At the moment, Canadians can travel to the Schengen zone visa-free as long as the stay is not longer than 90 days (or 90 days out of 180 days if multiple entries to the area are made).
However, this will change. Canadians will need to apply online before setting off for any of the countries in the Schengen area. ETIAS will allow Canadians to enter for transit, tourism, and business travel.
The EU is introducing ETIAS to improve security and border control. It is largely a response to the series of high-profile terrorist attacks that have happened in some of Europe’s major cities. The ETIAS process will help to protect European citizens as well as travellers visiting the continent.
The ETIAS online registration process for Canadians
Canadians visiting Europe will be able to quickly complete the ETIAS application online. The process has been designed to be straightforward and to cause travellers as little hassle as possible.
The ETIAS registration will involve answering questions on an online form. Candidates will need to provide information such as their personal details (such as name, address, and date of birth), passport information, and travel plans.
Canadian travellers will need to answer a series of security-related questions. The information provided on the ETIAS form will be cross-checked against security databases to ensure that visitors do not pose a risk.
The various ETIAS security databases will include SIS, VIS, Europol, and Interpol. The process is expected to only take a few minutes. In the majority of cases, candidates will receive the ETIAS authorization on the same day they submit the application.
Necessary documentation for ETIAS online process
Canadian travellers will need to have an ETIAS travel authorization to be able to visit any of the Schengen countries. In order to be able to complete the application and obtain the ETIAS for Canadians, candidates must meet some ETIAS requirements:
To so successfully apply, Canadians will need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card to pay the visa fee, and an email address to receive the ETIAS visa waiver.
Once received, Canadians will be able to print multiple copies of the visa from the email. It will be necessary to hold a valid ETIAS before boarding a plane to a Schengen country. This information is digitally linked to the passport used during the application.
ETIAS visa waiver validity
An approved ETIAS for Canadians will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Visa holders will be able to stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within any 180-day period.
If a visa holder’s passport expires before the three-year validity, the ETIAS authorization will also expire. The travel visas cannot be transferred between passports and the passport details entered on the online application must match the passport used to travel.
In these circumstances, a Canadian traveller will need to reapply for an ETIAS once they have their new passport. The ETIAS online process to reapply will be quick and straightforward like the original application.