Timor Leste is one of the countries eligible for the European Travel Information and Authorization System, better known simply as the “ETIAS”. From late-2022 onward, all Timor Leste citizens traveling to the Schengen Zone (including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, and Greece) must apply for an ETIAS before they leave.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Timor Leste Citizens
The ETIAS is entirely electronic. It is not a passport stamp or document that you need to carry around with you and authorization is confirmed by email. Travelers can complete an application in fewer than 10 minutes and are asked for some basic information, including name, date of birth, passport details, and intended date/destination of travel.
A small fee of €7 is required to complete the application and this must be paid with either a credit card or debit card. The fee is waived for minors, but they must also complete an ETIAS application if they are traveling to the Schengen Zone.
After authorization has been granted, the ETIAS will remain valid for 3 years, or until the applicant’s passport expires (whichever happens first). It is valid for access to all Schengen countries for up to 90 days.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can only spend 90 days within the area during those 3 years. The 90-day limit only applies to every block of 180 days. For example, if you spend 30 days in the region and then return home for another 90 days, you will have stayed within the Schengen Zone for 30 days out of 120 and can therefore spend the next 60 days there (equating to a 90-day stay within a 180-day period).
If you spend 90 consecutive days in the Schengen Zone, you must return home for several months before that period resets and you can return.
Does the ETIAS Apply to All of Europe?
The ETIAS only applies to countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement. It is an ever-evolving list and one that more countries are expected to join, but at the time of writing, there are 26 countries in the Schengen Zone and more than 50 on the European continent.
Some of the countries that are in Europe but are not in the Schengen Zone include the United Kingdom (a former member of the European Union but never a Schengen member), Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Is the ETIAS the Same as a Schengen Visa?
The process of acquiring a Schengen Visa is considerably more complicated than an ETIAS. It requires financial information to prove that the applicant can support themselves; accommodation information to prove that they have somewhere to stay, and a return ticket to acknowledge that they will be returning home.
It’s also more expensive, costing either €45 or €80 depending on whether the applicant is a minor or an adult.
Of course, a Schengen visa may grant the applicant more freedom once they enter the Schengen Zone. A Long-Stay Schengen Visa, for instance, could be used to work in the area.
Which Countries Can Timor Leste Citizens Visit Without a Visa?
East Timorese citizens have visa-free access to fewer than 100 countries, ranking the East Timorese passport pretty low on the Henley Passport Index.
Some of the countries that citizens can visit without a visa include the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dominica, Croatia, Cape Verde, and Barbados. A visa is required for visits to the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Israel, South Korea, and New Zealand, among others.