Citizens that are currently allowed to enter Schengen Area countries visa-free will soon need to apply for an ETIAS. This electronic travel authorization will be implemented in 2021 first and foremost for security reasons, in order to keep track of who enters the area at ay given time. The decision to implement such a process was due to increased safety risks in the past few years.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System and it’s similar to the ESTA the is currently necessary to visit the USA. The application process will be entirely online, so there will be no necessity of visiting an embassy or consulate to obtain the ETIAS.
This process will take place in addition to the already existing Schengen Visa that is applicable to some countries outside the EU and Schengen Area, such as countries for South-East Asia or Africa.
The ETIAS will be valid for tourism or business purposes but not for work or study. Trips for medical reasons or transit are also allowed with the ETIAS.
Are Nicaraguan Citizens Eligible to Apply for ETIAS Visa Waiver?
Nicaraguan citizens will be among the 60 countries that will be eligible for the ETIAS visa waiver. They will be able to complete the online application and once the ETIAS is granted, they will be allowed to travel to their country of choice and also withing the Schengen area without a need for additional travel authorizations.
ETIAS is valid for short-term stays within one or more Schengen Area members. Travelers can spend in the area up to 90 days within a 180-day period. The ETIAS will most likely be granted for 3 years.
What Documents Do Nicaraguans Need to Obtain ETIAS?
There are not many documents necessary for Nicaraguan citizens to obtain ETIAS. All they will need to provide at the moment of the application is:
- A passport valid for at least three months from the date of arrival
- A debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS application fee
- A valid email address to receive the ETIAS visa waiver
In addition to these, applicants will need to provide the following information:
- Personal details: full name, address, date of birth, place of birth
- Passport details: passport number, expiry date and country of issue
- Health and security information
- The first country they intend to visit within the Schengen Area
Note: It’s important that the travelers enter the Schengen Area through the country they indicated as the first country they plan on visiting. Afterward, they will be able to move freely within the other country members of the area.
The ETIAS Application Process for Nicaraguan Citizens
Nicaraguan citizens will be able to apply for the ETIAS online by completing an application form that will only take around 10 minutes.
The whole process is automated, meaning that once the application is submitted, it will go through an automatic screening and will be checked against a series of databases including Interpol and Europol.
Once the application has been processed, citizens will receive a confirmation email with their ETIAS.
In some cases, the ETIAS can be denied. In such situations, a reason for denial will be provided and travelers will have the option to appeal. The appeal will be made towards the country that the traveler selected as their first destination within the Schengen Area.
In case of an appeal, applicants will be updated on the status. In many cases, after the appeal travelers will need to provide additional documentation and will receive their ETIAS.
If, however, the appeal still leads to a denial of the ETIAS, applicants can request to know the reason for the rejection.
How Long Does It Take to Get ETIAS From Nicaragua?
Obtaining ETIAS will be an efficient and fast process. If the application successfully passes the automatic screening, the ETIAS will be confirmed within a matter of minutes in most cases. In some cases, it can take up to 72 hours.
However, in some circumstances, the process might take longer. A manual check might be necessary and this will delay the process. The manual processing will be conducted by staff of the ETIAS Central Unit and ETIAS National Units.
Nicaraguan citizens should ensure they allow enough time for the processing of the ETIAS and avoid submitting the application last minute. While the manual processing will usually take up to 4 days, in some situations it can take up to two weeks.
An important factor that can lead to the rejection of the ETIAS is the inaccuracy of the information provided at the moment of the application. Travelers should make sure all the documentation and information they provide is correct and up to date to avoid such inconveniences.
Note: A border control will still take place and although rarely, the entry in the Schengen area can still be denied.