The Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System will be implemented by countries in the Schengen area beginning in 2021.
This system is designed to screen individual travellers in order to identify any potential security risks they may pose to the region. It has been introduced to enhance the security of the region and to strengthen European borders in the long term.
Only travellers from a certain number of countries will be eligible to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver and it is relatively easy to obtain than the traditional Schengen visa. There is an online application process that visitors will have to complete.
On average, it takes roughly 10-20 minutes to do so and applicants can receive their ETIAS visa waiver within a few days if their application is approved.
Canadians applying for the ETIAS visa waiver to visit Estonia
Estonia is one of the countries that Canadian travellers can visit on the ETIAS visa waiver. In order to do so, visitors will have to fill out an online application with details such as their:
- Permanent address
- Contact information
- Passport details
In addition to the data above, they will also be required to answer some security questions online regarding their health and any criminal history they might have.
Travellers must note that all the information they provide on the ETIAS visa waiver will be checked against International Security Databases. Therefore, they should ensure that the information they enter is as accurate as possible and matches the information provided on the visitor’s other documents.
Since ETIAS visa waivers are attached to specific passports, it is important for travellers to ensure that they travel on the same passport as the one they used to apply for the visa waiver.
Documentation required for an ETIAS application for Estonia
Canadian tourists interested in travelling to Estonia on the ETIAS visa waiver will need to meet some basic requirements. These requirements include having a valid Canadian passport, a current email address and a valid debit or credit card that can be used to pay the processing fee. Travellers can apply for the visa waiver if they meet these requirements.
Travelling to Estonia from Canada with the ETIAS travel authorization
Once approved, travellers will receive their ETIAS visa waiver via email. Canadian visitors can then print out the visa waiver to take with them to the airport when they travel. It is not an obligation to present the document on arrival, however, it is recommended to keep a physical or digital copy with you during your European vacation.
The ETIAS visa waiver is valid for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It cannot be extended. Once a traveller receives their ETIAS visa waiver, it will be valid for a period of 3 years or until their passport expires, whichever one comes first.
Interesting facts about Estonia
Estonia is named after the ‘Ests’ who first inhabited the region. Although it is a Baltic country it does not have a political alliance nor is it similar culturally to Latvia or Lithuania.
In fact, there are more cultural similarities between Estonia and Finland. Estonian is the official language of the country, but Russian is also widely spoken given the country’s history of being under Soviet control for just over 50 years. Estonia is the least religious country with only 14% of people identifying with a religion.
It is also a digital society as most public functions such as voting, getting public services, signing contracts etc can be done online. It also has one of the highest literacy rates in the world at 99.8%.
Over half of the country’s land is covered in forests and it also has the highest number of meteorite craters per area anywhere in the world. The capital of the country is Tallinn, which is also one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe.
Essential tourist information for Canadians
- The emergency number for tourists in Estonia is 112
- Tap water is safe to drink, it has a different taste due to its high mineral content
- At night or under low visibility conditions, pedestrians are required to wear reflective clothing to avoid traffic accidents. These are easily available for purchase from the local stores. Failure to abide by these rules carries a hefty fine.
Health Information for Travelers to Estonia
Canadian travellers interested in visiting Estonia should consider investing in a robust Travel Health Insurance Policy to deal with any unexpected travel emergencies that might arise.
Tourists to Estonia should also consider vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis. They should also consider wearing protective clothing against tick and mosquito bites during spring, summer and autumn visits.