From late 2022 onward, Tongan passport holders are required to apply for an ETIAS if they want to visit countries within the Schengen Zone. Before this date, there are no such demands and travelers are free to come and go without any additional steps or applications. Once it passes, they will be refused access without an ETIAS authorization.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Tonga Citizens
ETIAS stands for “European Travel Information and Authorization System”. It is an electronic authorization assigned to your passport and confirmed via email. You don’t need to worry about carrying documents around and the application process is a breeze.
You can apply for an ETIAS online following several simple steps:
- Visit the official ETIAS website.
- Apply for an ETIAS.
- Enter your basic personal and travel details.
- Enter a valid passport number.
- Pay a nominal €7 fee.
- Wait up to 72 hours for confirmation.
It’s generally a hassle-free process, but that will change if an issue is detected, in which case a manual review might be triggered.
The ETIAS works by checking your application details against large international databases. These databases are maintained by all countries within the Schengen Zone and they are used to circulate data relating to convicted criminals, terrorist behavior, drug smuggling, and trafficking.
If the system finds anything of the sort when processing your details, authorization may be refused. If not, it should be accepted automatically.
Don’t worry if you have a minor criminal record. The ETIAS process was designed to catch serious criminals who pose a threat to countries within the Schengen Zone. They don’t care about minor offenses.
Does the ETIAS Apply to All of the European Union?
The ETIAS only applies to countries within the Schengen Zone, which includes most countries in the European Union (EU). However, the EU is not the Schengen Zone, nor does it include all countries in Europe.
Once your ETIAS authorization is granted, you can use it to visit the following countries:
- Czech Republic
Ideas for Using your ETIAS
The ETIAS will grant you access to some of the most-visited countries in the world, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. You can stay there for up to 90 days at a time, which is more than enough time to see the sights, take in a concert or two, stay for a festival, and even participate in a major event.
In 2023, France will host the Rugby Union World Cup. France is the most-visited country in the world and if you’re following the World Cup, you’ll experience the biggest cities and the most beautiful sights, as the games are hosted by multiple stadiums (including those in Lillie, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse).
Rugby is big business in Tonga and this tournament could be one to remember.
In 2024, Paris will host the Summer Olympic Games, so if you miss one major tournament you can attend the other.
The ETIAS will also grant you access to everything from Oktoberfest to the French Open, Six Nations, and countless other unmissable events.
Can Tonga Citizens Travel to the US Without a Visa?
You need a visa if you want to visit the United States as a Tongan passport holder. The United States does have its own electronic visa waiver program, but it is not open to visitors from Tonga.
Can Tonga Citizens Travel to the UK Without a Visa?
As the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union, the ETIAS doesn’t apply. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the UK still grants visa-free access to Tongan passport holders and they don’t even need a visa waiver.
As long as your stay doesn’t exceed 6 months, you can visit the United Kingdom with a Tongan passport.