European countries, particularly those in the Schengen area have agreed on implementing the Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver program for citizens of 60 countries. Therefore, beginning in 2021, the citizens of these countries will be required to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver in order to travel to Europe. This program has been introduced as a way to enhance the security of the region by strengthening European borders while simultaneously allowing people the freedom to move freely in the region.
The ETIAS visa waiver allows European authorities to pre-screen individuals using their information before they arrive in Europe. This gives the authorities ample time to identify any security risks before they happen. It is also a convenient way for travelers to obtain a waiver needed for travel as they are spared trips to a local embassy or consulate in order to obtain one. Instead, travelers are able to apply for the waiver and receive it within a matter of minutes.
Are Emirati Citizens Required to Obtain an ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Emiratis are eligible to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. The ETIAS program is valid for entry into all 26 countries in the Schengen area. It also allows travelers to stay in Europe for 90-days within a 180-day period. Travelers are also able to enter Europe multiple times as long as they have not exhausted the 90-day limit for their stay.
What Is Required for The ETIAS Visa Waiver Application?
European Authorities have set certain basic requirements for Emirati citizens wishing to travel to Europe on the ETIAS visa waiver. These requirements are:
- Having a valid Emirati passport that will be valid for at least 3 months from the date of their arrival in Europe
- Having a valid email address
- Having a valid debit/credit card that can be used for online payments
Emirati travelers who do not have the required validity on their passport for traveling to Europe should consider renewing it before beginning the application process. This is meant to ensure that their attempt at obtaining an ETIAS visa waiver is successful.
How to Apply for the ETIAS Visa Waiver from United Arab Emirates?
Travelers can apply for the ETIAS visa waiver online by filling out a simple online application form. This form will ask the travelers to list details such as:
- Their name
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Permanent address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Passport number, date of issuance, and date of expiration
- Travel information such as intended port of entry and a rough outline of their travel plans
Travelers might also be required to provide supporting documentation while completing the online application. Emirati travelers must ensure that they complete the online application with accurate details as any mistakes or false information submitted via the online application form can cause complications for their attempts to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver.
The information travelers submit via the ETIAS visa waiver application is checked against international security databases such as Interpol and Europol. Erroneous or misleading information submitted via the ETIAS visa waiver application gives the European Authorities grounds to delay the visa process or deny the visa completely.
Emirati travelers should note that there is also a processing fee that they will need to pay in order to complete the ETIAS visa waiver application process. This can be paid using a valid credit/debit card.
Travelers will be able to revise any incorrect information before submitting the application for review.
What To Expect After Submitting the ETIAS visa Waiver Application
Once a traveler submits the ETIAS visa waiver application, the ETIAS program may be granted within a few minutes of submission. About 95% of applications that are submitted are granted an ETIAS visa waiver. Travelers will receive their ETIAS visa waiver via email once the application has been submitted. It will then be the responsibility of the traveler to print out the ETIAS visa waiver to take with them to the European port of entry. Travelers will need to present the visa waiver to European Border officials to be granted entry into Europe. The ETIAS visa waiver will list how long a traveler is allowed to stay in Europe and how many times they can enter the region.
In certain cases, where the ETIAS visa waiver has been rejected, the traveler will receive an email explaining why their application was rejected. The email will also contain information about how to appeal the decision should they choose. The appeal will have to be made to the country through which the traveler intended to enter Europe from, and the issue will be decided based on the laws of that country.