Canadians heading to Europe will be in for a nasty surprise next year if they don’t do their homework. And pay a small amount.
For years, Canadians only needed a valid passport to visit most European countries. But new rules that apply to the 26 so-called Schengen countries require what’s called an ETIAS (short for European Travel Information and Authorization System) check to have been purchased online, and in advance, before Canadians can be admitted to Europe. At present they cost seven pounds sterling; around CA$12.
ETIAS will apply to citizens of all countries that benefit from visa-free entry into the Schengen area of the European Union, including Canadians and residents of 59 other countries (the United States and Australia are among them). of them). It will come into force on January 1, 2021 and aims to track visitors in order to improve the internal security of member countries.
According to the Daily Hive, an ETIAS verification will be required in 2021 to travel to any of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. By the time ETIAS is implemented, there will likely be four more countries on the list: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, all of which are in the process of joining Schengen, Daily Hive reported.
The ETIAS requirement does not apply, at least for now, in the UK or Ireland.
It is said that around 98% to 99% of people who apply for the title will be approved. Yet this is another layer of bureaucracy that many travelers may not be aware of today.
The official website states that the form only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Visitors who currently require a visa to enter Schengen countries will not have to worry about ETIAS, which caters to visitors from countries that do NOT require a visa.
It’s a bit convoluted, so it’s definitely something travelers and agents/advisors should read.
Click on here to see the official Schengen visa website.