Below you will find a list of common questions and answers regarding the ETIAS program. Please feel free to contact us should you not be able to find information you require in this ETIAS FAQ.
General questions about ETIAS
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It is based on a similar visa waiver system used by the United States called the ESTA, and the eTA systems used by Canada and Australia. The ETIAS was originally proposed in 2016. The development of the system was sped up because of terrorist attacks in France and Belgium and the need for improved security measures for entering the region, which includes the Schengen countries, as well as those of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European microstates with open borders. The purpose of the system is to gather information on travellers who currently are travelling visa-free to the European Union and ensure individuals posing security concerns are identified before they are permitted travel to Schengen countries. The main goal for the E.U. is to improve the external and internal security of E.U. citizens by having a centralised system to issue travel authorisations to E.U. visitors and monitor their travels within the Schengen zone.
The ETIAS is designed to improve security for border agents in EU member states by capturing data on non-EU travellers before they enter the Schengen area and ensuring they do not pose a risk to the security of any EU country under the ETIAS system or its citizens. In turn, it will also help improve processing times for travellers at the border by providing agents with the information they need ahead of time.
The main stated benefit of the introduction of a compulsory ETIAS is to provide a database on travellers in a bid to tighten security in the Schengen countries. However, another benefit that has been touted is that it could bring a boost to the revenue of the E.U. Each ETIAS applicant will be required to pay the minimum government fee of €7. Thus, the predicted revenue for the first launch year of 2024 might be as much as €200 million.
Barring any delay in implementation, the ETIAS is due to come into effect in 2024. After the initial launch, there may be a short-period of 3-6 months where ETIAS may not be mandatory for travel. This is to allow the EU to work through any system issues which may negatively impact travellers due to complications with the initial roll-out.
Any citizens from a non-EU country who do not currently need a visa to visit an EU member state for a short-term stay require ETIAS for entry. EU nationals and those who have a residence permit, card or document issued by any EU country are exempt.
The system will allow a simpler method of valid travel to the Schengen countries for citizens who presently do not need a Schengen visa. In fact, the number of countries whose citizens do not need a Schengen visa at present is approximately 60. This means that all these people will need to apply for an ETIAS.
The present Schengen immigration rules, both for those who need a visa and for those who up to now do not, can be complex based on family ties and purpose of visit. There are different arrangements for those people who wish to travel to several Schengen countries, or only one of them, and depend on what they want to do when they are there. For those people who are not in Schengen, but who live in another E.U. country, there are no restrictions on entry or movement within the zone.
The change in the system would allow ‘third country’ citizens who are from an approved list of countries to apply for the ETIAS at least 96 hours before expected travel, as well as pay the required fee. This would include citizens from America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many nationalities considered ‘less of a risk’, who at present do not need a visa.
Here is a list of the countries currently eligible to apply for ETIAS. Please note this list of third-country nationals eligible for entry via the ETIAS changes often:
- Asia and the Middle East: Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste and the United Arab Emirates.
- Africa: Mauritius and Seychelles.
- Europe: Albania, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
- North America and the Caribbean Islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America.
- South and Central America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
- Oceania: Australia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Zealand, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.
ETIAS will be required for British Citizens, as well as for British nationals (Overseas) British Overseas Territories citizens (BOTC), British overseas citizens (BOC), British protected persons (BPP) and British subjects (BS).
The ETIAS system will cover all current EU Schengen member states. This list includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden plus future Schengen countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. The ETIAS system will also cover countries under the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and European microstates with open borders including Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.
No. An ETIAS travel authorisation works for three years from the date of issue, or until the date your travel documents expire. While your ETIAS is valid you can travel to and from the EU as much as possible, as long as you abide by the rules of your authorisation.
Yes. All non-EU travellers who do not require a visa must have an approved ETIAS to visit the EU or they will be turned away at the border, or prior to boarding a plane or vehicle bound for a EU country. Applicants who are still waiting a decision on their ETIAS application will not be allowed to enter the EU.
For short-study programs (90 days maximum), an ETIAS should be a suitable travel authorisation. However, for longer study programs you must obtain a student visa. Speak or write to an official consulate representative from the EU member state you plan to study in to confirm before you travel.
No. You must apply for a valid work visa if you plan on working in any country under the ETIAS system for any period. The only exceptions are travel for business conferences or meetings. Consult an official representative of the consulate of the EU member state you plan to work in before travelling.
No. An approved ETIAS will only allow you to enter and stay within the participating European countries. Those who wish to stay long-term, such as for work or study, will need to apply for a visa and not an ETIAS.
