The Luxembourg ETIAS is on its way. Luxembourg is one of the E.U.’s oldest members, one of the original six. It is also a member of Schengen. As you might be aware Europe has been reeling from terror attacks that have happened quite often in the last few years and there has been an ongoing debate about how to improve security. One of the solutions is to make the entry process a bit more selective.
The E.U. Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) will mean that millions of visitors who haven’t needed a visa for Europe up to now must divulge information about themselves at least 72 hours before arrival in Europe. E.U. authorities will screen the online applications and check the names and other information against a database. Information about these people will then be shared amongst all other E.U. authorities. ETIAS won’t be up and running, though for at least another 3 years. The E.U. Commission announced very recently that it should be in operation by early 2020.
Luxembourg is part of Schengen but what does that mean?
The difference between Schengen and the E.U. does cause a lot of confusion, especially for those who are not very familiar with Europe. The two groups are separate, with Schengen concentrating on border rules, who is allowed to go where and for how long. All the countries that have signed up to the Schengen Agreement, like Luxembourg, have the same immigration rules as each other. Any Schengen country national has freedom of movement in any other Schengen country and the rules for non Schengen nationals are the same for each country. There are only a few countries that are in Schengen, but not in the E.U. (Norway and Switzerland are two examples). The ETIAS system will probably apply to all non E.U. non Schengen nationals.
Why visit Luxembourg?
It’s probably true that most people tend to pass through Luxembourg or arrive by air at the airport and stay for a night before moving on. This is a pity because the city of Luxembourg itself sits on top of a cliff and commands a fantastic view. Many of the historic buildings in the city are World Heritage listed and should not be missed. Although the city itself is a busy place, most Luxembourgian residents live in the surrounding countryside, which is very attractive. Luxembourg has had an interesting history sandwiched as it is between France, Belgium and Germany. The country is the second smallest in the E.U. but has a remarkably high standard of living, which also translates into high prices for practically everything.
Don’t forget the old city of Echternach with the basilica of the Abbey of Echternach, where Luxembourg’s most famous saint is buried.
Will I need a Luxembourg ETIAS visa waiver?
At present all we know is that your status won’t change if you are either a E.U. or Schengen citizen or a passport holder that has already needed a Schengen visa arranged in advance up to now. It seems unlikely that anyone in these two groups of people will not be affected by ETIAS. The people who will be affected are those who live in places like Canada, the U.S., some Latin American countries like Chile and Argentina. These people as well as many more across the globe will definitely need to apply in advance in the near future. It will apparently only cost €5 for a simple ETIAS application, but it will last for 5 years after being issued. Find out if you may need an ETIAS or Schengen visa.