16 August 2019

ETIAS European Travel Visa-Free Guide Starting in 2021

You may have heard that starting in January 2021, ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will be taking effect regarding short term travel within the Schengen Zone.  The Schengen Zone covers much of the EU (European Union) and countries such as Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.  ETIAS is going to be a new way to travel, visa free!  The ETIAS will cover your travel within the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180 day period.  While you will still need a passport and a completed ETIAS application for approval, the ETIAS will remove the need for an interview with embassy or consulate, this will save you both money and time.

Countries in the Schengen Zone:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Another benefit to the ETIAS is that it is also a quick approval process, taking only minutes for most and no longer than four days.  This is much faster than the approval processing time for a Visa.  To be eligible for an ETIAS you need to be a citizen of an ETIAS eligible country.  There are 61 countries covered.  To find out if you qualify you can check if your country is listed here.

The process to apply for an ETIAS is all done online.  The ETIAS is great for people who are going to be tourists, for those on short term business, and for those who are receiving qualifying medical procedures in another country.  If you are going to be staying for a longer period of time (over 90 days) such as for work in another country, a traditional VISA would be more appropriate for you.

So if you're an American planning on traveling through multiple countries in the Schengen Zone, the ETIAS may be a good option for you.  The United States is an ETIAS eligible country and starting in January 2021 you can apply for ETIAS.  The ETIAS is valid for 3 years or when your passport expires.  Please note that you will need at least 3 months validity left on your passport when traveling with an ETIAS.

 For more information you can check out ETIAS Visa FAQs.

No comments:

Post a Comment