The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was designed to secure the borders of countries within the Schengen Area. These countries operate with a single border control and if you have access to one then you have access to all. A visa waiver for Hungary, therefore, will not only give you access to Hungary but will also give you access to 25 other countries.

This “Schengen visa” is not like a traditional visa and doesn’t require you to jump through as many hoops. However, there are still some processes to follow and some issues to be on the lookout for.

ETIAS Visa Waiver for Hungary

You can apply for an ETIAS visa waiver online. As long as you have WIFI to make the connection and a debit or credit card to process your application fee, you’re good to go. Of course, you will also need a valid passport, and it should be valid for at least 3 months from the point that you apply.

The online application process can be completed through the ETIAS official website. It will ask you for basic contact details and address information. You also need to state which country you will visit first.

Once you have finished the online application and have been truthful in answering all of the questions, you will be sent a confirmation along with travel authorization. If there is an issue, such as a serious offense on your criminal record, a manual review will be triggered.

The system is able to trigger these alerts because all applications are checked against official international databases, including those related to criminal records, forged documents, and other such issues.

What’s the Difference Between EU, EEA, EFTA, and Schengen Zone?

To an outsider, and even to someone living in Europe, the many different terms can be a little complicated. You have the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the Schengen Zone.

Firstly, the European Union (EU) is an economic and political union that currently spans 27 member states. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade organization established by four non-EU member states (Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland), for the purpose of trading with the EU and other nations.

The European Economic Area (EEA) was created to extend the EU market to include the aforementioned 4 EFTA countries.

As for the Schengen Zone or Schengen Area, it is an agreement that spans 26 countries, all of which have abolished their border controls and visa laws to create a single law that governs all of them.

The Schengen Zone covers 22 of the 27 EU member states (four of the remaining ones are obliged to join at some point in the future, with Ireland being the only exception) as well as the four countries from the EFTA.

Is Hungary in the EU?

Hungary is part of both the European Union and the Schengen Area, which means that travelers can freely cross the border if they have the right of access to other countries in the Schengen Area.

Do I Need a Visa to Enter Hungary?

The ETIAS visa waiver will replace the traditional visa system and is required for residents of over 60 countries after 2022. If you reside within the Schengen Zone, you don’t need a visa to enter the country.

Can I Get an ETIAS Visa Waiver with a Criminal Record?

You are free to apply and unless there are any serious crimes on your record, your application should be successful. The ETIAS visa waiver is designed to prevent serious criminals (murders, rapists, terrorists) from entering the Schengen Area and they are not interested in petty criminals.

Do I Need an ETIAS for Land Travel?

If you are traveling from Hungary to other countries within the Schengen Area, you don’t need to make any additional applications providing your existing ETIAS visa is still valid.

When Do I Need to Apply for a Hungary ETIAS?

If you are visiting Hungary or another Schengen country after the end of 2022, you will need to apply before you leave. The electronic travel document will be valid for 3 years thereafter and will cover you for entry to all Schengen countries.