A visa-like policy that would affect Canadians traveling to certain European countries has been delayed for a third time.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was earlier set to take effect in January 2021, and was later pushed back to November 2023. 2024.
According to the EU Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs website, when it takes effect, this new policy will require Canadians traveling for less than 90 days to one of 30 countries in Europe to apply for a visa, such as will need to be completed. It will cost around CA$10.
The European Union is trying to implement an entry/exit system, An automated IT system for registering passengers. However, the implementation of this system has now been postponed till November this year, ETIAS Visa rollout gets further delayed.
Here is everything you need to know about the policy:
What is Etias?
ETIAS will require an application which is required prior to entry to some countries within the EU. It is attached to a person’s passport and is valid for three years or till the passport expires, whichever is earlier.
It will be necessary for the nations, Like Canada, Australia, America, Mexico and many more.
Travelers will need a visa to gain entry to the 27 European countries known as the Schengen Area, plus three other nations.
What is Schengen Area?
There are 27 countries that make up the Schengen area, with the exception of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, which will still use ETIAS.
These nations allow travelers to move freely without passing through internal borders. The Schengen Area was first launched in 1985 with five countries.
ETIAS will be required in 2024 before traveling to: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania , Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Internal border controls have not been lifted in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, The website of the European Council explains.
Why is the EU implementing Etias?
Before the ETIAS requirements take effect in 2024, Canadians are able to enter and travel freely within the Schengen area at any Schengen area country’s borders.
ETIAS is being implemented to identify any “security, irregular migration or high pandemic risk” posed by travelers entering the EU from visa-free countries, The European Union Commission for Migration and Home Affairs website explains.
Who needs Etias?
EU website says People will generally need an ETIAS if they:
- are not citizens of the European Union;
- are citizens of a country whose citizens do not require a visa for short-term stays in European countries requiring ETIAS;
- Do not have a residence permit/card/document issued by any European country requiring ETIAS
When and how do I apply?
Canadians can fill out their own ETIAS application, or authorize a third party such as a friend, family member or travel agency to apply on their behalf.
The EU says it “strongly advises” people to obtain ETIAS before booking tickets and accommodation.
The EU website reads, “Most applications will be processed within minutes and within 96 hours at the latest.” “However, some applicants may be asked to provide additional information or documents or to participate in interviews with national authorities, which may take an additional 30 days.”
documents only Required for people above 18 years and below 70 years of age.
Application will cost About 7 Euros, or CAD $10.
Once the system is in place, border agents of the country entering the Schengen area will be able to access this information when travelers arrive.