ETIAS Visa Travel Waiver Highlights
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a visa travel waiver allowing you to visit twenty-six countries and four micro-states that are part of The Schengen Area. They include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, and the open-border micro-states of Andorra, Monaco, San Marion and Vatican City. Anticipated future Schengen member countries include Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania; it is anticipated they may be members when ETIAS travel authorization becomes effective in 2021.
- U.S. Citizens traveling to the Schengen Area any time after January 2021 will need an approved ETIAS Visa Waiver or a European Visa.
- ETIAS is a completely online travel authorization system. Your ETIAS Application must be submitted prior to travel, (we suggest at least 5 days prior) and when your application is approved, it will be digitally linked to your passport.
- ETIAS is a visa travel waiver for short-term travel for tourism, business, education, (think workshops or meetings) and for medical procedures. If the nature of your trip does not qualify for an ETIAS travel waiver, you will need to get a traditional visa designed for the purpose of your travel.
- The ETIAS visa travel waiver means you will not need to visit consulates or embassies for a visa application or processing.
- With ETIAS you can travel to and throughout Schengen Area countries and member states for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. An ETIAS is valid for 3 years with no limit to the number of trips you may take.
- Your passport must be current; it cannot be set to expire for at least 90 days from the day of your arrival in the Schengen Area. Ultimately your ETIAS Travel waiver expires when your current passport does.
- With ETIAS you may enter any applicable Schengen Area countries as frequently as you choose.
The European Union and Schengen Travel Zone
Understanding the difference between the Schengen Area and the European Union (EU): the Schengen Travel Zone consists of 26 countries and micro-states. Of those 26 countries, 22 are in the European Union. The other four countries are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and they are not part of the EU. As it stands ETIAS will not be valid for travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Countries with membership currently pending for inclusion into the Schengen Zone include Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. With Brexit in flux and Schengen Zone expected to soon include more countries, the list of Schengen members will change by the time ETIAS becomes active in 2021. ETIAS-Europe.us will update this information as it is available.