How to obtain the ETIAS visa
Starting from November 2023, citizens of some non-EU countries will need to present a permit called ETIAS upon entering the European Schengen area. The decision to introduce this type of permit is essentially based on the perceived need of the European Commission to strengthen security at the borders of the European Union, so as to prevent risks related to immigration and terrorism, by collecting information on travelers before their arrival in Europe.
The ETIAS can be requested online, with a procedure that lasts approximately 10 minutes, and that will allow you to receive the ETIAS in a short time, or otherwise to be contacted for further verification purposes. The ETIAS Visa will be required to enter the following European countries:
- Schengen area countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
- EFTA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.
- Micro-States with open borders: Andorra, Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino.
It is not necessary to apply for an ETIAS to enter Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland and Romania, but the list of these countries may change with their entry into the Schengen area, which for example for Croatia is scheduled for 2024. Similarly, the list of countries whose citizens must apply for an ETIAS visa to enter Europe is also constantly updated.
ETIAS visa application
To submit your ETIAS visa application, you will need to fill out an online module on the website, entering all the required information, including personal data, contacts, travel itinerary, health status, criminal record, and the payment of a fee of 7€, from which citizens under 18 and over 70 are excluded. To make sure you receive your visa on time, it is recommended to apply for an ETIAS at least 3 or 4 days before departure: generally most ETIAS applications are approved within a few minutes, or at most a few hours, but the maximum limit for the conclusion of the application review is 96 hours, within which the ETIAS can be approved, refused, or you can be contacted for further information requirements.
Citizens who apply for an ETIAS must fully provide truthful information, under penalty of denial of the visa, and pay attention to any typos. When filling out the ETIAS application form, you will need to have your passport at hand, checking that it is valid for at least the next 6 months, an email address and a telephone number, and a credit or debit card to pay the fee of 7€.
Once you have these documents available, you can fill out the online ETIAS visa application form, in which the following information will be requested specifically:
- Personal information: first and last name, date and place of birth, gender, e-mail address, telephone number, residential address, personal data of parents
- Passport data: country, citizenship, date of issue, expiration date
- Health status questions: Information on any recent infectious and contagious diseases
- Criminal record: information on any ongoing trials, drug use, involvement in illegal activities
- Travel information: carrier, first EU country of entry, date of entry
- Other information on travel to war zones and history of immigration inside or outside the European Union
- Payment method data: credit or debit card type, card number, name of the holder, expiration date, security code
Once the application form is completed, applicants between the age of 18 and 70 will have to pay the 7€ fee with the payment method indicated, and after the payment is a made the ETIAS application will be processed.
The process to receive the ETIAS VISA
Once the €7 ETIAS application fee has been paid, it will be processed automatically, and the information entered will be compared with all the data held by the European Union authorities dealing with security and immigration, to understand if the citizen who applied for the ETIAS visa can pose a threat to European public security. In most cases, if there is no match, ETIAS are approved within a period of time ranging from few minutes to a few hours, while if the ETIAS visa is denied the reasons for this decision will be communicated.
If there are problems with the ETIAS visa application, the ETIAS approval process will be carried out manually, and the applicant will be contacted to provide all the necessary additional information necessary for the authorities to make a decision on their application. The ETIAS must be approved or denied within four weeks, and if denied, the traveler has the right to appeal.
Once the ETIAS is approved and received, it will be valid for three years, and can be used for multiple number entries into the European Schengen area, as long as every visit has a duration of less than 90 days, within which you can also travel between the various countries that require the ETIAS visa. In any case, before each trip it is good to check that your ETIAS is still valid in advance, so that you have ample time to apply for another one before departure.
How much does the ETIAS visa cost?
The ETIAS visa has a cost of €7 , and paying this amount is the last step to complete to your ETIAS application. Once the payment is made, the request will be processed and shortly after you will receive a response. In the event that the transaction is not successful, the process will be put on stand-by, and if this happens it is recommended to check that the card with which you want to pay with has not expired and has sufficient funds.
In case the payment continues to be declined, it is advisable that the applicant contact their bank, particularly if the transaction was made in a country other than the country of origin, or if there are any limitations on transactions that can be modified by the bank.