Sweden is part of the European Union and has been affected, like many European countries, by both the threat of terror attacks recently and has had to cope with large numbers of refugees. The changing security situation across Europe has prompted EU member states to devise a better way of controlling who comes into the country. ETIAS won’t really control the number of refugees but it will provide more information than present, especially about those many people around the world who at present enjoy visa waiver status. ETIAS is not likely to rolled out until the beginning of 2020. The application process will involve an online form and a €5 fee per person over 18. Once approved for travel into Europe, there will be no need to reapply for another 5 years.
Is Sweden also a Schengen Member and how does this affect ETIAS Applications?
That’s a good question because Schengen tends to be something of a mystery for people not used to living in Europe. It’s even more confusing to find out that most of the Schengen block members are also in the E.U. Sweden is an example of dual membership, while its neighbour to the west, Norway, is only a member of Schengen.
Schengen membership means having the same border controls. All 26 countries act as a single entry system. This means that when ETIAS comes into force it will specifically be for Schengen countries. If there are any non Schengen countries by 2020 that are in the E.U. they will have their own visa and immigration rules. Ireland is in this category. The U.K. will have probably left the E.U. by then so Brits may need to apply for ETIAS like Americans, Canadians, Australians and many other travellers from around 60 countries.
What are the main attractions in Sweden?
Sweden is a modern and very liberal country with a relatively low population density and plenty of outdoor activities if you can tear yourself away from Stockholm. It doesn’t have the fjords of its neighbour, Norway, but it does have a surprisingly little known (outside of Sweden anyway!) archipelago of islands in the Baltic off the Southern Swedish coast. Swedes are avid sailors but can be found hiking, skiing, tobogganing, hunting and fishing all over their homeland.
Any visit to Sweden, apart from to one of the main cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, should be considerate of the season. Some people head for Sweden’s far North to experience the midnight sun beyond he Arctic Circle in mid-summer. In winter, the Northern lights can be a majestic and awe inspiring display, but they don’t appear every night.
Who will need to apply for a Sweden ETIAS?
Anyone who is neither an E.U. passport holder, a national of any Schengen country that is not in the E.U. or someone who needs to apply for a Schengen visa in advance at the moment. None of these people will be affected by ETIAS. The only group of visitors who will be required to submit ETIAS applications will be those who hold passports of the visa waiver group of countries. There are currently over 60 of these countries yet the list is subject to change. If you have been to Europe before you will know whether you could just turn up and get your passport stamped at the airport or whether you needed a visa. After 2020, if you were in the visa waiver group you will need your ETIAS pre travel authorisation at least 72 hours before arriving in a Schengen border post, whether you arrive by air, land or sea.