The European Union has recently undertaken a new travel authorisation regime and aiming at streamlining the travellers visiting the countries in the European Union. Labelled ETIAS or European Travel Information and Authorization System, it is a visa waiver system that will replace the Visa-Free travel available for the 61 countries globally.
Though most of us tend to treat it as ETIAS visa, it isn’t actually a Visa program and designed as a travel authorisation service. The service will be applicable to the nations that have been so far enjoying the visa free travel to the countries in Europe. The scheme is designed as an option to protect the borders of the 26 countries that are known as the Schengen Zone.
The travel authorisation is aimed at providing a visa free travel options for up to 90 days. Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for a period for three years from the date of issue. Please note that the validity expires if your passport expires before the actual expiry of the ETIAS regime.
The application procedure for the ETIAS will be completely online. You will need to answer a few questions within a stipulated time frame. You will also be required to provide the biometric details that include First name(s), Surname or family name, Maiden name (wherever applicable), Date of birth, Place of birth, Country of birth, Gender and Nationality. The ETIAS application will also be submitted for the minors.
Do note that anyone visiting the EU nations under ETIAS cannot indulge in studies or jobs. It will only be applicable to tourist activities or business. The maximum period that you are allowed to stay in the country of visit will be limited to 90 days. You can also be able to visit the countries for medical and transit reasons.
The new regime will come into force from 2021. So, if you are visiting Europe and belong to one of the erstwhile visa free countries, make sure you opt for proper documentation and plans for your ETIAS documentation.