Travelers to Europe in 2022 will need to get an ETIAS visa waiver before entering the EU. Read How Traveling to Europe and Scandinavia Will Change in 2022 and find out what you will need to do to get ready for this change.
2022 will be a milestone year for traveling to Europe as it will mark the launch of the ETIAS visa waiver.
Until now, entering the EU Schengen Area has just involved a passport check and little else for travelers from the US, UK, or Canada. However, this will change next year and ETIAS will become a mandatory step from 2023 onwards for visitors from visa-exempt countries.
However, getting an ETIAS waiver will be a fast and simple process and once you have it registered it can be used multiple times for up to 3 years. More importantly, it’s going to make travel to Europe more seamless and secure.
Read on below to learn more about:
- Why ETIAS will be introduced next year
- Who needs it
- How to apply for your electronic visa waiver online
- The most important travel tips for 2022
- What Is ETIAS and Why Is Travel to Europe Changing?
ETIAS (Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System) was first proposed in 2016 as a means to enhance the border security of the Schengen Area and reduce illegal immigration into the bloc.
Since then, it has been enshrined in EU legislation and work carried out to make it a reality from 2022 onwards.
As part of the passenger screening goals of the project, those visiting Europe without a visa for trips of under 90 days within a 180-day period will need to register with the system prior to arriving.
This will be done via an electronic visa waiver. This will give authorities the chance to properly check passengers to ensure they don’t pose a threat to EU residents or have a history of overstaying on visas.
To find out more check here for further information.
Who Needs an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Anyone traveling to Europe from one of 62 visa-free countries will need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit the 26-country Schengen Area. This will be a mandatory requirement from 2023 onwards.
This includes nationals from the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Visitors from these countries will need to hold a valid ETIAS authorization prior to visiting any Schengen countries.
How to Apply for ETIAS
The application for ETIAS can be accessed and completed fully online. It will only take 10-20 minutes to complete the form for most people applying.
It is also expected that approval or denial will be given within 24 hours of submission. However, passengers are advised to apply at least 72 hours before departure in case mistakes or discrepancies occur on their form.
When filling out the application you will be asked to provide data, such as your:
Date of birth
Arrival country in the EU
Answers to background questions
Once done, you will need to pay a small administration fee by debit or credit card and enter a working email address.
The latter is especially important as it will be your primary source of contact with the EU authorities during the process. It is also how you will receive the approved visa once it is authorized.
After you have received an approved visa waiver it is then electronically linked to the passport you registered during the application process. The waiver itself is valid for 3 years from its date of issue although you will need to reapply if your travel document expires or is replaced during this time.
What to Know Before Traveling to Europe in 2022
If you want to visit the EU and countries such as Denmark, Norway or Sweden it will be possible to apply for ETIAS once the system goes online in late 2022. It will become mandatory for eligible passengers from 2023 onwards.
Your visa waiver will be checked when you first arrive in the Schengen area. After you have passed through border security you will then be able to visit all 26 countries in the passport-free zone for up to 90 days with no further documentation checks.
It isn’t necessary to print your ETIAS authorization although it’s advised to keep a physical or digital copy just in case. As the document is electronically linked to your passport the authorities will be able to see whether visitors have the correct entry authorization during the immigration process.
ETIAS is going to be an essential change to prepare for in 2022 and 2023. However, there are many benefits that the system will bring and travelers can expect a faster, more efficient, and more importantly, safer experience of visiting Europe in the future.
How Traveling to Europe and Scandinavia Will Change in 2022, written for Daily Scandinavian by ETIAS, The European Travel Information and Authorisation System,