Europe contains some of the most attractive tourist destinations of 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 traveled locations in the entire continent. It was created as a result of an agreement signed by 10 neighboring 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.
European authorities have implemented the Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver program. Starting in 2021, travelers from 60 nations all over the world will be required to get an ETIAS visa waiver if they wish to travel to Europe. This will allow the travelers from these countries to be pre-screened before their arrival using the information they provide, on the application form.
Are Colombian Citizens Eligible to Apply for ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Colombian citizens are among the citizens of the 60 countries that are eligible to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. Applying for the visa waiver saves the travelers a lot of time and effort as compared to the traditional way of obtaining a visa in order to travel to the region. Travelers no longer need to visit an embassy or a consulate in order to obtain a visa, instead travelers can simply request a visa waiver online and receive it within a matter of minutes.
The ETIAS visa waiver allows travelers a maximum stay of 90 days within a given 180-day period. Travelers may also enter Europe as many times as they want as long as they have not exhausted 90 days 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 travelers 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
- The traveler’s passport must have a validity of at least 3 months from the date of their arrival in Europe
- Travelers must have a valid email address
- 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.
Travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers 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 Travelers 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 only takes a few minutes but it can take longer in some cases where the traveler is asked to submit additional information regarding their application.
Once the visa waiver has been approved, travelers are able to receive their waiver via email. It is then up to the traveler to print out a copy of the visa waiver to take with them when they travel to 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 traveler 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. Travelers 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.