ETIAS – Everything You Need to Know

It can be very easy to take a trip from the United States to many European nations. All you have to do is search a flight, book the ticket and off you go! In the future, however, an additional phase called the European Travel Information and Authorisation Framework, or ETIAS, will be needed for the process.

You want to plan your next trip to a destination in Europe, but you wonder if this extra phase will delay you in crossing the border? Almost 42 percent of Americans are confused about what the ETIAS really is. Don’t worry though, we are here to help you in knowing more about the ETIAS.


What is the ETIAS system?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a special authorisation which will be required prior to entry into the Schengen Zone countries.

The need for an ETIAS was introduced by the European Commission during the State of the Union Address in September 2016. The idea is that it would work to properly control who is entering the Schengen Zone countries as a security measure.

In essence, the ETIAS system would allow travelers to reach Europe in advance before they actually arrive on the continent. To ensure that they do not raise any security issues, a background check will be conducted for each applicant.

In an ongoing attempt to detect any threats, the device will also keep track of travelers as they pass across the Schengen Region.

Does the ETIAS Visa exist?

The authorization process does not entail the same lengthy approval processes as a visa, despite being referred to as the ETIAS Visa.

You will also need a Schengen visa to enter Europe, depending on factors such as the reason for the visit and your region of birth.

Countries around the world have various visa conditions that can include vast quantities of paperwork for travel, employment, or academic needs before granting you entry. Visas may require permission for up to several weeks and cost a considerable amount of money.

For a complete list of countries needing the authorization to travel to Europe, you may access the EU Travel Information & Authorization System site.

When the ETIAS will be necessary?

For any travel planned inside the Schengen Zone after January 2021, you will be required to request an ETIAS application.

Which countries are associated with ETIAS?

The 26 countries of the Schengen Zone included in the European Travel Information and Authorisation System are: Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Spain, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Latvia, Poland, France, Liechtenstein, Portugal.

Why should I apply for the ETIAS?

You will need to apply for the ETIAS regardless of whether you are traveling for fun, work, health conditions, or for migration purposes.

The ETIAS is an important travel authorization, along with a valid passport, that ensures that you are permitted to enter countries within the Schengen zone.

It is the traveler’s duty to ensure that all the visas and permits necessary to reach their destination are available to them. If you are refused boarding for anything that is your own fault, such as not getting your ETIAS, you won’t be eligible for anything.

Requirements to apply for the ETIAS

To send your ETIAS application, there is only one official document needed: a valid passport. However, there may be some features necessary. Your passport, for instance, must be machine-readable, contain a digital photo and in some cases, have an electronic chip.

Is the ETIAS process long?

The completion of an ETIAS application will take 10 minutes, according to the Schengen Visa Info website. Your qualification can be verified in just a few minutes after filling out your personal details, travel details, and other necessary pages.

You will receive a notice on the ETIAS website that you are accepted when your information is checked and the system confirms that you are not a security risk. A manual review that may take up to 2 weeks will be performed if the application is flagged for some cause.

Reasons why your ETIAS application can be refused

Several files and watchlists from organizations such as Europol, the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS) and more will be used for each applicant’s information. The ETIAS will also consider whether, along with any criminal backgrounds, candidates have recently been to any war zones, been expelled or rejected from another country.

If any of these systems flag the candidate, the information given is considered to be false, or security issues arise, the application may be denied. You may also receive justification if you receive a notice that your application is not accepted.

You will still be entitled to appeal the decision in the event when your application is rejected.

Cost to apply for the ETIAS

The cost of the ETIAS is estimated to be €7 (approximately $8) per application. Before your ETIAS application is processed, the payment can be charged directly on the website.

When does the ETIAS expire?

Once your ETIAS request is accepted, it is valid for a travel duration of 3 years. An unlimited number of visits to the Schengen member states would be permitted during that period. Under a 180-day duration, each visit does not exceed 90 days.

Did you know that within the same period of time your ETIAS is in place, you could demand compensation for interrupted flights? You should search to see if you’re eligible for reimbursement for delayed or cancelled flights for the last 3 years.

Are children required to apply for the ETIAS?

Travelers of all ages, from infants to the elderly, will be expected to complete the ETIAS application when preparing to join any country in the Schengen Region. In their behalf, the parent or guardian of minors must complete the application. However, for candidates underneath the age of 18 and over the age of 70, the application fee is waived.

Will I be able to fly anywhere inside the Schengen zone once I obtain the ETIAS?

If your ETIAS application is accepted, you are given access for 90 days at a time to travel anywhere within the Schengen Region. You should know, though that your ETIAS authorization is based on a particular country of entry.

So if you mention that you first fly to France, your first entry point can only be through France. You may not be able to enter the Schengen Zone via Spain (or any other country) if you end up attempting to enter the Schengen Zone, since your entry was not authorized for that venue.

Bear in mind that it is still entirely at the discretion of the border patrol to grant you entrance, even with your ETIAS.

Are the U.S. citizens the only ones required for the ETIAS?

No, residents of any country that does not need a visa to enter the Schengen Region will need to apply for ETIAS as well. There are currently 57 countries outside the EU whose residents, including Australia, Singapore, and Brazil, would need to apply for an ETIAS.

Does the U.S. have a similar system to ETIAS?

Yes, for those traveling to the U.S. from countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program, the Electronic Framework for Travel Authorization (ESTA) became mandatory in January 2009. For each request for tourists who will fly to the U.S. for less than 90 days, the charge is $14.