Considering the Monaco governments very close relationship with France, it is likely Monaco will probably rely on whatever the French do as far as visas and immigration rules are concerned regarding implementation of the EU Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). 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 visitors of select countries must apply for in advance.
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. In a way, it is unusual because 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 so small, yet relatively wealthy it relies on its close relationship with France to take care of 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 2020, Monaco will be covered by the same arrangement.
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 a Monaco ETIAS?
You don’t need to apply for an ETIAS pre travel authorisation at all unless you are a citizen of a special list of visa waiver countries. If you are an E.U. or Schengen block passport holder you won’t need to apply for ETIAS because your freedom to go anywhere at any time throughout the E.U. (and that includes Monaco) will not change.
If you had to get a visa to visit Europe up to now, you will still have to apply for a Schengen visa even when ETIAS comes into force, although the number of visa waiver countries that are eligible for ETIAS may continue to grow in the near future.