One of the more confusing aspects of travel to Europe for anyone from outside that continent is working out what the difference is between the European Union (E.U.) and the Schengen zone. The E.U. consists of 27 member nation states within Europe, a number that has grown over the years as one nation after another has first applied for, then been granted membership. Nearly all E.U. states are also part of the Schengen zone. However, not every E.U. country is in Schengen and even more confusing, since not every Schengen country is in the E.U.
The 26 member Schengen zone was set up to allow free movement of people within the zone across national borders, but it has a common set of rules about who is allowed to visit, work, live and study within the zone and how long they can stay.
The ETIAS is a new form of travel authorisation intended for short-term tourist or business visitors of Europe who are currently exempt from needing a visa. These visitors are from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well as dozens of other countries.
The U.S. visa waiver system, like the proposed European model, was introduced after terrorist attacks within the borders of the United States, specifically after the attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001. The fact that so many people these days are comfortable with the Internet also makes online immigration applications much easier. The U.S. ESTA is only used for people who come from selected countries which are deemed ‘lower risk’. This means that if you are a national of Holland or Japan, for instance, you can apply for an ESTA in advance of travel to the U.S. If you are a national of Sudan or Iran, you need a full visa.
The ESTA still allows a degree of monitoring over who is allowed into the U.S. but cuts down the bureaucracy involved in full visa applications. ESTA holders are currently allowed 90 days maximum at a time in the U.S. on a bona fide trip. If visitors wish to stay for longer, they still have to apply for a full visa.
In 2016, Canada also launched a similar visa waiver system to the ESTA called the eTA.
Applying for an ETIAS
You can only apply online for ETIAS. Mail or postal applications are not accepted. You can also have a third party, such as a family member, friend or an organisation to complete the application for you.
To submit an ETIAS application, you will need a valid passport and method of payment for the application fee of EUR 7.
Your travel documents, such as a current machine-readable or electronic passport, are required to complete the ETIAS application. The documents will need to be valid for more than 3 months from the intended day of departure from the EU, and be no older than 10 years from the date of issue. If you are related to a citizen of either the EU or an EFTA country then you can apply for an exemption.
When completing your ETIAS application you will need to provide the following details:
- Personal information - This includes your full name, birth date, place you were born, sex, nationality, home address, email and phone number.
- Parents' names - Such information would be their first and last names (if known).
- Travel document information - For example, your passport number, issuance and expiry dates, country and location of issuance, or issuing authority.
- Employment details - Details of your current or most recent employer.
- Education information - This would be your current academic institution or place of study.
- EU destination - The EU country you intend to arrive in and the address details of your accommodation there.
- Personal information - Details relating to your spent convictions, any travels to places of conflict, and whether you have been subject to any prior return decisions.
- Parent or legal guardians - If the applicant is under 18, the name and contact information of the parent or guardian responsible for their welfare.
- Third parties - A third party submitting the application on an applicant's behalf must provide details of the person filling in the application, their relationship to the applicant, and any entity or organisation they represent.
- EU Family - For applicants who are related to either a citizen of an EU country or an EFTA national with free movement rights throughout the EU, they must provide details of the person they are related to and the nature of their relations.
We recommend that you apply for the ETIAS and obtain authorisation well before you purchase any tickets or book your accommodation. Most applications take between a few minutes to 96 hours to be processed, although if any additional information or interviews with EU authorities are required, the waiting period could take up to an additional 30 days to complete.
The ETIAS will be valid for three years, or the date of passport expiry (whichever comes first), and can be used for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
Completing your online application form will take less than 10 minutes. After submission, your ETIAS application will be processed instantly and you will receive a decision from the system within 96 hours or less. A small percentage of applications may take up to four weeks to process if additional documentation is required from the applicant. If your ETIAS has not yet been approved and you do not have any other travel authorization, you will not be able to enter a country within the European Union.
You will be notified via email if additional information is required to process your application. You will be given an additional 10 days to provide it. If the additional information is accepted, you will be notified no longer than 96 hours after. If the information is insufficient, you will be invited to an interview at your discretion with the EU Consulate, either online or in a location close to you. They will notify you of their decision within 48 hours after your interview.
Completing and submitting your application is easy and will most likely take a short amount of time. A majority will be processed within 20 minutes. However, some applications may take longer, even up to 30 days. Therefore, it is important to apply for ETIAS travel authorisation well ahead of time.
While most applications take only a few minutes to process, this cannot be guaranteed. An email notification will be sent within 96 hours notifying you of the status of your ETIAS application and if further action is required.
Yes. If another person such as a friend or family member wishes you to apply on their behalf, or you work for an organisation such as a travel company, you may do so. You must include a signed declaration indicating representation along with the individual you are applying for along with your application.
