The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a game-changer for the Schengen Zone. It means that the region can keep its borders open and allow travelers to visit freely, but at the same time, it prevents dangerous criminals from entering.
If you’re a Nicaraguan passport holder, the ETIAS will add an extra step to the process of visiting Schengen countries, but it’s a relatively simple one.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Nicaraguan Citizens
The ETIAS visa waiver comes into effect from late 2022 onward and applies to all countries within the Schengen Zone. If you live in Nicaragua or nearly 60 other countries worldwide, you will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before you can visit the region.
The ETIAS application can be completed online and you only need a secure WIFI connection, email address, valid passport, and a credit/debit card to apply. You will be charged a €7 fee at the end of the application process and after a wait of no more than 72 hours, you will be sent an ETIAS authorization via email.
Most of the applications are quick and painless, but if you have a criminal record and are deemed to be a security risk, a manual review will be triggered. At this point, there is a chance that you will be refused access.
If the ETIAS application is successful, you will be able to visit the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days at a time (within a 180-day period). It remains valid for three years, after which you can just apply for another one.
The ETIAS can be taken away from you at any time if your risk status increases, and it will also expire sooner than those 3 years if your passport expires.
Do Nicaraguan Citizens Need an ETIAS Visa Waiver for Europe?
The Schengen Zone applies to over two dozen countries within Europe. It does not apply to all nations.
For instance, the United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen Zone and has its own rules concerning visa and visa-free entry. The same applies to Russia and several other popular tourist destinations.
Where Do Nicaraguans Go on Vacation?
According to research published by Kuoni in 2021, most Nicaraguans list Jordan as their dream destination. It’s a country you won’t find at the top of many bucket lists, but it really should be. There are multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan, including Quesir Amra and the world-famous Petra.
For many Nicaraguan citizens, Jordan is a dream destination but an unlikely one, with the distance and cost leaving it just out of reach. Many of them actually spend their time in nearby countries like El Salvador and Honduras. Costa Rica is on the border as well, but Nicaraguan citizens need a visa to visit the nation.
Can Nicaraguan Citizens Travel to the US and UK Without a Visa?
The United States does not allow access to Nicaraguan citizens unless they have a valid visa. The UK is a different story, though, and Nicaraguans can travel to the country for up to 6 months at a time. The UK isn’t part of the Schengen Zone either, so an ETIAS is not required.
Which Countries Can Nicaraguans Visit Without a Visa?
Nicaraguan citizens are free to travel to more than 120 countries without a visa or through a visa waiver program like the ETIAS. It’s actually quite a low number compared to other passports, but it means that valid passport holders are allowed to travel to large parts of Europe and South America. Most of Africa and large parts of Asia are accessible only with a visa, though.