ETIAS is short for European Travel Information and Authorization System and is an automated way to authorize visitors who do not need visas to travel to Europe’s Schengen Area. Since its database is centralized, information sharing is improved across all the EU countries in the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS is hence a quicker and easier application process, compared to visas that take weeks and involve tedious procedures.


Process of Applying for an ETIAS

Applying involves providing identification, home address, contact, and work details. Other points you need to cover will include stating if you have any infectious health issue, previous convictions, and list your purpose for visiting places conflicted with war. ETIAS applicants will also be required to state the country where they plan to travel to first, including an address for the residence they choose to occupy their first day in said country. The application costs around €14 and takes about 10 to 12 minutes to process, with your results ready in just 24 hours.

Length of Stay with an ETIAS vs. ESTA

With an approved ESTA, tourists are granted a 90-day stay in the US with no limit on how many days they have to wait before being allowed to return so long as they follow ESTA regulations. An ETIAS, on the other hand, lets tourists travel to the Schengen Zone and stay for 90 days within six months. Acceptable traveling purposes are similar for both ETIAS and ESTA—tourism, business, and medical reasons only.

Period of Validity

Validity is also another area where the ESTA and ETIAS differ. An ESTA is valid for only two years, meaning you can travel to the US up to 90 days at a time in 2 years. An ETIAS has a validity of 3 years, so for every 90 days, you can travel through the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen Zone. It’s also worth noting that both the ETIAS and ESTA are only valid as long as your passport has not expired yet since it is part of the requirements of an ETIAS &ESTA application. If your passport expires before your ETIAS authorization ends, then you will need to fill out a new ETIAS form.

Encountering Issues in Your Application

A slight advantage an ETIAS has over an ESTA is if you hit a snag in your application. With an ETIAS application, you will need to process it manually, which could last four days to 2 weeks. ESTA authorizations will be denied if any discrepancies are found in your application.The ETIAS, much like the ESTA, aims to improve safety and intelligence-sharing between EU countries. The quick process assures convenience and is an overall beneficial system for tourism and trade. 


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