US citizens and many other countries will need to apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver before to travelling to Europe by November 2023. There has been some misunderstanding regarding what ETIAS is since the European Union made the announcement.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will resemble the ESTA in the United States. It is not a visa; rather, it is an electronic travel authorization, or visa waiver.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VISA AND A VISA WAIVER?
Travel authorizations come in 2 main forms: visas and visa waivers.
Visa waivers are used by many nations to promote safer visa-free travel. Entry permits for foreign nationals who are excluded from requesting a visa to enter a specific country or region are known as visa waivers.
VISA WAIVER APPLICATIONS ARE FASTER AND LESS COMPLEX
Systems that waive visa requirements enable safety inspections to be conducted without the need for a visa.
Applicants typically do not need to submit biometric data or appear for an interview because the application is typically submitted online. It is quicker and simpler to apply for a visa waiver than it is to get a visa.
VISA WAIVERS AND VISAS ARE FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRAVELLERS
Visas and visa waivers are not alternatives that travellers may select. The necessary paperwork is determined by things like:
- Length of stay
- Reason for visiting
There is a list of nationalities permitted to travel without a visa in countries with visa waiver policies. To be eligible to apply for a visa waiver, travellers must have a passport from one of these nations.
Visa exemptions are typically granted for brief vacations or business visits. A visa is typically needed in order to work, study, or dwell abroad.
EXAMPLE: THE ETIAS VISA WAIVER VS THE SCHENGEN VISA
ETIAS is a new visa waiver programme for Europe. ETIAS is distinct from the Schengen Visa in that it is not a visa.
Passport holders from nations that do not require visas will need to apply for ETIAS beginning in November 2023 in order to travel or conduct business in Schengen nations.
WHO WILL NEED AN ETIAS VISA WAIVER AND WHO WILL NEED A SCHENGEN VISA?
ETIAS is for non-EU nationals who can enter the Schengen Area without a visa. This includes countries without visa requirements like Australia and the United States.
All other visitors must have a Schengen Visa in order to cross an external border.
Short stays of up to 90 days per 180-day period are permitted in Europe with both the ETIAS and the Schengen Visa.
ETIAS is not open to nationals of third countries who require a Schengen Visa. To cross an external border, travellers who do not match the ETIAS requirements for Europe must be in possession of a current visa.
ETIAS is a short-term visa alternative. Travelers without a visa are permitted up to 90 days of stay every 180 days with ETIAS.
WHY IS THE EU INTRODUCING A VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME?
The fundamental benefit of visa waiver programmes is that they improve border security. By pre-screening international visitors without a visa, ETIAS will boost security throughout the Schengen Area.
A person’s entry into Europe may be barred if they present a health or security concern. Information provided by each application will be cross-checked against international security databases.
The visa waiver system will make European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain, even safer travel destinations.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ETIAS VISA WAIVER VS VISA
The ETIAS Visa Waiver has the benefit of being more affordable than a Schengen Visa.
Applications for a visa waiver are quicker and less complicated, as was already indicated. Only a few simple details are needed to complete the 100% online ETIAS application.
Almost all applications will be swiftly approved. The accepted visa waivers will be emailed to applicants as soon as they are.
WHAT DO I NEED TO VISIT THE UK OR IRELAND?
The UK was never a member of the Schengen Area and is no longer a member of the European Union. Anyone travelling to the UK should review the entry and visa requirements.
Ireland has an own immigration policy as well. Ireland is a member of the EU, however it is not a part of the Schengen Zone. Ireland is not a country that accepts ETIAS or Schengen visas.
For a brief time, the UK and Ireland don’t require a visa for bearers of various other nationalities’ passports. By 2025, the UK will officially introduce its own visa waiver programme, the UK ETA.