In order to board any international carrier travelling to the Schengen Area, nationals of visa-free countries will be required to bear a valid ETIAS to be checked prior to embarkation. Since the objective of the ETIAS is gathering information to facilitate migration-related decisions, the online application will be straightforward, taking about 10 minutes to complete.
The ETIAS Application Form
All Canadian passport holders will have to fill an online form with personal data as well as respond to a questionnaire concerning criminal records, travel history, relevant medical conditions and other relevant information. They should also specify the Member State of arrival in which their ETIAS will be registered into, making sure to enter the Schengen Zone from that particular country. Finally, they should use a Credit or Debit card to pay the ETIAS Visa application processing fee – noting that Canadians under 18 or above 70 years-old are exempt from payment.
Once the ETIAS Visa application is submitted, the information will be cross-checked with that of other international organizations before a decision is made. The estimated processing time will range from only a few minutes up to a maximum of 96 hours. If accepted, the authorization will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue or until the registered passport expires. The ETIAS Visa will work as a multi-entry authorization, allowing Canadian visitors (with the sole purpose of tourism) to stay in any of the countries of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in every 180 days. Despite bearing a valid ETIAS the final decision comes down to the border officer at the given port of entry.
The ETIAS Application Process
The application for an ETIAS visa will be done online, via the official website (to be announced). When requesting an ETIAS, every applicant will be subject to the same process which should be done at least 3 days (72 hours) before departure – however, the earlier the better. All travellers are urged to provide only true information and refrain from adapting answers for the sake of a better chance of approval. Any false declarations will ultimately lead to a refusal of the ETIAS application and entry into the Schengen Area. Applicants are also prompted to review the information after each step, ensuring that all data is accurate and there are no spelling mistakes.
As part of an ETIAS application the main set of information will regard:
- Personal Data
- Travel History / Travel Itinerary
- Criminal Records
- Health Status
- Payment and Contact Information