Canadian travellers visiting Poland in the near future will have to take an additional step before they can visit the country. Following an agreement between a number of European nations and the signing of collective legislation designed to improve the security of the region, the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will soon be rolled out.
ETIAS is not a visa, it is a visa waiver programme similar to those already in place in countries including the US and Canada. ETIAS is being introduced to enhance the security of the region by pre-screening individuals before they arrive in Europe. Starting in 2022, all visa-exempt visitors to the EU Schengen states will need to apply for and obtain a travel authorisation.
Applying for the ETIAS visa waiver to visit Poland
In order to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver to visit Poland, Canadian travellers will need to fill out the ETIAS online visa waiver application. Applicants will need to provide information relating to their backgrounds, such as their:
- Date of birth
- Passport details
A section of the application also asks visitors to answer questions related to their health and security information. These questions will focus on the applicant’s medical history, criminal past, previous travel, and immigration history that may have led to the applicant being deported or rejected entry from an EU member country.
Canadian citizens will then need to pay a processing fee online using a debit/credit card and provide a valid email address to complete the application process. There will be a chance for the applicant to review the complete form before submitting it.
Passport and document requirements to visit Poland
ETIAS authorisation for Canadians allows travellers a stay of up to 90 days within any of the Schengen member states. It is valid for up to 3 years for multiple short-term visits or until the traveller’s passport expires.
Travellers must note that ETIAS is digitally attached to a single passport and cannot be transferred. Therefore, if their passport expires, so will their ETIAS visa waiver. Therefore, if the passenger’s passport expires soon, they should renew their passport before visiting.
Travelling to Poland from Canada with the ETIAS visa waiver
Canadian travellers who have submitted their ETIAS online visa waiver application can expect to receive their approved ETIAS visa waiver within 3 business days. They will receive an email notification on approval.
The document is digitally connected to the applicant’s passport. However, it is recommended to carry a digital or paper copy of your visa waiver during the entirety of a trip to Europe.
Basic information about Poland
Poland is a country located in central Europe, which shares borders with Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Germany. It is also the ninth-largest country in Europe by landmass.
About 30 % of Poland’s land is covered in forests. There were 37.98 million people living in Poland as of 2018 and over 94% are Polish. Warsaw is the capital of Poland which is also the biggest city in the country. The local currency is the Polish Zloty.
About 90% of the polish population identifies as Roman Catholic and Polish is the official language of the country. There are also 24 national parks in Poland, over 1200 natural reserves, and over 1300 lakes covering the land in Poland. Additionally, Poland also has a desert, called the Bledow desert.
Tourist information for Poland
Poland is home to 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites including Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration camps, the Historic Centre of Krakow, Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt mines, Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, etc.
Cities like Warsaw, Gdansk, and Krakow are some of the top tourist destinations in the country. There are a number of activities that tourists can get involved in.
From climbing the Tatras mountain or exploring the salt mines of Wieliczka to getting involved in the local tradition of picking mushrooms or hitting the beaches off the Pomeranian coast. Tourists can also sail across the Masurian lake or go hiking at any of the country’s natural reserves, some with trees that are 500 years old.
Health information for travellers to Poland
Poland has free health care for Polish citizens and citizens of the EU/ EFTA member countries. However, travellers from Canada still need to have a comprehensive health insurance policy in place for their travels to Poland.
Visitors should pack a health kit for emergency needs and make sure all their prescription medicine is clearly labelled with the original packaging. The emergency number in the country is 112.
Canadian embassies and consulates in Poland
Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland
Address: ul. J. Matejki 1/5, 00-481 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone: (+48) 22 584 31 00
Fax: (+48) 22 584 31 92