Canadian citizens are currently able to travel to any Schengen member country without having to apply for a visa. Citizens of 60 countries are able to travel to the Schengen Zone each year without the hassle of obtaining a visa for Europe.
However, in November 2016, the European Union shared its concerns about security in the region. Following a series of terrorist attacks in many European nations, the EU has been working on a plan to secure the region.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS, is an effort to strengthen security in the Schengen Area and improve the management of the EU’s external borders. The EU is expected to roll out the system in 2021.
After the launch of ETIAS in 2021, it is expected that Canadian citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa before embarking on their journey to a Schengen member country. Visitors will be able to obtain travel authorization for Europe by completing an online application.
Europe visa waiver for Canadian citizens
This new travel authorization for Europe will gather traveller biographical details and passport information. Applicants will also be asked to provide a current email address when completing the online ETIAS form. This will be used on approval to receive confirmation of travel authorization.
The ETIAS visa waiver for Europe will carry a fee, that can be made with a debit or credit card. Payment must be successful in order to finish the application process.
Canadian citizens who wish to travel to and within Europe for short-term stays will need to travel with an approved ETIAS. It will be expected that passengers will require valid travel authorization before departure to any country of the Schengen Area.
Once it becomes available, the ETIAS will be a mandatory migratory requirement. Visitors will normally be asked to provide evidence of a valid visa waiver before embarking on transportation bound for the EU Schengen area.
The travel authorization system screens travellers’ information against a series of databases such as Interpol and Europol. However, ETIAS is an automated program that will compare the applicant’s details against these systems within minutes.
The ETIAS visa will be valid for a period of three consecutive years or until the passport expires. If the passport expires before the visa, the traveller will have to obtain a new ETIAS visa to visit Europe.