What is the ETIAS?
The ETIAS is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt travellers visiting certain countries in Europe. Travellers from Canada and the USA are among those subject to the changes, which have come about, in part, to address security concerns.
An ETIAS permit is required for travel to the following 30 countries:
- Czech Republic
How to apply for an ETIAS permit
So how does it all work?
According to the ETIAS website, visitors who require this permit should apply online before they consider booking any hotels and flights. Most applications will be processed within minutes, but some may take up to four business days.
In cases where applicants have not provided sufficient documentation, the process may take longer. For those who are required to provide additional documentation, the process can take up to 14 days and if you are asked for an interview you can expect to wait up to 30 days for a decision.
The application will include questions about your personal information, education and occupation, where you intend to stay, any past criminal convictions or visits to war or conflict zones.
You will be notified by email whether or not your application is approved. Approved applicants are asked to double-check all information on their authorization. Incorrect information will result in being turned away at the border. If you have not been approved, you will be told why and receive instructions on how to appeal the decision.
Your ETIAS permit, once granted, will be valid for three years or until your passport expires. While travelling, you must ensure that you have your permit on you at all times along with the travel document used for your application.
Importantly, an ETIAS permit will not automatically guarantee access to all of the participating European countries. You will still have to go through customs and border checks and meet each country’s entry conditions.
Cost and exemptions
The cost for applying for an ETIAS permit is seven euros, which is about $10.27 with the current exchange rate. Applicants will have a variety of online payment options.
There are also a few exemptions to be aware of. Applicants under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 do not need to pay for ETIAS. Additionally, if you are a family member of an EU citizen or EU national who has the right to move freely throughout the European Union, you are exempt.
Permit vs visa
The ETIAS permit is specifically for short-term tourism (up to 90 days within a 180-day period) in the 30 European countries on the list. Longer stays and work-related travel will still require the appropriate visas.
Note that applications for ETIAS permits for travel are not yet open. The program was meant to start in 2021 but has been pushed to 2024. It is expected that the platform will be up and running in November 2023 with fees to be collected starting in 2024. Updates will be made as soon as more information is available.
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