ETIAS is an authorization system rather than being a visa and stands for European Travel Authorization System. You can visit Europe on the fly, quickly apply for ETIAS, get approval within minutes and book your tickets and you are good to go. No need to go to consulate or embassy for all the documents validation and interview spending money and moreover, the whole process takes up to two weeks of approval.
Nowadays, automated IT systems are becoming very common as US has ESTA, Canada has ETA and Australia has eVisitor. The ETIAS application fee is €7 whereas ESTA costs around $14 per person.
The inception of ETIAS was in 2016 when President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said, “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is traveling to Europe before they even get here.”
ETIAS will put check upon security issues on the border and will control the migration problem and will also prevent the countries from terrorist attacks. It will also make sure that contagious diseases from other countries do not enter Schengen Zone because of its effective data collection techniques. ETIAS will make a central database of information of the people who will visit the Schengen zone.
ETIAS allows travelers to travel hassle-free and saves their time by not getting involved in the traditional process of visa application. On top of that, ETIAS came into effect to improve border management and to fight against crime and terrorism. ETIAS is a step towards visa liberalization which will attract tourists from third countries.
ETIAS is an online form which people have to fill and get approval to travel to countries which fall under Schengen Zone. There are 26 countries which provide free inter border travel to the people having ETIAS application and which is approved. 22 countries are European Union countries whereas four of them does not come under EU countries. Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are the countries in the Schengen zone but not in EU countries. It is not sure whether the UK will have the same ETIAS system or something else.
There are 61 third national countries which are eligible for ETIAS waiver system. ETIAS will not make the final decision of your stay in the Schengen zone, it will be the person at the border who will finally permit you. ETIAS will come into effect from January 1, 2021.
- A Debit or Credit card to pay the payment that is 7 euros.
- A valid passport
- Other documents and background biographical information
When the form is filled, it goes for approval and the data is checked against all EU databases. If the person’s details don’t match with the databases or guidelines provided by the ETIAS, then authorization will be canceled.
ETIAS can be used for business and tourist purposes. It will also allow travelers to travel for medical and transit reasons. It is applicable for 90 days which means you will enjoy visa-free status for 90 days of travel. ETIAS authorization will be valid for three years but when the conditions will change, it can be annulled.