There are currently 26 European states in the Schengen Area. These countries have abandoned all types of border control and they have a common visa policy. This allows citizens to move freely between the member countries without the need for border controls.
Until now, the same applied to many other countries globally, whose citizens are allowed to travel for short term to any of the Schengen Area states without the need to apply for a visa.
However, as a matter of increased border control and security, from 2021 citizens of 60 eligible countries will need to apply for an ETIAS in order to be allowed entry into any of the countries of the Schengen area.
ETIAS is an electronic travel authorization that travelers can apply for online and that allows short-term stays in the Schengen Area for tourism, business, medical, and transit purposes.
This is not to be mistaken with the Schengen Visa that will remain applicable for the same countries and requires the submission of an application at an embassy or consulate.
Are Peruvian Citizens Eligible to Apply for ETIAS Visa Waiver?
As for most countries in South America, citizens of Peru will be eligible to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver.
The ETIAS will allow Peruvian citizens to travel to any country of the Schengen Area and then move freely between the member states. The travel authorization will most likely be valid for either 3 years or until the date of expiry of the travel document, whichever comes first.
Peruvian citizens will be allowed to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area, within a period of 180 days. The ETIAS allows multiple entries.
What Documents Do Peruvians Need to Obtain ETIAS?
The following are the documents that Peruvians will need to obtain the ETIAS:
- A passport valid for at least three months from the date of arrival in the Schengen area
- A debit or credit card to complete the payment of the ETIAS application fee
- An up-to-date email address to receive the ETIAS visa waiver and any further information
In addition to this documentation, applicants will need to provide the following information in their ETIAS application:
- Biometric information such as full name, date, and place of birth
- Information regarding the citizenship
- Answer health and security-related questions
- Indicate the first country they intend to enter the Schengen Area
This last point is particularly important in case travelers are planning on visiting multiple countries within the Schengen area. Peruvian citizens will need to enter the area through the country they indicated in the application form.
Note: Border control will still be in place and will check the status of the ETIAS. Although it’s a remote possibility, in some cases border control can still deny entry into the country even if the ETIAS has been granted.
The ETIAS Application Process for Peruvian Citizens
The ETIAS is meant to be a smooth and easy process that will cause no major inconveniences to travelers who are currently allowed to enter the Schengen area visa-free.
The application process can be completed online from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. The whole process should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Applicants should ensure that all the information and documentation provided is accurate and up to date. Inaccuracies can lead to delays in obtaining the ETIAS or even rejection. In this case, applicants will be informed of the reason for the rejection.
It is important to note that in case of denial of the ETIAS, applicants will have the possibility to appeal.
In most cases, after the appeal, they will simply need to provide additional documentation and their ETIAS will be granted. In some cases, it can happen that the individual country (the one mentioned as the first country to visit in the Schengen area) will still reject the application. In such cases, travelers have the right to request additional information regarding the reason for the rejection.
How Long Does It Take to Get ETIAS From Peru?
In most cases the application will be processed within minutes and travelers will be informed of the outcome via email. However, the process may take up to 72 hours. That is because the whole screening process will be automated and each application will go through a check against a series of databases, among which the Interpol and Europol.
If the automated process detects any inaccuracy or risk, there will be a manual processing of the application. In these cases, it will take from four days to two weeks (in rare cases) for the manual process to be completed.
Note: Applicants should ensure they provide a valid and up-to-date email address in their application as all communications and updates regarding the status of the ETIAS will be provided via email.