Germany attracts over 40 million tourists every year. It’s one of the biggest and most diverse countries in Europe. It receives a lot of travelers from the United States and many Americans have also moved there, setting up homes in trendy Berlin and culture-rich Hamburg,
Germany has a little bit of everything, but it’s also a Schengen member, which means that if you want to visit the country, and you live outside of the Schengen zone, you may need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Germany
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a visa system established to provide more security for countries within the Schengen zone, which includes 26 member states.
Implemented in 2022, the ETIAS visa waiver requires most tourists from outside this area to submit an ETIAS application.
It’s not the same as a visa and is much quicker and easier. You can complete an ETIAS application online in less than 10 minutes. You will be asked for some basic details, including your name, address, contact details, and citizenship, and will also need to pay a fee using a debit or credit card.
The ETIAS system checks a number of international databases to determine whether you are a risk or not. It checks your criminal record and legal documents, and if a warning is flagged by the system, your ETIAS application is sent for manual review.
The goal of the ETIAS is not to block everyone with a criminal record. It only seeks to provide security for Schengen countries by preventing terrorists, human traffickers, smugglers, and other serious criminals from entering the country.
If you pass the checks, you will be allowed to enter Germany and remain there (or in other Schengen member states) for up to 90 days.
Visiting Germany with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
One of the great things about visiting Germany with an ETIAS visa waiver is that you’re a short trek away from several other countries in the Schengen area and can travel freely throughout these countries.
Germany is bordered by the Netherlands and France, so you can visit the canals of Amsterdam and sample the great food in Paris. You can also drop into Switzerland and Austria, and if you’re coming from a country like the United States, where you have to travel vast distances to cross multiple borders, country-hopping in this manner is a unique experience.
But no one goes to Germany just to visit France! Germany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Schengen area, and not without reason.
The capital city, Berlin, is home to great food and entertainment, as well as some of the best museums outside of London and Paris. It’s also one of the cheapest major cities in Europe and you can live like a king without blowing your vacation budget on the first night.
You can visit the remnants of the Berlin Wall, drop by the Berlin Zoo, or see the stunning Brandenburg Gate, the latter of which is breathtaking when viewed in the evening hours. And don’t forget the Reichstag! You might have to queue to get in, but it’s worth it.
Germany is also home to the stunning cities of Munich (where you’ll find the famous Oktoberfest) and Hamburg, which is one of the best cities for live music in Europe.
There are many reasons to travel to Germany, including the fact that the ETIAS is relatively easy to obtain!