All You Need to Know About The New European Visa Process

In Europe visa free travel for a large number of nations around the world has been something which they have always looked to promote and whilst this is something which won’t disappear entirely, there are some key changes which are being made for citizens from outside the EU.  

As of the 1st of January 2021 the European Union will fully roll out the new ETIAS which many citizens living outside of the Schengen Zone will have to apply for before visiting countries within the European Union. Currently there is an agreement in place between the European Union and 62 countries outside of it, which allow them free travel within this zone without the need for a visa. It is this that is set to change as the EU introduce the European Travel Information and Authorization System. If you are living outside of the EU and wish to travel within the Schengen Zone, here is what you need to know about this new advancement. 

The ETIA

The ETIAS almost mimics what the US does at the moment with the ESTA visa program, it is essentially and electronic visa which people coming to Europe must have granted prior to their arrival. The reason for this change is based on security measures and whilst it still gives members of those 62 countries the chance to spend up to 90 days in countries within the Schengen Zone, there has been an added layer of protection given to this visa process. There are additional benefits to this change such as the speeding up queues at migration and the easier management at EU country borders which can make moving between them much quicker than before. 

Who Will Need It?

As mentioned anyone living in the 62 countries which the EU grants visa-free travel to currently will need an ETIAS, and this includes people of all ages from babies to pensioners. Each application will have to be done on an individual basis. 

How to Apply

The application process is incredibly simple and is best done from this ETIAS website which ensures a quick turnaround time. The website is not just for applications but also an informative and helpful site which you can use to ensure that you understand all aspects of what is required from you. 

If you are in any doubt then you can use the customer friendly live chat option and get straight through to a professional for any help in the application process. You will need your name, date of birth, place of birth and your passport for your application, you will also need to fill out a little information about yourself such as where you work, as well as information regarding your travel plans. The application will cost you €7, unless you are under 18 in which case there is no fee to pay.

Application success will be decided instantly and you will receive this via email. Naturally the ideal scenario is that you are accepted but if for any reason you are not then you can adjust your application and try again, appeal the decision or for best results head to the embassy of your destination county within the EU. 

Which Countries Can You Travel To

As long as you enter the Schengen Zone via the first country which you declared on your application, you will then be able to travel through other nations within the area. Just bear in mind that this whilst it is widely accepted , there are no guarantees in being able to visit other nations and it will be at the discretion of the border authorities. 

Remember that as of 1st January 2021, every citizen will require an authorized ETIAS to enter the Schengen Zone.

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