Monaco & The Schengen Area: ETIAS Rules

Monaco is considered a de-facto member of the Schengen zone because a traveller will need to pass through a Schengen zone country to enter Monaco. Although Monaco does not have its own visa policies, it closely follows the Schengen visa rules. ETIAS is part of a package of changes being brought in by the European Union to help improve security across Europe which has suffered from terrorist attacks and an increasing feeling that the E.U. needs a more restrictive system for allowing non E.U. visitors into the country. ETIAS will be similar in many respects to the American ESTA and the Canadian eTA, which are both visa waiver systems that rely on an online authorisation that screens visitors of select countries in advance of their arrival.

How does Monaco fit into the Schengen Block?

Monaco is a very small independent country that sits on the Mediterranean coast and surrounded by French territory. Monaco doesn’t formally belong to either the European Union or the European Economic Area, so that makes it different to some other non E.U. European countries like Norway and Liechtenstein. Because Monaco is small, yet relatively wealthy it relies on its close relationship with France to leverage its international relationships. It is regarded as an associate member of Schengen, because of its connection to France and that means that as soon as ETIAS comes into force at the beginning of 2025, Monaco will be covered by the same arrangement through it's shared border for travellers arriving via France.

What are some of the main attractions in Monaco?

Just the fact that Monaco is so unusual makes it a destination in its own right. It remains the second smallest independent state in Europe with the Vatican being the smallest. It has its own monarchy and government and is divided into four districts. Monte Carlo is probably the best known but is not actually the capital. The whole of Monaco is only less than 2 square kilometres in area so it doesn’t take too long to get around and see some of the main sights. These include the waterfront where you can get a seagull’s view of the superyachts belonging to the rich and powerful berthed there. There are museums, palaces, churches, art galleries and other architectural attractions dotted all over the principality together with some lovely gardens.

How will I apply for an ETIAS to enter Monaco?

You will most likely need to apply for an ETIAS to visit Monaco as most transportation options to Monaco run through France, where Schengen visa rules apply. If you are an E.U. or Schengen block passport holder you will be allowed to freely enter and exit the country. Similarly, if you currently require a Schengen Visa, your travel requirements will not change after the ETIAS launch. You can apply for an ETIAS online in 2025 when the system is launched.