minutes.
After you have submitted the form, the system will take 96 hours to process the information and get the permit. However, some people might be asked for extra information, extending the time to 30 days.
Remember that once ETIAS becomes effective, you can only travel to the EU if granted permission. It doesn’t matter if your country is on the list of visa-free agreements; if you don’t show your permit, you will be denied entrance.
What information do I need to provide in my ETIAS application?
ETIAS was created to have better control over who travels within European countries with a visa-free arrangement; the main purpose is not to maintain and improve the European Union’s security.
So, knowing this, you should expect to be asked questions about your criminal records and background questions on yourself and your travel schedule. For example, the form will ask you for personal data (name, last name, birth date), your citizenship, address, work experience, your medical condition, and more.
On top of that, the most important document you should have in hand is your passport.
What conditions should your passport have?
- Digital photo
- A machine-readable passport: below your passport picture, and has two lines of numbers, letters, and symbols
- An electronic passport chip
Important message from the EU:
ETIAS will be connected to many databases which can verify your information within minutes. That is why it’s important for all applicants to give honest responses and not try giving false information. If you are caught giving fraudulent information to the ETIAS system, you will be denied authorization. In addition, if your ETIAS is approved, but you are later found with incorrect or false information, your ETIAS will be revoked. - Schengen Visa Info.
List of questions
- Personal information - This includes your full name, birth date, place you were born, sex, nationality, home address, email and phone number.
- Parents’ names - Such information would be their first and last names (if known).
- Travel document information - For example, your passport number, issuance and expiry dates, country and location of issuance, or issuing authority.
- Employment details - Details of your current or most recent employer.
- Education information - This would be your current academic institution or place of study.
- EU destination - The EU country you intend to arrive in and the address details of your accommodation there.
- Personal information - Details relating to your spent convictions, any travels to places of conflict, and whether you have been subject to any prior return decisions.
- Parent or legal guardians - If the applicant is under 18, the name and contact information of the parent or guardian responsible for their welfare.
- Third parties - A third party submitting the application on an applicant’s behalf must provide details of the person filling in the application, their relationship to the applicant, and any entity or organisation they represent.
- EU Family - For applicants who are related to either a citizen of an EU country or an EFTA national with free movement rights throughout the EU, they must provide details of the person they are related to and the nature of their relations.
What is the cost of an ETIAS permit?
The ETIAS will cost €7 for people between 18 and 70. People under 18 years old are exempt from paying the fee.
In addition, if your ETIAS application is rejected, the money is non-refundable.
For how long is the ETIAS valid?
The ETIAS is valid for up to three years. However, that doesn’t mean you can remain in the EU during that time.
The ETIAS permit will allow you to travel within Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days in 180 days. It means you can travel or stay as a tourist in a European country from the Schengen area for 3 months and repeat it only twice a year.
Can I apply for an ETIAS permit if I have a criminal record or a previous visa denial?
The short answer is yes, but there are several conditions for the permit to be approved.
The approval of the ETIAS permit with a criminal record will depend on the degree of the crime and the time since it happened. If you are denied the authorizations, you can appeal to the Member of State that has decided to deny your ETIAS.
Even if your ETIAS permit gets approved, you should acknowledge that some countries in the Schengen area will reserve the right to deny entry if you have spent more than three years in prison, if our linked to drugs and if you are related to human trafficking crimes.
Our best tip would be to check the requirements of each country you plan to visit. In addition, if you are allowed in, border police will ask questions before letting you through.
Is an ETIAS permit the same as a visa, and can it be used to work or study in Spain?
No, the ETIAS permit is not a visa but an electronic authorization to travel within Schengen countries.
Additionally, the ETIAS is only valid for study programs of 90 days or less. If your program is long-term, you must apply for a study visa in Spain.
On the other hand, when it comes to jobs, the ETIAS is not VALID. You must apply for a work visa in the country you want to work in. And consider that most of the time, you must show what company sponsors the visa. Otherwise, it will be denied.
Can I modify my travel plans or add new destinations once I have an approved ETIAS permit?
The ETIAS application will ask you for the country of entry to the Schengen zone. And the rest of the places you are planning to visit. If any of the above changes, you must send a new application.
Re-doing your application would be the most advisable action, as any incorrect information could make the border patrols uneasy about your permit, and they can deny you entry.
What happens if my ETIAS application is denied?
If your ETIAS gets rejected, you can send a new application with all the correct information. Be mindful that if this were your case, you would get an email with the decision about your ETIAS application and why is was refused.
In the same email, you will get a link to the ETIAS appeal if you want to proceed. Sometimes, you will be asked to visit an EU member’s consulate for an interview.
Reasons why your ETIAS might be refused:
- The travel documents you used may have been reported as lost or stolen.
- You may have been deemed a security risk, a potential illegal immigrant, or a high epidemic risk.
- You still need to provide the additional information or documentation requested to process the application in the time allowed, or you have failed to attend a scheduled interview.
- You have been previously refused entry and stay in an EU country, and an alert has been recorded.
- There are reasonable doubts about how reliable the data you have provided or the statements and documents you have offered.
Do I need to print my ETIAS permit or show it on my mobile device when entering Spain?
Printing your ETIAS authorization is unnecessary because the application will be saved with all your personal data. This means that when you get to border controls or airline counters, the person checking your ETIAS will verify you have it through the number on your passport.
What is the difference between the Schengen area and the European Union?
The European Union is economic and political between several countries in Europe. At the same time, the Schengen area is a travel zone between several European countries where citizens can travel without a visa.
Some countries belong to the EU, not the Schengen area, and vice-versa. For example, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are part of the Schengen area but not part of the European Union. While Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania are part of the EU but not the Schengen zone.
Steps to get your Etias permit
- Check that you have your passport and travel schedule with yuo before applying.
- Fill out the application on the official website of the European Union 👉 ETIAS Website.
- Pay the €7 fee (people under 18 are exempt from the payment).
- Wait for the response
Here are some tips before you apply for your ETIAS; this will not guarantee you get your permit but will work as a checklist to help you be as accurate as possible with your information.
- Create a checklist of the data that you will submit in the application. Have it all clear before applying to reduce the risk of giving incorrect details.
- Make sure your passport is not close to expiration. Even though the ETIAS lasts for three years, if your passport expires, so as the permit.
- Print your ETIAS. I know I said it is unnecessary, but I would personally do it; it is a great way to have a backup plan.
- Re-check the list that is part of the Schengen zone! This is an electronic travel permit, so entering Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, or Romania won’t be valid.
- Re-check the official website of the European Union for more doubts 👉 All you need to know about ETIAS.
This ETIAS guide perfectly applies to all the Schengen Zone countries, and Spain is one of the most popular travel destinations from that list.
Remember to check out the European Union’s official website if you have any doubts about the application. Additionally, the countries not on the list of “visa-free travel” currently need a Schengen visa to get into any European country, which will remain the same once the ETIAS is operational.
I hope this article is helpful, don’t forget to comment and tell us about your experience so more people can know what to expect.