What are the differences between the ETIAS visa and the Schengen visa?


Share post:

Are you planning a trip to the Schengen area for less than 90 days and have questions about the formalities? Do you want to know whether you need to apply for a Schengen visa or whether you need the new ETIAS travel authorization from 2022? Find out about the ETIAS visa below.

Whether you should apply for an ETIAS visa or Schengen visa depends, among other things, on your nationality. Find out below the difference between the ETIAS visa and the Schengen visa and who will need what in the future.

An overview of the possibilities for traveling in the Schengen area

If you are not an EU citizen, EEA citizen or Swiss citizen, you must find out which formalities you will need to enter the Schengen area before you travel. Depending on your nationality, the duration and the purpose of your trip (work, study, visit, travel), there are different options to consider.

ETIAS visa

For a short stay of up to 90 days

  1. Countries that require a visa: Currently, 104 third countries require a visa for the Schengen area. If your country is one of the countries that require a visa, you must apply for a Schengen type C visa for short stays for a round trip, visiting friends or relatives or for a business meeting in the Schengen area .
  2. Visa-free countries: Currently around 60 countries are visa-free for the Schengen area. If your country has completed a visa liberalization procedure with the Schengen countries, you can currently travel to the Schengen countries for 90 days within 180 days without a visa. From 2022, however, visa-free citizens should also present a travel permit: the ETIAS travel permit .


For a longer stay over 90 days

  1. Countries that require a visa: Almost all citizens of third countries must apply for a Schengen visa type D or a national visa before entering the country for a longer stay in the Schengen area or to take up work in a Schengen country .
  2. Visa-free countries: All citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA are exempt from this rule. Citizens of these countries can also apply for a visa or residence permit after entering the country. From 2022, however, they will have to apply for an ETIAS in advance.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is a new European travel information and authorization system for visa-free third countries . With an ETIAS permit for Europe, for example, as an American or Japanese, you can continue to travel visa-free to the 26 countries of the Schengen area for a short-term stay of up to 90 days .

The implementation of a secure entry system was first initiated in 2016 by the European Commission in the wake of the increased risk of terrorism. ETIAS is therefore intended to strengthen the external borders of the Schengen area and also subject travelers who do not require a visa to a security check. 

The authorization ETIAS is similar to the American entry authorization ESTA. In the future, you should be able to apply for an ETIAS entry permit online in just a few minutes using an online application.

ETIAS visa

What is the difference between ETIAS Visa and Schengen Visa?

The main difference between an ETIAS travel authorization and a Schengen visa is that the ETIAS is not a visa, it is simply a travel authorization which in turn confirms the visa exemption. Only citizens of visa-free countries can apply for an ETIAS. The ETIAS is comparable to the Australian ETA or the American ESTA.

Another difference : the Schengen visa is currently issued by the competent authority in an individual Schengen country. The ETIAS runs centrally on a platform. Applying for a Schengen visa is more complex. While an ETIAS can be applied for in a few clicks.

Important to know: The ETIAS visa waiver is a travel authorization for business or tourist purposes and is not a substitute for a student or work visa and is only valid for short stays of up to 90 days.

When should ETIAS be introduced?

The European travel authorization system is currently under construction. Although the ETIAS is mentioned again and again from 2021 onwards, the ETIAS is not expected to be introduced until the end of 2022

The IT company commissioned by the EU is already working on the secure implementation of the travel authorization system. Since a secure comparison with many different databases, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), Visa Information System (VIS) and databases from Europol and Interpol, is necessary, implementation will take until 2022.

ETIAS visa

Which countries will need an ETIAS in the future?

Citizens of non-EU countries who have previously been able to travel to the Schengen area for tourist or business purposes for less than 90 days without a visa must complete an ETIAS online application from 2022 .

The following 60 countries are currently required to apply for an ETIAS:

AlbaniaAndorraAntigua and Barbuda
BarbadosBosnia and HerzegovinaBrazil
ColombiaCosta RicaDominica
El SalvadorGeorgiaGrenada
GuatemalaHondurasHong Kong
Marshall IslandsMauritiusMexico
New ZealandNicaraguaPalau
Saint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent
SingaporeSolomon IslandsSouth Korea
TaiwanTimor LesteTonga
Trinidad and TobagoTuvaluUkraine
United Arab Emirates Great BritainUnited States of America 

Note : The list of countries that will require an ETIAS in the future is not yet complete. More countries are expected to be added.

Speaking of Great Britain: whether Brits will also have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization for Schengen countries in the course of Brexit from 2022 or not will be clarified in the course of the Brexit negotiations.

For which countries is ETIAS valid?

You can travel to all 26 Schengen countries with an ETIAS visa. The EU countries Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area and have their own entry regulations. Therefore, find out in advance from the authorities in these five countries whether you are allowed to enter the country with an ETIAS or whether you may need a visa.

ETIAS visa

What do I need for the ETIAS application?

With the expected introduction of the ETIAS online application from 2022, you may be wondering what is required for an ETIAS visa? If you meet the ETIAS requirements, i.e. do not have to apply for a Schengen visa, you need the following data and documents to apply for an ETIAS in a few minutes:

  • valid passport
  • An e-mail address
  • Debit or credit card to pay the application fee.
  • First and last name, date of birth and residence,
  • Phone number

At the end, you still have to answer a few questions, including safety and health questions, such as:

  • Questions about training and work experience
  • Details of the first EU country you want to travel to
  • Questions about the state of health
  • other questions about trips made in war zones or conflict regions
  • Questions about previous entries in the criminal record

The review of your application only takes a few minutes in most cases. You will then receive your ETIAS by email, but after 96 hours at the latest. In the case of minors, the legal guardians must apply for ETIAS


When is ETIAS coming?

According to the current status, the ETIAS approval for the Schengen area is to be introduced for 60 visa-free countries at the end of 2022.

How much should ETIAS visa cost?

The fee for an ETIAS application is expected to cost EUR 7 for adults. The application should be free of charge for minors. However, until the implementation of ETIAS at the end of 2022, the fees may still vary.

How long is an ETIAS visa valid?

An ETIAS travel authorization is valid for a period of three years. It is a multiple visa and thus covers all trips within this period of validity.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Hiking in spring: tour tips from the Fichtelgebirge to the Rhön – 10 of the most beautiful hiking paths in Franconia, Germany

Hiking in Spring in Germany is perfect! The landscape in southern Germany has a lot to offer: white...

10 things that make Aachen a must-visit city

Aachen has a rich culture! Find out the 10 reasons why you should visit Aachen. Aachen: It is estimated...

16 national parks in Germany where you can enjoy nature

Germany has some great national parks. Below are 16 national parks where you are bound to enjoy nature. If...

Everything you need to know about the Schengen visa travel insurance

It's finally time to travel to Europe! First you have to remember that before the trip can start,...