European authorities have implemented the Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver program. Starting in 2022, travellers from 60 nations all over the world will be required to get an ETIAS visa waiver if they wish to travel to Europe.
ETIAS is not a visa, it is instead an electronic travel permit that allows European authorities to screen passengers before their arrival. This is intended to improve the border integrity and security of the 26 country bloc as a whole.
Europe contains some of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. People from all over the world come top experience in all its glory every year. The Schengen area in Europe contains some of the most travelled locations found on the entire continent.
It was created as a result of an agreement signed by 10 neighbouring countries in 1985, as a way to allow people to travel freely and without restrictions between these countries. It eliminated the need for passports and other border control methods. However, recently European authorities have been considering stricter control methods to preserve the safety of the region.
Are Colombian citizens eligible to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver?
Colombian citizens are among the citizens of the 60 countries that are eligible to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. Obtaining the visa waiver will be a much simpler process compared to obtaining a visa in order to travel to the region. Travellers won’t need to visit an embassy or a consulate in order to obtain a visa, instead, they can simply request a visa waiver online and receive it within a matter of minutes.
The ETIAS visa waiver allows travellers to stay for up to 90 days within a given 180-day period. Tourists may also enter Europe as many times as they want as long as they do not spend more than 90 days in the Schengen Zone within the 180-day time frame. This means that travelers will not need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver every time they leave Europe and decide to visit again if they have not used up the 90 days within the 180 day limit.
Are there any pre-requisites to filling out the online application?
Colombian travellers interested in applying for an ETIAS visa waiver will need to meet certain pre-requisites before beginning the application process. These include:
- Having a valid Colombian passport.
- Holding a passport with a validity of at least 3 months from the date of arrival in Europe.
- Providing a valid email address.
- Holding a valid debit/credit card associated with a bank account that can be used for making online payments.
It is worth noting that Colombian travelers may need to renew their passport if they are concerned about not being able to meet the required validity for the ETIAS visa waiver application.
How to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver from Colombia
Colombian travelers can apply for the ETIAS visa waiver by simply filling out an online application form with their personal passport and travel details such as:
- Name, date of birth, gender, country of citizenship
- Contact information
- Passport number, date of issuance, date of expiration
- Intended port of entry for traveling to Europe and an outline of their travel plans.
Travellers may also need to answer pertinent questions about their health and security. They may also be required to provide additional information to support the basic information they provide on the application form.
It is imperative that registrants fill out the ETIAS visa waiver application form with accurate details. Incorrect, misleading or false information can have negative consequences for the applicant’s travel plans. In fact, such information will be grounds for the European authorities to deny them a visa or delay the processing as necessary.
Colombian travellers will have a chance to revise the information they have entered on the form before submitting it for review. They will also have to pay a processing fee to complete the application process.
When can Colombian travellers get their ETIAS visa waiver?
The information provided on the ETIAS visa waiver application is checked against international security databases and the decision to grant the visa waiver is based off of the results of these checks. Generally, the processing of the ETIAS visa waiver application will only take a few minutes but it can take longer in some cases where the traveller is asked to submit additional information regarding their application.
Once the visa waiver has been approved, holders are able to receive their waiver via email. It is then up to the traveller to print out a copy of the visa waiver to take with them for when they arrive in Europe. They will be required to present it to European Border officials along with the rest of their travel documents in order to be granted entry into the region.
In the event the applicant is not granted a visa waiver, they will receive an email explaining why they did not receive one and the process by which they may appeal the decision reached on their application. Travellers can make an appeal against the country they had initially applied to enter from. As the appeals process moves along, the issue will be decided in accordance with the laws of that particular country.