The European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS Visa waiver has been around the news for quite some time since the announcement of its very soon implementation. Currently, Canada has been part of the lucky few countries that have been exempted from applying for visas when travelling to Europe. However, by 2021 Canadians have to apply for ETIAS, a special authorization for non-Schengen and visa-exempt countries before crossing European borders
But as inconvenient as it may come off, it is actually much simpler if you get around it. Don’t let this minor change ruin your plans to travel to Europe in 2021. Here’s why ETIAS won’t cause too much setback on Canadian travelers.
The ETIAS Visa Waiver for Canadian Citizens
What You Need to Know About ETIAS
ETIAS is Not A Visa
Don’t be confused by the nature of this waiver. It is not at all as complicated as acquiring a visa—because it technically isn’t. It is simply an authorization that confirms that you passed screening and are able to enter European borders and stay for no longer than 90 days. Therefore, it is by no means a substitute for the Schengen visa, which Canadians are still exempted from acquiring.
The ETIAS is similar to the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) that European citizens, who are visa-exempt to Canada, have to apply for before entering Canada. So really, think of it as a tit-for-tat situation between Canada and Europe.
ETIAS Application is Online
You don’t have to line up somewhere to apply for ETIAS. This waiver is an online process, which you can do in the comfort of your home in 10 minutes at least 3 days (72 hours) before your trip. And don’t worry if you think that you’re not the online-savvy type. The application will be the same as filling out any other kind of application that requires basic information. And hey, there’s no restrictions saying that you can’t ask for some help.
As far as security goes, ETIAS won’t leak any of your personal information online. It only requires a couple of personal information like your name, travel history, health status, and criminal information that will be verified by the Interpol and European Border and Coast Guard to make sure you’re allowed to step in European borders. So if you think you’re in the clear in all those aspects, then there’s no need to be worried about being rejected.
For the full list of requirements and complete guide to the application process, you can visit our How to Apply page.
ETIAS Fee is Fairly Affordable
You can surely spare a few loonies for this extra precaution. The ETIAS visa waiver fee won’t dip too much in your travel expenses, costing 7 euros or C$10, which is probably less than your cab fare to the airport.
For the sake of comparison, the Schengen visas cost 60 euros or C$87. Of course, this expense still won’t apply to Canada by 2021.
You’ll surely get your money’s worth if you’ve got plans to make back-and-forth trips to Europe. You don’t have to apply for ETIAS every time you travel. It is valid for 3 years unless revoked, so all you have to do is check its validity before going on the trip, much like your passport.
Benefits of the ETIAS Visa Waiver for Canadian Citizens
Just because its sole purpose is to strengthen security borders in Europe doesn’t mean it won’t come with perks for Canadians. With this extra step of security, you can feel much safer knowing that the people on board the plane with you have been background checked and ETIAS approved. Safety and security, especially when travelling abroad, is always a good investment.
If you still have doubts and inquiries that you want to be addressed, then don’t worry. Etiaseurope.ca is a non-government organization that can assist you with your concerns. Send us a message and we will gladly answer your most pressing questions.
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