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ETIAS for British Citizens

By the end of 2021, citizens of the UK will need to get an ETIAS visa waiver in order to enter countries in the Schengen Zone of the European Union. Here’s what travelers need to know in order to understand this new requirement and get the travel documents they need before they leave home.

British citizens are eligible for ETIAS

What is the ETIAS Visa Waiver?

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is aimed at strengthening the borders of the EU and keeping both citizens and travelers safe there. It is NOT a visa but a visa waiver program. However, it is often referred to as an “ETIAS visa” in common conversation.

The ETIAS visa waiver for Europe is similar to the existing visa waiver system set up in the United States. It allows the government to approve and track travelers for the purposes of rooting out security risks and tracking travelers to prevent terrorism and raise safety levels.

Once obtained, the ETIAS for citizens from the UK will allow travel for up to 90 days within EU borders. Travelers will not have to get separate approvals to travel among the countries that make up the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS visa will be valid for up to three years or until the expiration of the current passport.

The ETIAS visa waiver for Europe is good for travelers transiting Europe as part of another trip, those visiting as tourists, and those who are doing business there. All other travelers will need a different type of travel authorization before they can enter the Schengen Zone.

Applying for the ETIAS

Travelers needing an ETIAS for citizens from the UK can go here to apply. They will need:

  • A valid UK passport
  • An email address
  • A credit card

The application asks for a variety of information, including:

  • The applicant’s address, birth date, and country of residency
  • Passport information
  • Security information. This section includes questions about the traveler’s presence in areas where there has been unrest, their arrest and conviction history, and more.
  • Information about previous travels
  • Health information

Once the traveler has entered his or her information and paid the application fee, their data will be checked across a number of screening databases. It will also be evaluated based on the ETIAS visa waiver for Europe standards and the EU watchlist.

Most applications will be approved within a few minutes, though some applications may take longer. After it is processed, applicants will receive an email notifying them of their visa waiver status. If their ETIAS visa has been approved, they will receive their travel authorization. They should print this off to show officials upon arrival in Europe, though immigration officials should be able to look them up electronically, too.

Travel to Europe can be fun and exciting. In order to keep both travelers and citizens safe, visitors from Britain will soon need to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver to enter the EU. Once they have this, they should be able to make their travel dreams come true.

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