ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) will be implemented by the end of 2022. When it is, it will be necessary for Canadians to register with ETIAS before they travel to the Schengen Area.
ETIAS for Canadians will work in a similar way to other non-visa electronic travel authorisation systems that have been introduced around the world, such as ESTA in the US. The system has been designed to improve the security of the region to combat the threat of terrorism and to better safeguard the borders of the Schengen area. At the same time, it is expected to make travel easier for eligible visitors.
In 2016, Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here.”
When a traveller registers with ETIAS, their data will be cross-checked against several security databases. Those considered to be high-risk will be denied an ETIAS entry authorisation.
What will Canadians need to do to register with ETIAS?
The ETIAS application form will be straightforward to complete. When ETIAS is implemented (at the end of 2022) Canadians will need to complete the application before going to any country in the Schengen Area.
To register with ETIAS, Canadians will need to answer a series of questions and enter a range of information which will include:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Passport details
- Parents’ names
- Country of residence
- Current occupation
- Security-related questions
To submit the application, Canadian visitors will also need to pay a fee using a credit or debit card. It is also necessary to have a valid passport to complete the application.
When entering information during the ETIAS application process, petitioners should make sure they answer the questions accurately. Incorrect or missing information could lead to the application being rejected.
Once completed, the information provided on the online form will be screened and the request will either be approved or denied. If approved, Canadians will be sent a copy of the ETIAS travel authorisation electronically. It will be necessary to show a copy before travelling to any Schengen country.
Will Canadians need to register with ETIAS every time they visit Europe?
The new ETIAS European visa waiver for Canadians will be valid for 3 years once it has been approved. Canadian holidaymakers will be able to use their ETIAS visa waiver to enter the EU multiple times during this period as long as the total number of days spent in the Schengen Area does not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.
If the passport connected to the document expires before this 3 year validity period is up, the ETIAS authorisation will no longer be valid. It will not be possible to transfer an ETIAS visa waiver between passports. Travellers will need to re-register in these cases.