Yes, all travellers, regardless of their age, will require a separate and approved ETIAS in order to travel to the European Union. However, individuals under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, are exempt from paying the €7 processing fee.
Even if they were children when they applied for their ETIAS travel authorisation, the same authorisation is still valid once they reach adulthood. Once they come to renew their authorisation the under-18 exemptions for application fees will no longer be granted to them.
Once you start your application you can save a draft that will be stored in the system for a period of up to 48 hours. You can return and complete your application at any time during that period. After 48 hours, however, your draft will be deleted and you will need to start over.
An ETIAS is issued per individual passport holder. Any other individuals or family members who wish to travel will need to submit their own ETIAS applications for approval, regardless if they travel together or not, and regardless of their age.
You will be notified of the ETIAS decision via email. The email address provided on the form will be used for communication purposes of your application. If you have not received an email in your inbox within 96 hours of submission, please check your e-mail junk folder.
All travel authorisations from ETIAS are valid for either three years from the date of issue, or until the expiry of your existing travel documents, whichever comes first. So, if your passport expires in two years, then your ETIAS will expire at the same time.
Before your current ETIAS is due to expire, an email will be sent to you informing you of its upcoming expiration. You will be able to start a new application 120 days earlier than your current authorisation is due to expire.
While you may be able to apply for ETIAS we advise against doing this. There is a high risk of you may be turned away at the border unless you have exceptional grounds for entry, such as for humanitarian reasons. Exemptions can be applied for if you are related to a citizen of the EU or an EFTA country.
You may still be able to get an ETIAS but you can only travel to those EU countries that recognise your travel documents. However, you may be allowed entry to countries that do not recognise your documents in extraordinary circumstances. Check with the European Commission’s list of countries requiring ETIAS to confirm if your travel documents are recognised.
No, only one approved ETIAS is required per traveller to visit all ETIAS member countries. You do not need to apply for an ETIAS for each member country you visit. An approved ETIAS will cover all visits to ETIAS member countries, regardless the travellers point of E.U. entry or exit.
You can learn more about who needs an ETIAS by visiting the following link: https://etias.com/what-is-etias/who-needs-etias
No, you will not also need an ETIAS if you have a Schengen Visa. However, your Schengen Visa will still be required for E.U. travel.
If you declare that you are related to an EU or EFTA citizen you must include how you are related to them including a specification of your family ties.
No, you should use the passport of the E.U. or ETIAS member country to enter and exit Europe. You will not need an ETIAS if you travel using the passport of the E.U. member country.
No, if you have a residency card or residency status in an EU country, you will not need to apply for an ETIAS but will need to travel using your proof of residency and a valid passport.
While you can start applying for an ETIAS before you have confirmed your travel plans, keep in mind that you will need to indicate the EU country you plan on visiting first. However, after authorisation is given, you may instead travel to any of the other 30 countries covered under the ETIAS system.
Yes, you will still be able to apply for an ETIAS and discuss the circumstances around your criminal conviction. If you are denied an ETIAS, you will be given the right to appeal to the Member State that has made the decision to deny your ETIAS application.
If someone is completing the ETIAS application on your behalf, they will also need to include their full name as well as the contact details of the commercial intermediary they work for, if applicable. They will also need to provide information on their relationship to you as well as confirmation that a declaration of representation has been signed by them and you.
Yes, ETIAS is run by the national authorities of all EU countries under the ETIAS system. In addition, they work with agencies such as EU-LISA, Frontex, and Europol to ensure the security and integrity of the system. All these entities employ the most state-of-the-art technology and security measures designed to prevent any unauthorised access to your information. The ETIAS system is designed to ensure only authorised personnel from these agencies can access any data stored within the ETIAS central system.
Travelling with an approved ETIAS
No, an approved ETIAS does not guarantee entry. Even if you have ETIAS you may still be refused entry for any reason. The ETIAS is not a guarantee of entry into the EU, and you may be refused entry if you fail a border check or fail to meet other entry conditions.
A valid ETIAS authorisation allows you to board your carrier such as a plane or ship to any country operating under the ETIAS. However, the decision to allow you entry into the region falls on the border guards, who may refuse you entry based on laws or for security reasons.
No, you do not need to print out a copy of your ETIAS approval email nor a screen shot of the online status check showing your approved authorisation. Since the ETIAS is an electronic travel authorisation, relevant authorities and carriers will be able to confirm its validity through their own systems. For your own peace of mind, you can make a note of your approved authorisation number, as well as regularly check the status of your authorisation to ensure it remains valid and up-to-date.
