- Many third-country nationals visiting Europe will soon be eligible to apply for ETIAS; however, not everyone will be required to apply.
- This page outlines who is ineligible for ETIAS because of their nationality and who should not apply for an ETIAS visa waiver based on other factors.
There will be a new visa waiver for Europe beginning in November 2023. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS, will soon be a requirement for nationals of numerous non-EU nations.
Visitors should be aware, however, that ETIAS is not a visa. It is a travel authorization that allows visa-free entry into the Schengen Area. The ETIAS application procedure will be entirely online, with no need to visit an embassy or consulate in person.
However, as stated under Article 2 of the ETIAS rule, not all non-EU nationals are eligible for ETIAS.
There are two types of third-country nationals who should not apply for ETIAS once it becomes available:
- Foreigners who must have a visa to travel to Europe
- Foreigners who need neither a visa nor a visa waiver for Europe
This page goes into further information about who does not qualify for ETIAS and why.
NATIONALITY AND ETIAS INELIGIBILITY (ETIAS NOT ELEGIBLE COUNTRIES)
The key determinant of whether or not a person may apply for ETIAS is their nationality. ETIAS is intended for nationals of third countries who are free from European visa requirements for up to 90 days in each 180-day period.
As a result, ETIAS does not replace the Schengen visa. It is an extra permission necessary for travellers who previously could enter the Schengen Area with only a valid passport.
Citizens of the following third countries are ineligible for ETIAS and must instead have a valid visa to visit a Member State’s external border:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro)
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- Marshall Islands
- North Korea
- Northern Marianas
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- The Comoros
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- Western Samoa
Travelers from non-EU countries who do not appear on the above list may apply for ETIAS for short stays in Europe if they match all other qualifying conditions.
DO CITIZENS OF THE EUROPEAN MICROSTATES NEED TO APPLY FOR ETIAS?
Citizens of the following European microstates are not required to get a visa or an ETIAS permission to visit the Schengen Area:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Third-country nationals visiting a European microstate should be aware that an ETIAS travel authorization may be required if they enter through another EU country.
ETIAS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU CITIZENS
Due to family ties, some third-country citizens, regardless of nationality, are exempt from applying for ETIAS.
The ETIAS regulation states in Article 2.2 (b) that “third-country nationals who are family members of a Union citizen to whom Directive 2004/38/EC applies and who hold a residence card pursuant to that Directive.”
Non-EU nationals who fulfil this description are not required to get a visa or an ETIAS visa waiver in order to cross an external Schengen Area border. It should be noted that this only applies to people who have a residency card or permission; in all other circumstances, a visa or ETIAS will be necessary.
OTHER ETIAS EXEMPTIONS BASED ON FAMILY CONNECTIONS
Third-country nationals who are family members of a third-country national who has the same freedom of movement in European Union states as EU citizens are also exempt from visa and ETIAS requirements.
Again, a residence card in accordance with 2004/38/EC or a residence permit in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 is required to benefit from this exemption.
ETIAS FOR HOLDERS OF RESIDENCE CARDS AND VISAS
Third-country residents with a residence permit issued by an EU Member State are exempt from the ETIAS legislation.
Because the individual has previously filed for and been granted permission to remain in one of the ETIAS countries, additional authorization in the form of a visa waiver is not required.
Furthermore, holders of the following permits or visas should not apply for an ETIAS visa waiver:
- Uniform visas
- National, long-stay visas
- Local border traffic permit issued by a Member State
ARE DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS ELIGIBLE FOR ETIAS FOR EUROPEAN TRAVEL?
When visiting Europe on official business, foreigners with certain special passports may be exempt from visa and ETIAS requirements.
The ETIAS regulation does not apply to holders of diplomatic or service passports who “have been exempted from visa requirements pursuant to an international agreement concluded between the Union and a third country.”
When planning a trip to one of the EU Member States, holders of diplomatic and service passports should ensure that the exemption applies.
OTHER ETIAS VISA WAIVER EXEMPTIONS
Finally, “third-country nationals exercising their right to mobility in accordance with Directive 2014/66/EU (35) or (EU) 2016/801 (36) of the European Parliament and of the Council” should not apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
Non-Europeans who believe this exemption may apply to them should carefully review these directives or seek clarification from the embassy or consulate of the EU Member State they intend to visit.
WHAT TO DO IF INELIGIBLE FOR ETIAS?
To cross an external EU border, a third-country person who does not qualify for ETIAS based on their nationality or who does not fulfil one of the other ETIAS conditions must apply for a visa.
Such travellers are urged to begin the visa application procedure as soon as possible and to have all essential documentation.
Third-country nationals who are exempt from the ETIAS rule due to one of the other exclusions may not require a visa or ETIAS.
EU Member State embassies can advise on the necessary papers based on the traveller’s individual circumstances.