The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) for Spain will be introduced in 2021. After it comes into effect, Canadian travellers will need to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver before going to Spain or any other country in the Schengen Area.
This visa waiver for Europe is being introduced to strengthen the border security of the region and streamline the immigration process for foreign travellers. Improving international safety and security has been one of Europe’s biggest goals of the past 5 years and ETIAS will aim to identify and prevent people who pose a security risk from entering the Schengen Area.
To apply for the ETIAS to Spain, Canadians will need to complete the online application form. It will only take a few minutes and will involve entering a range of basic information. ETIAS will make travelling to Europe safer for visitors and European citizens.
How can Canadians apply for ETIAS to visit Spain?
To complete the ETIAS application for Spain, Canadians will need to answer a series of questions. There will be some questions related to health and security as well as more basic personal information such as name, address, date of birth, and passport details.
All the information provided by applicants will be cross-checked against various security databases such as Europol and Interpol. The vast majority of applications will be quickly approved. To submit the application, it will be necessary to make a payment using a credit or debit card.
Travelling to Spain from Canada with an ETIAS
After an application has been submitted and approved, the ETIAS Spain tourist visa waiver will be sent to applicants by email. Canadians will be able to travel to Spain by presenting their ETIAS visa waiver to the border authorities (along with a corresponding passport).
There are no hard borders between the 26 Schengen countries. This means visitors can move freely within the region without going through any passport controls. An ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3-year durations and will allow travellers to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area (within any 180-day period).
Basic Information about Spain
Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe and has a population of around 47 million. Culturally and geographically it is a very diverse country. It is separated into 17 autonomous regions and although Spanish is the official language, there are numerous regional languages including Catalan, Basque, and Galician.
In 2017, Spain was the second most visited country in the world, receiving over 82 million tourists. Barcelona and Madrid (the capital) are the two most popular cities to visit.
Passport and Document Requirements
To successfully apply, it will be necessary to have a valid Canadian passport. There will be a section of the for where applicants will enter their passport number, expiry date, and nationality, etc.
If an ETIAS-holder’s passport expires, the visa waiver does too (regardless of how long the visa waiver has before expiry). Travellers will not be able to transfer the visa waiver between their passports so it will be necessary to reapply for a new ETIAS these cases. Applicants with more than one passport need to use the same one for the application and for entering Spain.
Travel Information For Visitors to Spain
Historic cities, golden coastlines, a lively nightlife, and stunning scenery mean that there’s something in Spain for every type of traveller. The country’s rich culture and range of landscapes is a welcome surprise for those who only know it as a destination for beach holidays.
Spain has glorious beaches, particularly on the Mediterranean coast. However, there are also snow-tipped mountains, deserts, lush valleys, and green hills. The Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada mountains are particularly popular with hikers.
Historically, Spain is situated in a unique location. It is between Africa and Europe, and between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. It had one of the largest empires the world has seen and played a central role in colonizing the Americas.
Unsurprisingly, Spain has an impressive number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (2nd most in the world) which makes the cities fascinating places. The other-worldly architecture of Gaudi in Barcelona is a particular highlight.
Health Information for Travelers to Spain
The standard of healthcare in Spain is very high. Spain actually has the highest life expectancy in Europe. Medical insurance is recommended as it eliminates the risks of high medical costs in the event of an emergency. Canadian travellers should also keep the following points in mind:
- The phone number for emergencies is 112
- Visitors should be mindful of the sun by wearing sunscreen and drinking plenty of water
- The tap water is safe to drink though most people prefer bottled water
- Not everyone speaks English so take a phrasebook with you if you see a doctor or go to a pharmacy
Canadian embassy and consulates in Spain
Embassy of Canada in Madrid
Address: Torre Espacio, Paseo de la Castellana 259D. 28046 Madrid.
Telephone: (34) 91 382 8400
Consulate of Canada in Barcelona
Address: Plaça de Catalunya, 9, 1º, 2ª. 08002 Barcelona.
Telephone: (34) 93 270 3614
Consulate of Canada in Málaga
Address: Horizonte Building, Plaza de la Malagueta 2, 1st Floor. 29016 Málaga.
Telephone: (34) 95 222 3346