A visa application could cost you anywhere from $/€100 to $/€200 on average. It’s not cheap, and it’s an added expense that can be problematic for some travelers. The ETIAS visa waiver, however, is a different story.
Not only is the ETIAS not an actual visa (as the name suggests, it’s a visa waiver, which means it is provided in lieu of a visa) but the process of applying for an ETIAS is much quicker and cheaper than a traditional visa.
How Much Does the ETIAS Visa Waiver Cost?
You can submit an application for an ETIAS visa waiver online. It takes just a few minutes to complete the application process and you will be asked for contact details, travel details, and your passport information.
The process culminates in a fee request for €7. This fee must be paid with a credit card or debit card and once it has been paid and the process has been finalized, you will be granted your ETIAS visa waiver authorization.
Does Everyone Pay the Fee?
The €7 fee only applies to applicants over the age of 18. If you are under 18, you won’t need to pay any fee, which means you won’t need to provide your credit or debit card information, either.
Will I Need to Pay Again?
Once you have been granted authorization, you are good to go and can enter the Schengen Zone at your leisure.
The ETIAS visa waiver is valid for 3 years or until your passport expires. You are allowed to enter Schengen countries for up to 90 days at a time within any 180-day period.
You do not need to pay the fee every time that you re-enter the Schengen Zone or every time that you pass a border or book a flight. The only time you will need to repeat the fee is if your ETIAS visa waiver has expired and you are applying again.
Is My ETIAS Visa Waiver Application Guaranteed?
The vast majority of ETIAS applications are successful and will be processed quickly. However, there are exceptions and it’s not a foregone conclusion.
Your data will be checked against international databases and if there is an issue, a manual review will be triggered. In the event that you are considered a security risk, the ETIAS visa waiver will be denied and you won’t be able to access the Schengen Zone.
For this reason, it’s important that you apply for the visa waiver before you start booking flights and accommodation, especially if you have a criminal record.