Europe has a lot of things to offer. It is a hodgepodge of culture and race and is why people across the globe head here for both leisure and business. However, before you can step on its borders, you will either need a travel visa to enter or an EU Travel Information and Authorisation System, also known as ETIAS visa which will be rolled out by 2021.
Currently, there are currently 61 countries who are not in the EU, but can travel around visa-free. Citizens of these countries are allowed to go into countries in the Schengen Zone for business or travel purposes for up to 90 days. During these 90 days, these visitors are not allowed to work or study but can engage in business and tourism activities.
While this not necessarily apply for me as coming from the Philippines, I need to apply for a visa in advance, it does affect my partner Tom who comes from the UK. This is why we decided to put together this quick post outlining the ETIAS visa and what it is.
What is an ETIAS?
The ETIAS visa is the European counterpart of the United States’ ESTA which is granted to people who are citizens of countries who are not part of the EU or the Schengen countries. Normally, this is granted to those who have are deemed as a non-threat to the security of the country they are about to visit.
However, unlike the travel visa, this is mandatory for countries who do not need a visa to enter Europe such as USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Being granted the ETIAS is easy as all you have to do is apply online and all security checks will be carried out prior to your arrival.
It, however, a new process and like anything that is new, it can be daunting initially, especially for those who are not used to going through the process of having security checks. Here are things that you might want to look out for when applying for an EU Travel Information and Authorisation System.
Filling Out the Forms
If it is not obvious yet, an ETIAS application is done online similar to the ESTA visa. No more pile of papers to worry about. Regardless, it is still important to read through each question carefully. Go over it twice or thrice if need be before you provide a response. Understand what it is asking. This is important, so give it the right and honest answer all the time.
This efficiency is important because, like any online application forms, the application form you are going to be using has a timeout period, for the ETIAS application form, it is 20 minutes. You must finish it within the time frame, otherwise, the data you entered will not be saved and you will start over again.
Moreover, it is vital to take note that you must give honest answers and not the answers that give you the higher chance of being granted the pass. The automated systems will cross check your answers across multiple servers for its truthfulness. On the other hand, if by chance you passed through their security checks, you will still be answering to border control before you are granted a pass to step into the border of the European country.
Editor’s Note: Traveling Europe? Make sure you check out our Europe Packing List Guide
Review Your ETIAS Application Before Submitting
It is vital that the biometric information that you provided in the ETIAS application form is accurate. This includes your name, your date of birth, gender, and citizenship, just to name a few. Review the spelling and the numbers keyed in because it might be invalidated if inaccurate. As a result, you might be denied access to Europe. Only submit your application form when you are confident that you have reviewed every item on the application form.
Online Payment for Your ETIAS
When paying for your EU Travel Information and Authorisation System, ensure that the card you are going to use is accepted by ETIAS. Normally, that would come up on the screen upon payment for the pass. In addition, it is also important that you avoid using cards which may holds and blocks on them. Sufficiency of funds is also vital because it may lead to a payment error.
Take note that you must avoid applying for a charge reversal, regardless of the outcome, otherwise, it will be rescinded by ETIAS for non-payment.
Nullification of the ETIAS
Once your ETIAS application has been approved make sure that you keep a clean record. Despite already being granted the pass, the security checks are still continuous.
The EU Travel Information and Authorisation Services is new, and it can be nerve-racking to apply for, however, it will mean safer travel within the entirety of Europe. As long as you apply in advance, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to complete.