ETIAS will become a requirement for Canadians travelling to Europe at the end of 2022. ETIAS stands for ‘European Travel Information and Authorisation System’ and it will be similar to the Canadian eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) and the American ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.)
The online application will be quick and straightforward. Applicants will enter a range of information including their name, address, date of birth, and passport details. But what will this mean for applicants with 2 passports? Which passport will they need to use?
Thankfully, having multiple passports will not complicate the process. ETIAS applicants will just need to make sure they use one valid passport for both the application and for entering the Schengen Area.
Which passport to use when applying for ETIAS?
Most Canadians will just use their Canadian passport to apply for ETIAS. Holding more than one passport will not make the application process more difficult.
Canadians with dual-nationality will have the option of using their Canadian passport or their other passport (assuming it has been issued by another country also eligible for ETIAS.) Travellers must utilize the same passport used in the application to enter Europe and the document must have been issued by one of the ETIAS-eligible countries.
The ETIAS authorisation will be valid for 3 years (unless the traveller’s passport expires before.) It will not be possible to transfer the ETIAS visa waiver to another passport once it has been issued.
An ETIAS visa waiver expires when the registered passport does. Therefore, applicants with more than one eligible passport will have the advantage of being able to use the passport with the most time remaining. If both passports have more than 3 years of validity left, this will not make a difference.
The ETIAS application process
The ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to complete. Applicants will just need to answer a series of simple questions by entering information like their passport details and travel plans.
There will also be some questions about the applicant’s health and background. All the information will be screened using security databases such as Interpol and Europol. It will be essential to ensure there are no errors or uncompleted sections on the application form.
To submit the application, Canadians will need to pay a fee using a credit or debit card. Most applications will be quickly approved and travellers will receive their permit by email.
Visitors to Europe will be able to enter all 26 countries in the Schengen Area with their ETIAS authorisation. In terms of passport controls, the zone acts as a singular country. This means once Canadians enter a Schengen country, they can then move freely between all of them.
ETIAS requirements for Canadians
Travellers only need to meet a few basic ETIAS system requirements to be eligible. Canadian applicants need to have the following:
- A valid Candian passport (or one issued by another eligible country)
- A credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS fee
- A current email address to receive the electronic authorisation