Travelers are often unsure what documentation is required for San Marino, one of the European microstates.
Although not part of the European Union, the fact that the state is only accessible via Italy means Schengen Area visa policy applies de facto. Consequently, non-EU nationals will soon need to register for ETIAS to enter San Marino.
The ETIAS visa waiver for Europe is being launched in 2022 with the aim of boosting security across the Schengen Area states. By pre-screening visitors arriving from outside of Europe, the safety of residents and other tourists can be protected.
Once the European visa waiver becomes mandatory, all passport holders from current visa-waiver countries will need to apply for ETIAS in order to enter San Marino via Italy.
San Marino, the EU and the Schengen Area
Although the Most Serene Republic of San Marino is not a member of the EU, there has been a close relationship between the European microstate and the union since 1983.
The currency of San Marino is the Euro, generally restricted to EU countries, and a limited number of coins featuring the nation’s own design may be minted.
Other agreements between the European Union and San Marino include a customs union and an agreement aimed at improving tax compliance.
San Marino is not one of the 26 Schengen Area countries. However, the European microstate has an open border with the EU (Italy).
As the microstate does not have an international airport, overseas travelers reach San Marino by flying into Italy and completing the journey over land. For this reason, Schengen Area visa policy applies de facto and travelers must meet all the ETIAS requirements to gain access.
How to Apply for San Marino ETIAS
From 2022, passport holders from outside of the European Union will be required to obtain an ETIAS before heading to San Marino.
Travelers will complete the online ETIAS application form with basic personal information and passport details, such as:
- Passport number, issue date, an expiry date
- Full name as it appears on the passport
- Date and place of birth
- Contact details including an email address
In addition, applicants will answer a few health and security questions. On completion of the form, the ETIAS visa waiver fees are paid using a credit or debit card and the request is submitted for review.
The information supplied is automatically cross-checked against Schengen zone security systems, provided nothing is flagged up, the visa waiver is approved at this stage.
In the unlikely event that there is a hit in the system, manual processing by the ETIAS Central and National Units takes place. Each case is assessed individually and only those individuals considered to pose a risk to the public will not be granted access.
On approval, the ETIAS visa waiver is linked to the passport electronically and a notification is sent via email.
Passport Requirements for San Marino ETIAS
To obtain an ETIAS for San Marino, eligible non-EU nationals need to have a biometric passport issued by one of the countries eligible for ETIAS. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of arrival in the Schengen Area.
The visa waiver is only valid for the passport used to make the application. Should the passport expire during the 3-year ETIAS validity period, another authorization must be obtained using the renewed travel document.
Similarly, foreigners with dual citizenship need to use the same passport to register with ETIAS and enter Europe.
Travel Information about San Marino
San Marino is a landlocked country surrounded by Italy, an EU member state and one of the most visited Schengen countries. As previously mentioned, San Marino does not have its own airport, most tourists fly into Italy and then complete the journey to the European microstate by land.
The nearest airport to San Marino is Federico Fellini International Airport (IATA: RMI, ICAO: LIPR) formerly Rimini Miramare Airport.
It takes around 40 minutes to drive from the airport to the City of San Marino. There are also regular bus services to the city center from Federico Fellini International Airport.
Other nearby Italian airports include:
- Marche Airport in Ancona
- Bologna-Guglielmo Marconi Airport in Bologna
- Forlì International airport in Forlì
On arrival at any of these airports, the passenger’s passport is scanned by border authorities and the ETIAS travel authorization is verified.
What is San Marino known for?
San Marino is the 5th smallest independent state on earth, measuring just over 23 square miles (61.2km2). Despite its size, San Marino has much to offer tourists and is well worth visiting.
The capital, the City of San Marino, Città di San Marino in Italian, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts numerous medieval buildings, castles, and spectacular vistas.
San Marino is famous for its 3 towers which also feature on the national flag: Guaita Tower, Cesta Tower, and Montale Tower. Guaita and Cesta towers are open to the public.
The best way to see San Marino is on foot. Cafés, restaurants and small shops line the charming cobbled streets and parts of the city walls can be climbed.
Other popular sights include the Basilica di San Marino and Piazza della Libertà, there are also several museums.