No, the ETIAS is only accepted in countries part of the Schengen zone and part of the ETIAS.
Yes, although you may be subject to additional security checks by border officers within any European Union countries. Although the ETIAS grants you freedom of movement within the E.U. for short business or tourism visits, the ETIAS is a travel authorisation, and thus can be revoked at anytime by the European border authorities.
You will need an ETIAS if you are entering an ETIAS country with an international carrier transporting groups (e.g. tour group) overland by coach. However, this requirement will not be enforced by E.U. authorities until three years after the ETIAS has launched.
You will not need an ETIAS if crossing the border into a Schengen member country using a private car or other vehicle.
No, you will not need an ETIAS if entering the Schengen area, or ETIAS country, by rail.
Updating your ETIAS details
Any mistakes on your ETIAS application will compromise its accuracy and authenticity and can lead to the refusal of entry, or your authorisation being rejected, revoked or annulled. As it is your responsibility to ensure all details you enter are correct, please review your application carefully so you can correct any mistakes before you submit it.
The easiest and fastest way to correct any mistakes on your application after submission is to simply fill out a new application with your previously used data. You should also do this for any substantial changes to the information on your previous ETIAS application. You may also request to correct your submitted application for minor errors such as typos, but be aware that this might delay the processing of your application by up to 30 days.
One of the most common mistakes on the application is mixing up the number zero (0) with the letter (O) for the passport number field. This can cause problems at check-in for your flight or when entering an EU country as your passport information will not match your ETIAS. Applicants are advised to carefully check the information entered on the form.
Yes. your ETIAS is a digital travel authorisation assigned to your passport. If the following details have changed, you will need to add it to a new application:
- First Name - Changes to first or middle names invalidate an existing approved ETIAS.
- Surname (Last Name) - Changes to your last name or surname will result in your existing ETIAS being annulled, hence you will to apply for a new one.
- Gender - If you undergo procedure to change genders, or switch gender identities, you will need to apply for a new ETIAS.
- Nationality - If you change nationalities, or receive a new one, you will need to apply for a new ETIAS.
- Passport or travel document - This includes a new or renewed document that replaces a lost or stolen passport.
Yes, your ETIAS links to your unique travel document details, including your passport number. As each passport number is unique, you must apply for a new ETIAS with details of your new passport.
Yes, once your passport is lost or stolen, your ETIAS travel authorisation will be cancelled. You must immediately report that the passport has been lost or stolen to the local authorities and speak with your country’s Consulate to issue you with new travel documents. Once you have these travel documents, you need to apply for a new ETIAS travel authorisation with these new details.
ETIAS exemptions and special cases
Unfortunately, there is no expedited process for submitting an ETIAS application. Even if you have a reason to urgently travel to an EU country, you will still need to use the same ETIAS application process used by all other travellers. We recommend applying well in advance of your departure to ensure a smooth travel experience. You will most likely receive your confirmation between a few minutes or up to 96 hours of submitting your application.
There may be urgent cases where you need to travel, such as in the case of attending funerals, court appearances, or for medical reasons. If your initial application is refused, you may be able to request an ETIAS with limited validity in extraordinary cases.
So long as you remain within the international transit area, you will not need ETIAS travel authorisation. Should you decide to leave the international transit area and enter the country operating under the ETIAS system, valid travel authorisation will be required.
A family member can include the following:
- Spouses, including same-sex spouses.
- Registered civil partners, where the applicable legislation defines the partnership as equivalent to marriage.
- Direct descendants who are 21 or younger, or dependants, including those of spouses or partners.
- Direct blood relatives, including those of spouses or partners.
For family member status on an ETIAS, you need to meet certain conditions. You need to be the family member of an EU citizen, or you need to be the family member of an EFTA national. In addition, you must not require a visa for entry to the EU and must not hold a document of residence under Directive 2004/38/EC or a residence permit under Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002.
An ETIAS is not required if you have received a residence card or a residence permit from an EU country that operates under the ETIAS. If you do not have these documents, you must apply for ETIAS.
Applicants from visa-exempt countries who have family members that are EU nationals, or EFTA nationals who have free right of movement equivalent to the EU, are exempt from paying the application costs. Their applications will also need to be screened against rules on illegal immigration during processing.
No, ETIAS is intended for citizens from visa-exempt countries who plan to visit the EU only for a short time. ETIAS authorisation is not required if you have residence documents issued by an EU country authorising your stay.
Travellers from visa-exempt countries who are currently studying in another visa-exempt country, including Switzerland and Liechtenstein, must get ETIAS authorisation before embarking on your school trip. If you do not meet any of these requirements, you may need to apply for a visa for your trip. Be aware that there are rules of entry that are different for each EU country, so you may need either an ETIAS, a visa, or both, depending on all the countries you plan to visit.
