Trinidad and Tobago is one of the 60 or so countries that are eligible for the ETIAS, a visa waiver that takes effect at the end of 2022. It is set to change the way that people visit the Schengen Zone, protecting its inhabitants by vetting all travelers and limiting access to serious criminals and anyone deemed to be a security risk.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Trinidad and Tobago Citizens
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is an electronic visa waiver program that was designed to protect the nations of the Schengen Zone.
All non-EU nationalities that were previously allowed to travel freely throughout the Schengen Zone, will need to apply for an ETIAS as of late-2022. Trinidad and Tobago is included on that list.
If you own a valid Trinidad and Tobago passport, you must apply for an ETIAS via the official website. The application can be finalized in just a few minutes and requests only the most basic information. There is no need to consult with an embassy or consulate and you won’t need to submit information about your intended accommodation or current financial situation—it’s not a visa and doesn’t grant long-term access.
How Long Does the ETIAS Remain Valid?
The ETIAS will only be granted if you have a passport with at least 3 months validity from the date of travel. That’s because the ETIAS applies for stays of up to 90 days, and if you have 3 months of validity remaining, it means you can remain for the duration.
It should remain valid for 3 years but will expire sooner if the passport expires. It can also be revoked for security reasons, although such incidences are rare.
The 90-day limit doesn’t extend throughout the 3-year period and only applies for periods of 180-days. In other words, you can spend 3 months out of 6 in the Schengen Zone. If you spend the first three months of the year there, you will need to wait for another 3 months to pass before you can return.
Is the ETIAS the Same as a Schengen Visa?
The ETIAS is not a Schengen Visa. It doesn’t allow you to work in the Schengen Zone and it doesn’t permit long-term stays, either. But the Schengen visa is also much harder to acquire as it asks for proof that you have accommodation prepared, as well as proof of affordability and travel insurance.
You will also need to show a round-trip reservation and pay a fee of €80 (adults) or €45 (children). If you want to spend more than 3 consecutive months in the Schengen Zone, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa. If you’re just visiting as a tourist or for business, travel, and family reasons, an ETIAS will suffice.
What are the Best Places for Trinidadians and Tobagonians to Visit with an ETIAS?
Travelers from Trinidad and Tobago have a wealth of options to choose from when it comes to visiting the Schengen Zone. They can sample the best produce and oil in Italy, explore thousands of years of history in Greece, and chill out in relaxed and laid-back nations like the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.
Not only does the Schengen Zone cover some of the most-visited countries in the world, but it also spans the best food, museums, art galleries, sporting events, and more.
Is the Schengen Zone Safe?
Although most Schengen countries are safe, you need to keep an eye out for pickpockets and other criminals that target tourists. There are much higher numbers of these criminals in tourist regions, including popular cities like Rome and Paris. But if you do your research beforehand, keep your wits about you, and don’t carry around too much cash, you will be fine.