More than 5 million people visit Slovakia every year, and that number is climbing. Cities like Bratislava are the main draws and there is a wealth of culture, history, and natural beauty to explore.
Prior to 2022, residents from over 60 countries around the world were free to visit Slovakia without a visa or a visa waiver. But that changes in late-2022 when a new visa waiver program is implemented.
Known as the ETIAS or “European Travel Information and Authorization System”, it protects internal borders within the Schengen Zone by vetting all travelers.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Slovakia
Slovakia is one of the 26 Schengen member states. As a result, many travelers from outside the European Union are required to apply for an ETIAS before visiting the European nation.
As the name suggests, the ETIAS is a visa waiver and not a visa, and so the application process is much quicker and easier, taking just 10 minutes and asking for only the most basic information.
Applications can be completed online through the official website. Once authorization has been granted, it will remain valid for 3 years and grants access to Slovakia—and other Schengen countries—for 90 days within any 180-day period.
Authorization usually takes around 72 hours and will be confirmed via email. As a result, it’s best to apply several days before you travel.
It’s also worth noting that authorization can be invalidated at any time. The goal of the ETIAS is to limit access to travelers deemed to be “high risk”. Just because there are no issues now doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues further down the line. If your security status changes, either as a result of an offense or a misunderstanding, then the ETIAS can be revoked.
It will also expire if the passport expires, as the visa waiver is attached to the passport and not the individual.
Do I Need an ETIAS Visa Waiver to Visit Slovakia?
If you are a legal resident of a country within the Schengen Zone, you don’t need to apply for ETIAS authorization before you can visit Slovakia or other Schengen countries. However, the same rules don’t apply outside of this area.
For countries that are not in the Schengen Zone and/or European Union, you must either apply for an ETIAS or a Schengen visa. The former—the subject of this guide—is much quicker and easier, and applicants don’t need to undergo extensive checks or submit multiple documents.
There are currently around 60 nationalities that need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before visiting Slovakia. If you reside in one of the following countries, then the same rules will apply to you. Those countries include:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Visiting Slovakia with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
Slovakia is a small but sparsely occupied country. It is mountainous and packed with natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for hikers, bikers, spelunkers, and extreme sports fans. It has a few UNESCO-protected sites and a wealth of history and great food to explore.
If you’re looking for a quiet break in the sun, you may be better offer on a Greek island or in the south of France. If it’s a massive cosmopolitan city you’re looking for, book a flight to Rome, Athens, Madrid, or Berlin. But if you’re all about nature, natural beauty, and filling your lungs with fresh and clean air, Slovakia is perfect!