The ETIAS system is designed with short-term business or tourist travel in mind. Third country passport holders wishing to stay for a prolonged period (more than ninety days) for living, studying or working purposes will require a different form of European visa. Similar to the American ESTA system, ETIAS is being introduced to increase security throughout the European Union. Background information on intending visitors will be checked against various European and world databases for possible security, terrorist or criminal risks. There are presently around sixty “third countries” whose citizens will require ETIAS approved passports to visit any European Union member state from 2021 and the United Kingdom will be added to the list once Brexit comes into effect.
ETIAS Application Form
The application form for ETIAS approval can only be completed online so a valid email address is essential for submission and approval purposes. The process itself consists of a questionnaire which must be fully completed and submitted for approval or denial. Before attempting to fill out the application form, all applicants must possess the following:
- Valid email address
- Current, valid passport
- Debit or credit card
As the draft application form currently stands (and this is still subject to modifications) the following information and details are required.
Step by Step ETIAS Application Guide
The ETIAS application website is not expected to be available until 2021. Once up and running, applicants will be required to complete all sections of the online form and the details supplied will be checked against various security databases. The information required will include:
- Full name including first name, surname, usual name, any given name(s), birth surname (maiden name) if married or since changed. Other names or alias(es).
- Home address. If this is not available, the city and country of residence will be required.
- Contact phone number(s).
- Valid email address.
- Date, place and country of birth.
- Nationality (current).
- Other nationalities (if applicable).
- First names of applicant’s parents.
- Education history (primary school through to higher level) or none.
- Occupation. Additional information may be required regarding job title, job description and details of employer. Students will need to provide details of school or college.
Documentation and Travel Plans
In order to receive ETIAS approval the applicant must hold a current passport or travel document that is valid for at least three months past the arrival date in the ETIAS country being visited. Details required include:
- The passport or travel document number, type and country of issue
- Issue and expiry date of the travel document or passport
- Name of (first) member country to be visited and (possibly) the address of the hotel or accommodation where the applicant will spend the first night(s)
- The intended destination country and accommodation address may not always be known and this requirement is intended for persons applying for the first time for ETIAS approval for a specific holiday or business trip. Subsequent trips do not need to be notified to the ETIAS authorities.
As the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System is specifically geared towards increased security in Europe, a section covering criminal records and possible security risks will need to be fully and truthfully completed. All applications will be checked through numerous police and security databases including those in the country of application as well as Interpol and Europol. Failure to fully and correctly answer this questionnaire will result in immediate refusal. Areas covered in this security background check include:
Criminal convictions in the preceding ten years including those for:
- Sexual crimes involving children
- Human trafficking
- Drug trafficking
- Money laundering
- Criminal damage to persons or property
- Terrorism (in preceding twenty years). Details will be required of when and in which country the offences occurred.
As part of the security background check, applicants will also be required to supply details of:
- Any deportation order from any European member country and/or any “third country” that currently require a visa to enter the European zone.
- Stays in or visits to specified war zones or areas of conflict in the preceding ten years and the purpose of the trips or stays.
Applicants who answer the questions regarding criminal conviction, deportation orders and visits to specified areas of conflict in the affirmative will be required to answer a further set of questions by selecting from a range of predetermined answers.
Another part of the application process is a brief medical and health check. Applicants will be required to furnish details regarding existing medical conditions including:
- Infectious diseases
- Contagious parasitic diseases
- Serious illness
The number of medical conditions on the list, and which may result in refusal, remains a work in progress but is expected to increase as the introduction date approaches.
The application form for minors seeking ETIAS approval is basically the same as that for adults and can be filled out by the parent or guardian responsible. Extra information required includes:
- Name, address, email and phone number(s) of the parent or legal guardian
- Relationship of the applicant (son, daughter etc)
The applicant is responsible for checking the entire application form for completeness, correctness and authenticity. Incorrect data or inaccurate information will result in refusal. Applicants must also confirm that they understand the conditions for entry to the ETIAS country or countries in question and agree to provide any supplementary documentation that may be required upon arrival in the destination country. These can include medical records, hotel booking reservations, travel plans, flight details and other related documents.
Submitting the Form
Once fully completed, the application form can be submitted online by the applicant in person or by an authorised commercial intermediary. The actual cost of application has not been officially set but is currently expected to be €7 EUR which looks almost certain and payment, via credit or debit card, must accompany the application.
The applicant’s email address listed on the form will be used for confirmation or refusal with a response expected to take just a couple of hours. Any problems, errors or omissions on the form will also be notified to the applicant using the same email address. Once ETIAS approval is granted it is valid for a period of three years or until the expiry date of the passport, whichever comes first. Once approval expires the application process (including another fee payment) will have to be repeated.
Submitting an ETIAS application will require the required documents, time as well as an understanding of the questions in all of the form sections. If you are unable to apply for ETIAS yourself, you can ask a friend, family member or other third-party to assist you with your application. Travellers should apply at least 72 hours before they are due to board a place to an ETIAS member country.