As a Grenadian passport holder visiting Europe, you may be introduced to something called ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. Created to safeguard the Schengen Zone, the ETIAS is a visa waiver program and it applies to residents of 60 countries worldwide, including Grenada.
After late 2022, all Grenada passport holders must receive ETIAS authorization before they can step foot inside the Schengen Zone, which includes countries like Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Grenadian Citizens
The goal of the ETIAS is not to confuse. It was not designed to make easy money for European governments or to force visitors to jump through endless and unnecessary hoops. After all, with the exception of Schengen passport holders and those who need to apply for a Schengen Visa, an ETIAS is required from most visitors to the 26 Schengen member states.
If it was overly complicated, it would reduce tourist dollars in economies that are heavily reliant on them.
The goal of the ETIAS is to automatically prescreen travelers. It will ask for some basic personal details and travel details, along with your passport information. Once the form has been submitted, your details will be checked against international security databases to ensure that you’re not a threat to Schengen countries or their residents.
If access is granted, you will receive a notification by email and will then be free to visit the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The ETIAS authorization is valid for 3 years from the point of acceptance but it will expire sooner if your passport expires.
What are the Best Countries to Visit with an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
It entirely depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation.
If it’s all about turquoise seas and year-round sunshine, head for Spain or Portugal. If you’re looking for the best food, visit France. If it’s beer, culture, and colder climates that you seek, Austria and Germany might have what you’re looking for. For history lovers, Italy and Greece have it all.
The great thing about the Schengen Zone is that it spans some of the most-visited countries and cities in the world. It includes Paris, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Naples, Athens, Barcelona, Bruges, and Amsterdam. It also spans attractions such as Oktoberfest, the Brandenburg Gate, the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, and the Coliseum.
Once you have an ETIAS visa waiver, all of these locations and more will be at your disposal.
Is Grenada in the Schengen Area?
Grenada is definitely not in the Schengen Area and never will be. The Schengen Zone only applies to countries within Europe that have signed the Schengen Agreement, named for a small town in Luxembourg where major leaders came together to create the pact.
The reason that Grenadians are eligible to apply for an ETIAS is that Grenada is one of 60 countries that are included in the program’s eligibility requirements. And that’s a good thing because while it’s another step for Grenadian passport holders to take, it’s better than the alternative, which is to need a full Schengen Visa.
Which Countries Can Grenadians Visit Without a Visa?
The United States is out of bounds when it comes to visa-free access and the same is true for Mexico, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and large parts of Africa. However, Grenadians can freely visit the United Kingdom without needing to apply for a visa and they can also explore most of South America and Asia.