ETIAS Requirements for Canadian citizens
Is ETIAS required for Canadian citizens?
Canadians will be required to apply to the ETIAS visa waiver to enter Schengen countries on a short term basis, under 90 days, for general business, tourism, transit or medical purposes. The ETIAS authorization program will be implemented from 2021 onward and is intended to screen visitors arriving from overseas as an answer to the global rise in criminal and terrorist activities. Regardless that Canada and the European Union have great ties ETIAS is still required for Canadian citizens.
The ETIAS authorization program was formalized in 2016 and will take about four years to develop the required systems that would correspond with existing European Union databases and other security data to give a consistent new screening tool across the Schengen countries. In January 2021, citizens of Canada will need to fill an ETIAS online application before boarding a flight for Europe, and this includes visitors who will only be transiting in Europe through other destinations. Any Canadian that desire to enter Europe for over 90 days, or other reason than those allowed under the ETIAS authorization program will be requested to apply for a Schengen visa.
It is advised that Canadians fill their ETIAS application online 96 hours before their traveling date. It is advised to review the ETIAS application guidelines online before starting an ETIAS application to avoid any delays or the risk of an ETIAS permit being rejected. Starting in the year 2021, it will be mandatory to be a full Canadian citizen before applying for an ETIAS permit. Therefore passengers holding a passport with a different status such as a Canadian protected person, Canadian overseas citizen or Canadian subject will need to apply for a full European travel visa, and not an ETIAS. Canadians can expect their ETIAS application to be processed and confirmed within a few minutes.
The authorization is sent via email in the form of a PDF file. There is no need to print or show any documents to the officials at the airport, as the ETIAS is stored electronically against the passport information stored in the EU Immigration system.
Do European citizens need a visa for Canada?
Because of reciprocal agreements between Canada, the European Union, and Schengen, citizens of Europe do not need a visa to visit Canada for a short period under 180 days. However, all visa-free citizens who wish to travel to Canada for less than 6 months, and who are traveling by air, need to pre-register for an eTA, a Canadian model like United States ESTA or the ETIAS. The eTA was applied to pre-screen visa-free visitors to Canada and increases the strength of the country’s borders.
ETIAS and eTA have a simple online authorization process. It is essential to fill an online application form with a variety of personal passport information answers, health and security-based questions, to get a confirmed eTA for Canada. A confirmed eTA for Canada is also a multiple entry visa permit which allows multiple short visits of up to 180 days and is valid for 3 years from the approval date. Schengen citizens who wish to spend longer periods in Canada, or visit the country for reasons other than those allowed with an eTA, need to apply for a visa from the Canadian embassy or consulate in their country.
What are ETIAS application prerequisites for Canadian citizens?
There are many visa waiver prerequisites for Canadians wanting to visit Europe with ETIAS authorization. To submit an ETIAS online application, Canadian nationals will need:
- A Canadian passport with a validity of three months from the planned date of arrival in the Schengen area.
- A valid credit card or debit card to pay the application fee from Canada.
- A valid email address to which the confirmed ETIAS authorization will be sent
Unless they have these documents, any potential passengers to the Schengen zones from Canada will be unable to apply for an ETIAS authorization. When completing the data on the ETIAS online application, applicants should make sure to use the same passport they will use later to travel to the Schengen countries, as the ETIAS is electronically linked to a personal passport. Canadians with dual nationality should have this in mind.