The ETIAS is set to change the game for countries in the Schengen Zone and for tourists visiting the region. One of the benefits of this travel authorization program is that it’s very straightforward, with a simple application and some straightforward rules.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of those rules, telling you which countries you can visit and discussing everything from the expiry date to the length of time that you can spend in a Schengen country.
Which Countries Need to Apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Residents of the following countries will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before visiting any countries within the Schengen Area:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Timor Leste
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Which Countries Can You Visit with an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
If you complete the ETIAS application and are given travel authorization, you will be free to explore all countries within the Schengen Zone, including:
- Czech Republic
The list could grow in the next few years, as several member states of the European Union, including Croatia, are seemingly set to sign the Schengen agreement before 2024. If you already have authorization and additional countries are added to the list, you should be free to cross their borders, as well.
Is it Just the Schengen Zone?
Yes, the ETIAS visa waiver can only be used for countries within the Schengen Area, which is distinct from the European Union. In fact, there are several countries in the European Union that are not included in the Schengen Area and while most of these are set to join in the future, one of them, Ireland, has opted out.
It is also worth noting that the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) is no longer in the European Union, nor is it a part of the Schengen Area. What’s more, just because a country is in Europe doesn’t mean that it is included in this area or as part of the ETIAS visa waiver program.
ETIAS Visa Waiver Validity
Your ETIAS visa waiver does not grant you indefinite access to a country. You are allowed to remain in Schengen countries for no more than 90 days in a 180-day period. You do not need to stay in the same country within that period and are free to explore the region and see the many great towns and cities that encompass the Schengen Zone.
See below for some other important validity information:
When is the ETIAS Visa Waiver Valid?
The ETIAS is valid from the moment that it is issued, which usually occurs within a few days of the application process. Unless, of course, you are refused, in which case you will not be given authorization and will be refused access to all Schengen countries.
You can apply for ETIAS authorization online by going through the official website.
What is the Expiry Date?
Once you have been approved, your ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years or until your passport expires.
What Happens if My Passport Expires?
Travel authorization is tied to your passport and if it expires, your ETIAS will no longer be valid. You will need to go through the ETIAS application process again with your new passport.
Is it Possible for My ETIAS Application to be Rejected?
If you have a valid passport, a clean criminal record, and you pay the ETIAS application fee (you can use a debit or credit card for this) then it should be smooth sailing. If you have a criminal record or something else that raises a red flag, your ETIAS application may be sent away for a manual review, and if you are deemed a threat, it could be rejected.
It’s hard to judge whether or not you will be granted an ETIAS visa waiver based on your history, as applications are judged on a case-by-case basis. However, if you have not committed any serious crimes, it should go through without issue.
Can it be Revoked?
Generally, your ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years from the point of approval or the point that your passport expires. However, it can be revoked early if it’s discovered that you lied on your application, failed to meet the terms outlined during that application, or have committed a crime that flags you as high-risk.