ETIAS is the European travel authorisation system, similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) in the United States.

The European Union (EU) launched the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS Regulation) on 9 October 2018. This is a progressive step in the development of the Schengen area.

The ETIAS travel authorisation is a mandatory requirement for nationals of visa waiver countries travelling to one of the 30 listed European countries. It is attached to the traveller's passport. The document is valid for a maximum of 3 years or until the passport expires. Whichever comes first. However, a new ETIAS travel authorisation is required to obtain a new passport.

Possession of a valid ETIAS travel authorisation gives you unrestricted access to the territories of these European countries for frequent short-term visits, usually up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, it is not a guarantee of entry.

On arrival, a border official will ask for your passport and other documents to confirm that you meet the entry requirements.

Here are seven key questions to help you understand ETIAS:

1) Is ETIAS required for travel to the 27 Schengen countries?

Visa waiver travellers need a valid ETIAS travel authorisation to enter 30 European countries. These countries include the 27 Schengen countries as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus. See the full list of European countries where ETIAS is required.

2) Is ETIAS a newly introduced visa required for citizens of 60 countries who previously did not need a visa to travel to Europe?

ETIAS is not considered a visa. The US, Canada and Australia also require a travel authorisation similar to ETIAS for all visa-exempt nationals. Unlike the visa application process, travellers can apply for ETIAS online without having to visit a consulate. In addition, the application process does not involve the collection of biometric data.

An ETIAS travel authorisation allows individuals to enter and stay in the territories of European countries that require ETIAS, but only for a temporary period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Applicants are not entitled to study, work or reside in the territory on a long-term basis. Individuals from visa waiver countries who intend to stay, study or work for a longer period in a European country with an ETIAS travel authorisation are likely to require a long-stay visa. More information on who should apply for ETIAS.

3) Are there many websites available to apply for ETIAS?

The only authorised website for ETIAS is

Please note that there are numerous unauthorised websites operated by commercial intermediaries. Following the launch of ETIAS, commercial intermediaries will use the official ETIAS website to submit applications on behalf of their clients. The ETIAS Regulation allows for applications to be submitted on behalf of others. However, it is important to exercise caution and be wary of fraudsters. Read more about unofficial ETIAS websites.

4) Is ETIAS valid for 5 years?

ETIAS travel authorisation is valid for 3 years or until the expiry date of the passport used for the application. Whichever comes first.

5) If an ETIAS application is rejected, can travellers apply for a Schengen visa instead?

Visa exempt travellers cannot apply for a visa if their ETIAS application is rejected. A visa and ETIAS are different types of authorisation, designed for different categories of travellers. Visa exempt persons who do not have a valid ETIAS are prohibited from crossing the external borders of European countries that require ETIAS. Find out what to do if your application is refused.

6) Are ETIAS applicants limited to persons between the ages of 18 and 70?

Anyone who is exempt from the visa requirement must hold an ETIAS, regardless of age. However, persons under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 do not have to pay the application fee of €7. More information on the ETIAS application fee.

7) Do applicants for ETIAS authorisation have to provide their medical information?

No medical information is required when applying for ETIAS. When completing the application form, individuals will be asked to provide personal information such as their address, passport details, current occupation and information about previous visits to conflict zones or any criminal record. More information on the ETIAS application requirements.


Non-EU nationals who are exempt from the visa requirement to enter the Schengen area must complete the ETIAS travel authorisation before travelling.

According to EU authorities, ETIAS uses a largely automated process to assess the potential risks posed by travellers in order to enhance internal security, deter illegal immigration and protect public health.

By conducting risk assessments in advance, information and security gaps can be identified and addressed, thereby increasing the effectiveness of border controls.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a new requirement for non-EU nationals from visa waiver countries wishing to enter the Schengen area. The authorisation will not be granted automatically to travellers; without it, they will be refused entry into the Schengen area.

Carriers must also check at the beginning of the journey that their passengers have a valid ETIAS authorisation.

The ETIAS checklist is shown below:

  1. Obtain an ETIAS authorisation well in advance, before buying a ticket or arranging accommodation.
  2. Make sure that the details in your passport match those in your ETIAS authorisation. If you fail to do so, you will be denied boarding and entry at the border.
  3. Make sure your ETIAS travel authorisation is valid.
  4. Determine the duration of your stay in European countries that require ETIAS.
  5. Make sure that your passport is valid for a period of three months after your planned departure from European countries that require ETIAS. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in refusal of entry at the border, with some exceptions.