Can I travel freely in Europe using ETIAS?
Having the ETIAS permit does not mean that you can enter the EU countries. Entry into the EU countries is at the discretion of the border officers.
There are countries in the EU that are not in the Schengen zone and you cannot enter them with the ETIAS permit.
To use ETIAS authorization correctly, you must first go through the first country that you specified in your application. If you wanted to visit Germany, Belgium, Austria and indicate in your application the first country you are going to visit is Germany. You must go through it before visiting Belgium and Austria.
When you have entered your first country, you can visit any other country in the Schengen zone for 90 days.
What is the Schengen zone and how does it differ from the EU?
The Schengen zone is a group of European countries in which a passport is not needed to cross the border of the countries that have this agreement.
At the moment, all members of the European Union are included in Schengen, except six countries. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen area but could be included in it in the future. Great Britain and Ireland refused to enter the Schengen agreement.
Also, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are included in the Schengen zone, although they are not part of the European Union.
Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City are members of the Schengen area, but not EU members.
How does ETIAS work?
Citizens of 60 countries outside the EU who do not need a visa will have to apply for ETIAS before traveling to the countries that use this system. The application procedure is carried out on the Internet. If the system does not detect any problems, then the application will take less than 20 minutes.
Applicants will be asked to provide biometric data such as first and last name, last name at birth, date, and place of birth. Other necessary information includes the current citizenship status, address, email, phone number, education, work experience, as well as the country you are planning to visit.
Also, it will be necessary to provide information on the biography of health, data on the time spent in any combat zones, previous deportations and criminal records. The application for minors is filled out by a legal guardian, and family members of the Schengen zone from other countries will also need proof of relations and a resident card, as well as other biographical information.
The system will directly connect to several databases against which applications will be checked. In the absence of problems, a positive decision is made immediately. But if there are any questions regarding the application, a manual check is performed.
Usually, this process takes up to 96 hours, but in some cases, it can take up to two weeks. In the event of a negative result, the reason for the refusal will be provided, and the applicant will be allowed to challenge the decision and resubmit the application.
The system will be completely paperless, and successful applicants will not need to submit additional documents. The right to enter the Schengen area will be checked electronically on the Schengen border.
However, when inside Schengen, ETIAS does not guarantee entry into another country in the zone. This is left to the discretion of officials at each border. ETIAS is not valid for EU countries that are not members of the Schengen Agreement.
ETIAS can also be checked every time you try to use public transport, including trains, ships, and planes. Those who do not have permission to travel in the Schengen area will be denied boarding.
If after confirmation of the permission it is discovered that it was obtained by fraud by providing incorrect information, as well as in the case of loss or theft of documents, the permission will be canceled.
Which European countries will require ETIAS?
ETIAS is valid only for Schengen countries. Trips to European countries that are not part of Schengen are not covered by ETIAS. Thus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania will not be covered until they join the Schengen Agreement. Great Britain and Ireland are also not included.