The rules regarding crew members requiring ETIAS authorisation to enter will vary between each country. Some countries may have different rules for crew members who are on duty, going ashore with a seafarer’s identity document, undertaking an emergency or rescue operation, or on a ship navigating international inland waters. Check the travel requirements of each country you will be visiting to see if an ETIAS is required or not.
In most cases, holders of diplomatic passports are exempt from ETIAS. However, there may be exceptions to this rule and some versions of diplomatic passports may require an ETIAS or diplomatic visa. Diplomats are advised to check with their local or national governments for guidance on if they are exempt from ETIAS based on the nature of their visit, and the relationship with the EU countries they intend to visit.
Anyone who is recognised as a refugee or stateless and is currently residing in an EU country, and has valid travel documents issued by that country, does not need ETIAS authorisation. However, refugees and stateless persons residing in a visa-exempt country outside the EU, or Ireland, and have been issued valid travel documents by that country must have an ETIAS.
The travel rights of non-EU nationals in the NATO armed forces vary between each country. To find out if you require ETIAS to visit a country, review the Exemptions Article 6(2). In the case that the country issuing your travel documents is a visa-exempt country, you will need authorisation from ETIAS. If not, a visa is required.
Payment methods and fees
ETIAS will cost €7 EUR for individuals between the ages of 18 and 70. For persons under the age of 18, or over 70, a fee will not be charged.
Applying for an ETIAS requires a payment of EUR 7. Exemptions apply for applicants under the age of 18, over 70, or are family members of either EU citizens or non-EU citizens with the right of free movement in the EU.
All ETIAS application fees are non-refundable. Thus, once you have submitted your application for processing and paid your fee, regardless of the outcome, no refunds are given. Any disputes or chargebacks initiated through your payment provider for the ETIAS application fee may result in the annulment of an approved ETIAS.
Yes, any payment information entered is only accessible by the bank or financial institution involved in the transaction. No financial information or payment data will remain in the ETIAS system once a transaction has been processed.
Refusals, cancellations and appeals
There are several reasons why your application for ETIAS travel authorisation might be refused, these are as follows:
- The travel documents you used may have been reported as lost or stolen.
- You may have been deemed a security risk, a potential illegal immigrant, or a high epidemic risk.
- You have not provided the additional information or documentation requested of you to process the application in the time allowed, or you have failed to attend a scheduled interview.
- You have been previously refused entry and stay in an EU country, and an alert has been recorded.
- There are reasonable doubts as to how reliable the data you have provided is, or the statements and documents you have offered.
You will be informed of the reason for your ETIAS refusal or rejection via email along with the refusal decision. Should you wish, there will also be a link in the email on initiating the ETIAS appeals process.
If your ETIAS application has been rejected, you are not allowed to legally enter the EU. However, you have the three following options.
- You can appeal the ETIAS refusal - An appeal is a manual process that may require a visit to an EU member consulate for an interview. Be aware that all appeal processes are carried out by the authorities of the EU country that made the decision to reject your application. If you require travel to an EU country for emergency or extraordinary reasons, you may be able to apply for ETIAS with limited validity.
- You may reapply using more accurate or revised information - This is relevant in the instance where you made a mistake on your recent ETIAS application.
- You make alternative travel plans outside of the ETIAS countries - Although this is the most drastic option, as you will not be allowed into Europe, it remains viable for individuals or families who may not need to enter Europe to achieve their travel purposes.
You are permitted to submit a new ETIAS application with the correct information. A previous refusal does not automatically preclude you from getting an ETIAS approved, especially if the initial application contained errors.
Yes, authorities in the EU country you plan to visit may cancel your ETIAS if they have a strong belief, backed by evidence, that you have ceased to meet the requirements for an approved authorisation.
They may also cancel your authorisation if they believe you did not meet the requirements of entry during your application period. In such cases, you will be informed of this decision and the reasons for cancellation, as well as the procedures for appealing this decision.
If your authorisation is cancelled while you are visiting an ETIAS country, then you cannot legally stay in the region. If this is the case, you will be informed of the cancellation, the reasons, and the appeal procedure. If your authorisation is cancelled for reasons such as losing your travel documents, then after receiving a new passport or other document, you may apply for a new ETIAS.
You can ask to cancel your approved ETIAS while the authorisation is still valid. You will need to submit an online request providing your authorisation number and passport number.
If you are currently visiting an EU country under the ETIAS system when you submit your request, the cancellation will only come into effect once you leave the region.