Documents Required to Obtain ETIAS for Malaysian Citizens
By the end of 2021, the European Travel Information and Authority System (ETIAS) will be implemented. The ETIAS is a visa waiver program that will require travelers from around 60 countries to apply for a visa waiver prior to travel to the Schengen Area. The application process will consist of a series of questions designed to take no more than 10 minutes and will take place entirely online. This will eliminate the need for Malaysian citizens to visit an embassy or consulate and will allow them to apply for the ETIAS from anywhere in the world where they have internet access.
The ETIAS will allow Malaysian passport holders to stay in the Schengen Area for a duration of 90 days within a period of 180 days. During that time period, ETIAS holders will be free to exit and enter the Schengen Area without the necessity of applying for an additional wavier.
ETIAS Requirements for Malaysian Citizens
- A Malaysian (or other ETIAS approved country) passport with a minimum of three months validity remaining from the date of arrival.
- A valid credit or debit card in order to pay the ETIAS application fee.
- An up to date email address so that the decision on whether the waiver has been granted or not can be communicated.
It is critical that when applying for the ETIAS that all of the information entered is accurate. If there is an error of any kind, the authorities could have cause to deny or delay the visa waiver.
The ETIAS Application Process for Malaysian Citizens
In addition to the information above regarding what travelers from Malaysia will be required to provide, they should also be prepared to give additional points of data during the application process.
- Personal information such as their full name as it is seen on their passport, their date of birth, their place of birth, and their gender.
- Passport information as it is seen in their passport. This will include the passport number, the country of issue, the date of issue, and the date of expiration.
- Contact details such as their current address of residency, their valid email address, and an up to date phone number.
- Intended itinerary including where they intend to enter the Schengen Area and any the countries they are planning on visiting.
Additionally, travelers should be prepared to provide information regarding their history of health and their criminal record.
If the visa waiver is granted, travelers will receive an email with the approval. It is of great importance that they print out a hard copy of that email and carry it with them, ready to produce it anytime they are asked for their passport. This could be with transport authorities in their country of departure or with border authorities once they arrive at the border to the Schengen Area. It is important to remember that the final decision regarding entry into the Schengen Area always falls with border security and that holding an approved ETIAS does not automatically grant the traveler access.
In the event of a denied application, applicants will receive an email explaining why they were rejected. They will then have the option of appealing the decision, which they will make directly to the appeals board of the country they listed as their intended port of entry. Example: If their itinerary noted that they were flying into Paris, they would issue their appeal to France.
Why the Need for ETIAS?
In November 2016, the European Commission responded to the sharp increase in terrorist activity by voting to implement the ETIAS program. Authorities believe that the waiver system will be an efficient and secure way to screen travelers without adding an additional burden to their pre-trip routine. Although there are some countries that currently do not have to apply for any type of pre-trip clearance, the ETIAS was designed to be hassle-free and still avoids the necessity of travelers visiting an embassy or consulate in their home country.