Monaco is one of the European microstates to which Schengen visa policy applies.
Although Monaco is not part of the European Union or Schengen agreement, its geographical location means an ETIAS visa waiver will soon be necessary to travel to Monaco.
As Monaco does not have its own international airport visitors will inevitably pass through France, one of the Schengen Area countries, on their way to the microstate. An ETIAS authorisation is required to access France and, consequently, to get to Monaco.
ETIAS for Europe is being introduced to boost security and safety across the region. The system will pre-screen visitors from visa-exempt nations in order to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from legally crossing the border into Europe.
ETIAS is not a visa. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System shall complement the EU’s visa liberalisation policy, citizens from eligible countries will continue to enjoy visa-free privileges but will have to register with ETIAS before travelling to Europe.
Monaco, the EU, and the Schengen Area
Whilst not a member of the European Union, the Principality of Monaco participates in some EU policies.
Monaco has a customs union with France agreed upon in the France-Monégaspe treaty signed in 1963. Consequently, Monaco has been considered part of the EU’s customs territory since its inception in 1968.
In addition, Monaco is part of the European VAT system, collecting tax on the same basis and in the same way as France. This does not extend to external trade. The Euro is the official currency of Monaco, the EU allows Monaco to mint its own euro coins.
Monaco is treated as part of the Schengen Area given its open borders and customs union with France. Consequently, the same documentation is needed to travel to Monaco and to visit France.
As a result, from 2022 it will be mandatory for passport holders from eligible third countries to meet the ETIAS requirements to access Monaco.
How to apply for ETIAS Monaco
To obtain an ETIAS for Monaco, eligible travellers are required to fill in the online ETIAS application form. Basic personal and passport information is required to complete the request, including:
- Full name as it appears on the passport
- Date of birth and birthplace
- Email address and other contact details
- Passport number, expiry date, and issue date
Questions relating to security and health are also asked. All the information provided must be error-free in order for the ETIAS visa waiver to be granted.
Applicants pay the ETIAS fees using a credit or debit card and the request is submitted for review.
ETIAS for Monaco then automatically checks an individual’s data against Schengen zone security systems, most applications are approved at this stage.
On rare occasions, when there is a hit in the system, ETIAS Central and National Units will carry out manual processing. Any individual considered a potential threat to the public in Europe will be blocked from entering legally, all other requests will be approved.
ETIAS is fully online, once the travel authorisation has been granted it is electronically linked to the passport and a notification is sent via email.
Passport requirements for Monaco ETIAS
A valid biometric passport issued by one of the eligible third countries is needed to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver for Monaco.
The visa waiver cannot be transferred from one travel document to another. If the passport expires within the 3-year ETIAS validity period, another permit must be obtained using the new passport.
For the same reasons, to apply for ETIAS with dual citizenship, it is essential to use the passport which will be presented when entering Monaco.
Travel information about Monaco
Monaco is situated on the French Riviera in Western Europe. It is bordered by France, one of the Schengen Area’s most visited countries, and the Mediterranean Sea. As Monaco does not have an international airport, the majority of tourists fly into France and cross the land border into Monaco.
The closest international airport to Monaco is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (IATA: NCE, ICAO: LFMN). It takes just over 30 minutes to drive from Nice Airport to Monaco City. Bus and rail services are also available.
Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world and measures just 0.78 square miles (2.02 km2). Despite its size, the microstate is well worth visiting. Monaco is a glamorous seaside destination boasting world-class restaurants and exclusive shopping.
Monte Carlo Casino is Monaco’s best-known attraction, an iconic gambling and entertainment venue which can be visited by tourists.
Fans of Formula 1 head to Monaco each Spring for one of the biggest races on the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix.
In contrast, Monaco Ville (Monaco City) or the “Rock of Monaco” is the nation’s old town and features charming, pedestrian streets and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. The Oceanographic Museum and the cathedral are also popular sights.