Frequently Asked ETIAS Questions

Will I need the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Germany from the UK?

If you’re a British citizen, yes. ETIAS will be available to (and mandatory for) citizens of countries that have visa-free status with the EU. Despite the fact that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it still enjoys visa-free status, meaning the UK qualifies for ETIAS. Other countries that qualify include Japan, the USA and Australia, among many others. As Germany is part of the EU and a Schengen country, it will require all qualifying visitors to have ETIAS approval before visiting.

Can I work or study in Germanywith ETIAS?

No. ETIAS allows a person to stay in Germany or elsewhere in the Schengen region for 90 days at most in any 180-day time period –it does not allow for an individual to live, study or work there. For that, individuals will need to apply for a specific and appropriate visa. Depending on the location and duration of the desired stay, different types of documentation and approvals will be required in order to stay for any length of time. People who are ETIAS eligible and want to study in Europe generally will still need ETIAS permission before starting any courses, but they will also need a separate visa or authorization to study in a specific country, as each country has its own set of rules.

Will UK citizens need ETIAS?

Yes. ETIAS Germany will replace the existing system for all travelers from visa-exempt countries. As the UK fits into this category, it means that British nationals who want to go to Germany or any other Schengen country will have to apply when ETIAS is required in 2025. ETIAS will be applicable to all British citizens, British subjects, overseas British nationals, British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) and British Protected Persons (BPP). There will be at least a six-month grace period to allow travelers and border officials to accustom themselves with the new system before ETIAS becomes mandatory for all qualifying individuals, however, it is advised that people apply to gain ETIAS approval even during the grace period. Transportation operators and border officers will be expected to check for ETIAS clearance before allowing any eligible person to enter the country.

Do I need a passport to apply for ETIAS?

Yes – ETIAS applications require proof of a genuine and valid biometric passport. Biometric passports have been standard issue in the UK for over a decade (since 2010), so most UK citizens should not find this requirement to be an issue. All passports must remain valid for at least three months after the intended arrival into the destination country, have a digitally produced photo that is not glued or attached in any way and be machine-readable. The electronic passport symbol or chip may also be required. Please note, ETIAS clearance will last up to three years, but only if the linked passport remains valid during that time. If the passport expires or is replaced at any point during the time that ETIAS is valid, a new application must be submitted.

When will ETIAS go live?

Citizens of all visa-free countries will be required to travel using the ETIAS visa waiver. Its specific launch date has yet to be determined, however, it has been confirmed that ETIAS will come into force at some point during 2025. There will be a transition time to allow travelers and border authorities to become accustomed to the new system, after which it will be required for any qualifying person entering the Schengen zone to have ETIAS approval. However, those travelling during the grace period should still try to gain ETIAS approval before travel, and are advised to do so at least 96 hours before their departure.

An applicant will only need sufficient internet connectivity, a valid email address, a valid biometric passport and enough money to cover the application fee.

Can I apply for ETIAS if I have a criminal record?

Travelers from all qualifying countries should complete an ETIAS application form before entering Europe. If the ETIAS applicant has a criminal background they may still apply, although the outcome may be influenced, especially when considering the severity of the crime(s). Still, even minor crimes like disorderly conduct, stealing, loitering, and driving under the influence (DUI) may have a bearing on the individual’s ability to gain ETIAS clearance. As a result, candidates with a criminal background may face a different, more lengthy application process than those who don’t.

Do children need to apply for ETIAS?

Yes, ETIAS is required for everyone, including thoseunder the age of 18. To enter the Schengen region from 2025, all travellers from ETIAS eligible countries, including children, will need ETIAS approval (see our website for a complete list of countries that qualify). People under the age of 18 and over the age of 70 will not be required to pay the application fee.

There are a few reasons why everyone, regardless of age, will need to have ETIAS before travelling into the Schengen zone. It is not only for security reasons but also to help prevent incidences of human trafficking and child exploitation by tracking the security status of the adult that is responsible for the child. A parent or legal guardian must complete the ETIAS application on behalf of children or minors, which makes this idea more achievable.

I have more than one citizenship. What citizenship should I enter on the ETIAS application form?

It depends on your country of origin. If you are a dual citizen of an ETIAS country and another country, such as the United States and Italy, you do not need to apply for ETIAS. This is because you will be allowed to travel throughout Europe without needing ETIAS or a Schengen visa if you have an Italian passport. If you hold dual citizenship in two non-EU countries, but only one of them is eligible for ETIAS, you should apply using the passport of the ETIAS qualifying country. If you are a dual citizen of Australia and Thailand, for example, you should apply using the Australian passport as Australia is ETIAS eligible.

I’m a citizen of an ETIAS country.Do I need to apply for ETIAS?

No –because they are entering their own nation or another ETIAS country, anyone with a passport from an ETIAS country is not obliged to apply for ETIAS. If you are a French citizen who travel UK to Germany (or another ETIAS nation), for example, you do not need to apply for ETIAS. If you have an American, Canadian, Australian or British passport, or are citizens of any other qualifying country (of which there are many), you must apply for ETIAS. Anyone from a non-EU nation who does not have visa-free status will need to apply for a Schengen visa and will not be eligible for ETIAS.
On our website, you will find a detailed list of all ETIAS member countries, or in other words, countries that need to see ETIAS approval from a visitor before allowing them entry. Full Schengen member countries, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members, potential future Schengen member countries, and European micro states with open borders are all on the list. As new members join or leave, this list, as well as the list of current ETIAS eligible countries, may change.

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