Last Updated on March 19, 2019
March 19, 2019 – Canadians travelling to Europe will soon be required to have a new travel authorization, obtained by filling out an online form and paying a small fee.
Similar to Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is set to become a requirement in January 2021.
European Union officials say the restrictions are design to limit illegal immigration and will apply for all international travellers who do not required a formal visa.
ETIAS will apply to all 26 countries in the Schengen Zone, which already does not include the UK or Russia, meaning the outcome of Brexit will not impact the regulations.
Under current rules, Canadians do not require any pre-approval for short-term stays for tourism, family visits or business.
What Is The ETIAS Process?
Much like the application for an eTA, or the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ETSA), applicants will go online and answer a series of security questions, as well as detailing their travel plans.
Passengers will pay a fee of just over $10, with approval coming via email inside 24 hours.
Candidates must state the EU country they intend to arrive in, with the ETIAS valid for three years for entry to that specific country. Entry is allowed for 90 days in any 180-day period.
Much like the eTA, the ETIAS is not a visa, with the website describing it as ‘pre-travel screening’.
What If My Application Is Denied?
Applicants who have the ETIAS denied will be given a reason, allowing them to appeal or adjust their application and try again.
The EU hopes the new system will help assess the risks posed by travellers, and speed up border checks.
The system is designed to significantly reduce the number of travellers refused at border crossing points.
Canada introduced the eTA in 2016, with an extended period of leniency required for travellers to get used to the new system.
Travellers need an eTA if they are travelling to Canada by air from a visa-exempt country. It requires a nominal fee of $7.
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