When Will You Need an ETIAS?

A number of countries enjoy visa-free travel to Schengen member countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Currently, citizens of these countries can travel to the Schengen Area with only a passport. But that rule is about to change. As of November 2023, they will have to apply for the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System).

What is the ETIAS Visa?

Similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) required for visa-exempt travelers to the United States or the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) required by Canada, the ETIAS is a system that allows visa-exempt travelers to travel within the Schengen Area (for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period). It will allow Schengen Area countries to collect certain information on travelers before issuing a travel authorisation. 

Currently under development, the ETIAS should be operational in May 2023 and mandatory starting in November 2023 for nationals of some 60 countries (Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, East Timor, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mexico, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United States, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, San Marino, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela). 


How Do I Get an ETIAS Visa?

An ETIAS application must be submitted for each traveler (even minors) online, ideally at least 4 days before departure. Each traveler will need a passport (valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry into one of the member countries of the Schengen Area), a payment card and about 10 minutes to:
- Fill out an individual form with some information including: first name, last name, date of birth, address, email, passport number,
- complete a security questionnaire,
- pay the fee of 7 euros (except for travelers under 18 and over 70 years old). 

Once payment is made, the ETIAS application will be submitted. The system will then scan the information given by the traveler in connection with various security databases, before generating an electronic travel authorisation within 96 hours. 

If granted, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiration date of the holder's passport. During these 3 years, the holder will be able to travel within the Schengen Area for short stays of up to 90 days (in any 180-day period). For a stay of more than 90 days, travelers of any nationality (outside the European Union and the Schengen Area) must apply for a long-stay Schengen visa

Is Travel Insurance Required for an ETIAS Visa?

No, visa-exempt travelers will not need to show proof of travel insurance (or overseas medical insurance) to obtain an ETIAS. However, it is strongly recommended that you purchase insurance to cover any medical emergencies that may arise during your trip.
Starting at 3 euros, Europ Assistance Schengen travel insurance covers you in case of sudden illness or accident up to 60,000 euros, but that's not all. Throughout your stay, you will also benefit from 24/7 emergency travel assistance (in English, French or Spanish) and guarantees specific to the package of your choice, including:
- coverage of your hotel expenses in the event of an extension of your stay due to illness or injury (for a maximum of 5 days),
- coverage of return travel expenses for the person accompanying the insured party,
- Coverage of the return trip for a child under 14 years of age to their country of residence if they are left unsupervised because the insured party cannot take care of them due to illness or injury during their stay. 
- an extended coverage area (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom),
- coverage of costs and logistics for repatriation of the body of the insured party in case of death,

To learn more about the ETIAS travel authorisation, read our article, What is it and how to apply for an ETIAS?