Whether you want to travel to Spain or to any other European country, this article should be of great interest to you. You see, in a very short time, the already well-known visa to travel to Europe, the ETIAS form, will finally come into force.

In this article, we are going to tell you everything we know so far about this travel authorization, including who will actually need to apply for it, how the step-by-step process will work, its confirmed costs, requirements, and much more.


What is ETIAS?


The ETIAS certificate is an electronic travel authorization that will really soon be necessary for many non-EU citizens to enter any Schengen country as a tourist.

It will be an essential travel requirement that can lead to the rejection of your entry in case you haven’t applied for it when necessary.

You can find here the complete list of countries that are part of the Schengen Area here (which will require ETIAS at its borders). Note that, as of the beginning of 2023, Croatia has also become a part of this list.

Moreover, the ETIAS is a modern system that connects all member countries of this area. It facilitates the entry of foreigners who do not require a visa, while ensuring greater ease in the detection and prevention of migration and security risks.

It is a modern system that connects all member countries of this area, facilitating on the one hand the entry of foreigners who do not require a visa, while ensuring greater ease in the prevention and detection of migration and security risks.

In short, the ETIAS is a new system that will provide European authorities with greater control over short-term stays.

Thus, it is not a visa per se, but an extra requirement to identify the foreigner traveling to Europe.


Who needs the ETIAS visa?


The most important question to ask is whether you really need to apply for this authorization.

Basically, all those foreigners who are not required to apply for a visa to enter Spain (or any country of the Schengen Area) will have to apply for the ETIAS form.

Thus, we are talking about the nationals of:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia And Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • South Korea
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • United Kingdom
  • Solomon Islands
  • Samoa
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
  • Saint Lucia
  • Vatican City State
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad And Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay

Therefore, if your country requires a Schengen visa to be able to enter European territory, you will not have to apply for ETIAS authorization, since you still have to get your tourist visa.

Also, and this is very important, applying for ETIAS does not mean that you are exempt from the rest of the requirements to enter Spain without a visa.

Travel medical insurance, having your return ticket already purchased upon arrival, confirmation of accommodation, the letter of invitation… All these requirements (among others) are equally necessary, and ETIAS is added as an extra.

You can access the complete list of requirements to enter Spain or the Schengen Area here.


How to apply?


You will need to apply for this authorization BEFORE you travel to Europe.

One of the advantages of the ETIAS is that it is much easier to apply for than the traditional tourist visa (besides being much cheaper!). You will be able to complete the whole process simply with your passport or travel document.

For 95% of cases, in just a few minutes you will have your authorization, so the process works almost immediately.

This is because once you fill in the corresponding form, the system will cross-reference your data with all the information bases of the European Union for security and borders, returning in a very short time verification confirming that everything is correct.

In case additional revisions are required, the process could take up to 30 days, although this is not at all usual.

There is still NO website to start your application, so it is not possible to enter the corresponding platform at this time.

We will update this article with all the details once it is officially published, but what we do know is that both a web portal and an official app will be available to make the application.

You can access the latest 100% updated information on these pages of the European Commission.


Possible Reasons for Rejection


Your ETIAS application may be rejected for reasons that generally revolve around incomplete, invalid, or suspicious information.

In detail, these reasons are:

  • If you have made an error, missed a requirement, or failed to provide certain data, the Central or National ETIAS unit will give you 10 days to correct it or submit information
  • Some individuals will be called in for an interview or video call. If the applicant does not show up, he or she may be denied the ETIAS
  • If your application seems suspicious due to possible false or misleading information
  • If your passport registers as invalid or expired
  • Since the Central ETIAS unit has access to the Schengen Information System, if you have been denied entry to any Schengen country in the past (for example, due to overstaying), you may be denied the ETIAS

Furthermore, if the applicant falls under any of the following circumstances, his or her ETIAS application will be rejected:

  • Listed as a terrorist or suspected of being part of terrorist activity
  • Listed as a criminal who has committed serious crimes
  • Individuals suspected of planning illegal emigration
  • Individuals with contagious diseases (a list of these diseases will be released)

If you are denied an ETIAS the first time, you can appeal and resubmit your application. The new information will be treated separately from your first application. However, the details steps on how to appeal will depend on the country that you applied in.


How much does it cost?


This authorization has a cost of 7€ (much lower than the cost of the tourist visa), which you must pay as long as you are between 18 and 70 years old.

The payment will be made online directly when you apply for the authorization, as the system itself will have a payment gateway.


How long does the ETIAS visa last?


ETIAS will have a total duration of 3 years, or equivalent to the duration of your passport if it has a shorter expiration date.

In other words, once applied for, you will be able to use it unlimitedly to enter the Schengen area, always considering the total 90 days available within the 180 day-period as a tourist.


When does ETIAS come into force?


While it is true that the initial approach was that this form would come into force during 2021, its launch has been repeatedly delayed until the current date.

Thus, in principle, it will end up entering into force in May 2025, although it is not yet 100% specified and we do not have an exact date.

This is because ETIAS is directly related to another new measure that will affect border control and entry: the EES or Entry Exit System. The ETIAS is an authorisation that will be verified by the EES. Thus, it will only be necessary once the EES is fully implemented across all countries in the Schengen Zone.

In addition to this, once ETIAS becomes fully available it will do so through a trial period that will last 6 months and during which it will not be 100% mandatory to obtain it, being able to enter the Schengen Area by fulfilling the rest of the requirements.

Both these processes, the ETIAS visa and EES, are part of the European Union’s efforts to transition to a more digital system. Along with this is the digitalization of the Schengen Visa – also to be implemented in 2025. For those who need a visa to enter Spain, the entire application process will soon be possible online. 

We will be updating all this information through our social media and blog as the date is confirmed, so follow us to not miss anything!


Remember that if you need personalized legal advice to immigrate to Spain and get your residence permit successfully, our immigration lawyers are at your complete disposal. 


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