Are Minors Required to Apply for ETIAS?
Initially slated for 2021, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was delayed until 2023. After this point, all visitors to the Schengen Zone are required to complete an ETIAS application form before they are granted access. Minors are occasionally exempt from strict travel rules, but that doesn’t apply here.
Does ETIAS Apply to Minors?
The ETIAS applies to most travelers visiting the Schengen Zone from outside the European Union. If you live outside of the EU and don’t fall under the jurisdiction of the ETIAS, it means you may need a full Schengen Visa. This is also true for travelers under the age of 18.
The ETIAS explicitly states that minors are not exempt from the aforementioned requirements and so they must apply if they wish to travel to the region, even if they are traveling with their parents.
However, there is one area in which the application process differs for minors and that’s the application fee.
How Much Do Minors Pay for ETIAS?
Typically, the ETIAS application charges a €7 fee, which must be paid via credit card or debit card at the end of the application process. This does not apply to applicants under the age of 18, though.
There is no fee for minors.
Travelers over the age of 70 are also exempt from this fee.
It’s a minor exemption as a fee of €7 probably isn’t going to deter a traveler from visiting the Schengen Zone, not when you consider the many hundreds of Euros they could be paying for plane tickets, airplane fees, and accommodation. But it could lead to big savings for large families with multiple children.
Why Are Children Not Exempt?
The ETIAS was designed to secure the borders of the Schengen Zone and ensure that terrorists, drug smugglers, and human traffickers are not allowed to move freely throughout the region.
You could argue that children are highly unlikely to be terrorists and serious criminals and so they should be exempt. It would be a valid argument, but there are a couple of reasons minors are still included.
Firstly, millions of travelers under the age of 18 pass through the borders of the Schengen Zone every year. With the ever-looming threat of contagion and human trafficking, it’s important to keep tabs on them.
Secondly, criminals have been known to use children for nefarious purposes and if kids aren’t monitored under the ETIAS program, they would be given free rein will to do this. Criminals use children to act as drug smugglers and may also use them to commit violent crimes.
Finally, a minor’s application process is often linked directly to an adult, and this allows the authorities to track all family members entering the region.
What is the ETIAS Application Process for Minors?
Minors are required to complete the same steps as adult applicants, but these should be completed by parents or legal guardians. The steps include:
- Visit the official ETIAS website and find the online application form.
- Enter basic personal details, including name, date of birth, gender, and address.
- Enter an email address.
- Enter passport details.
Most ETIAS applications are accepted without issue. The applicant will receive an email shortly after the application has been submitted and this email should state whether it was refused or accepted.
In rare cases, an application will be refused because the applicant is deemed to be a security risk. Such issues are even rarer for minors but could occur due to an issue with their parent’s application. Rejections can also be the result of a mistake.
In any case, the rejection email will state why the application was refused and will provide details regarding the next steps.
If the rejection was the result of a mistake, another application can be made. As soon as the mistakes are remedied, it should be accepted.
How Long Does a Minor’s ETIAS Last?
ETIAS authorization lasts for 3 years or until the associated passport expires. It will remain valid even if the applicant is no longer a minor during that 3-year period.
As with an adult ETIAS, a minor ETIAS is valid for stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period and it applies to all countries within the Schengen Zone.