Canadian citizens, being visa exempt, can travel to the Schengen Area for stays up to 90 days. However, starting November 2023, Canadian citizens will need to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
ETIAS is an electronic visa waiver program for non-EU nationals who do not require a visa for brief visits to the Schengen Area.
The purpose of ETIAS is to pre-screen visa-exempt travellers to the Schengen Area. In addition, it will assist in identifying any potential security risks and make Europe safer. As a result, all of the EU’s member states have backed the ETIAS system.
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ETIAS Requirements for Canadians to Enter Europe
Canadian citizens require electronic travel authorization for short stays in the Schengen Area, as it is one of the ETIAS countries.
However, Canadians can apply for an ETIAS visa waiver if they intend to travel to the European Union for work, leisure, transit, or medical care. Wherein the ETIAS’s complete operations will be from November 2023.
The Canadian ETIAS is a multiple-entry travel document that permits the holder to transit through all Schengen Area nations for short stays. It eliminates the need to apply for an ETIAS before each travel to the Schengen Area.
ETIAS permits a maximum stay in Schengen countries of 90 days within every 180-day period and is valid for 3 years from the date of approval.
To get an ETIAS for Canada electronically linked to their passport, eligible candidates can complete the short online application in about 20 minutes. The application requires personal and passport information and responding to a few security-related questions.
ETIAS Application Requirements
Canadian citizens who wish to travel to Europe using ETIAS will require the following to submit an ETIAS application:
- Valid Canadian passport
- Credit or debit card to pay ETIAS fees of 7 EUR (CAD 9.30)
- Current email address where the ETIAS approval will be sent
Any potential Canadian travellers to the European Union will not be able to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver unless they provide above mention documents.
Since the European visa waiver is electronically linked to specific passports, applicants should be careful to use the same passport they will use to enter the Schengen Area while filling out the ETIAS application. Dual-national Canadian citizens should bear this in mind.
Applying for ETIAS from Canada
Canadian citizens must apply online for an ETIAS online visa waiver. The ETIAS registration procedure is made quick and easy to expedite the approval process. Applicants will be required to answer basic security questions and provide personal information and details about their trip plans.
For Canadian citizens, the ETIAS form requires the following details:
- Personal details: complete name, gender, place of birth, nationality
- Contact information: current address, phone number
- Passport details: passport number and date of issue and expiration
- Travel details: first Schengen country intended to enter
- Other information: education and current employment status
Next is the security-related questions that ask about the following:
- Previous travel to the Schengen Area
- Criminal convictions (if applicable)
- Travel history to any conflict areas
The traveller should get the approved ETIAS visa waiver via email within 24 hours of providing the necessary information and making the required payment for ETIAS, which is 7 EUR, equivalent to CAD 9.30.
However, to give enough time for the visa waiver to be processed, Canadian travellers should apply at least 72 hours before the desired arrival date in the Schengen Area.
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