The ETIAS visa waiver for nationals of Singapore is an upcoming travel authorisation system for the Schengen Area of Europe. It will allow Singaporean passport holders to enter any of the 26 member states and travel freely throughout the open borders region.
Available online, the ETIAS for Singaporean citizens is not a visa, but an additional requirement for visa-exempt travellers who plan to enter any of the Schengen countries. Unlike a visa, which must be obtained in-person at an embassy, the ETIAS travel permit can be quickly obtained by registering the individual’s details in an online form.
Do Singapore citizens need a visa for Europe?
In 2022, the European Commission will begin requiring citizens of Singapore to apply for a visa waiver. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be similar to other visa waiver systems around the world in that travellers will not be required to physically visit an embassy or consulate. Instead, the entire application process will be completed online.
The ETIAS will allow citizens from over 60 countries, including Singapore, to visit the Schengen Area of Europe visa-free for a duration of 90 days within a period of 180 days. That means that ETIAS holders will be required to leave the Schengen Area before their 90 days are up, and will not be allowed to re-enter the zone until an additional 90 days have passed.
However, during that period of 180 days, if a Singapore passport holder has spent fewer than 90 days inside the Schengen Area, they will not be required to re-apply for a new ETIAS should they wish to re-enter Europe.
The online application was designed to be as simple as possible and authorities anticipate that it will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Once completed, the response time will vary from a few minutes to a few days (or even longer in some cases). Therefore, it is imperative that Singapore nationals apply for their ETIAS with enough time to guarantee its delivery before their departure.
ETIAS requirements for Singapore citizens
Singapore passport holders are eligible to apply for the ETIAS waiver for travel to the Schengen Area. Below applicants can find a list of requirements that each traveller must have before they apply for the ETIAS waiver:
- A valid Singapore (or other ETIAS approved country) passport. The passport must have a minimum of three months’ (90 days’) validity
- A credit or debit card, which will be used to pay the ETIAS application fee
- An active email address so that the decision on whether the waiver has been granted can be communicated
It is necessary that each traveller completes the ETIAS application form accurately and truthfully, as any error on the form, accidental or not, could lead to the delay or rejection of the ETIAS.
The ETIAS application process for Singapore citizens
In addition to paying the ETIAS application fee by credit or debit card, Singapore nationals applying for the ETIAS waiver will be asked to provide the following information:
- Personal information, which will include the traveller’s full name, their date of birth, their place of birth, and their gender
- Contact details, including their current address, email address, and phone number
- Passport details, including the passport number, country of issue, date of issue, and date of expiration
- Travel plans, such as which country travellers will enter and which other countries they intend to visit
Travellers should also be prepared to provide up to date information regarding their health records and any history of criminal activity.
Currently, the European Commission is anticipating about a 95% acceptance rate. In those cases, travellers will be informed of the decision via email. It is imperative that they print out that email and carry it with them in case they are asked to present it.
The ETIAS will not be permanently affixed to a passport like a visa. Instead, it will be electronically linked. Travellers may also be asked to produce a hard copy at the airport by transit authorities, or at the border to the Schengen Area.
If rejected, an email detailing the reason for the rejection, as well as instructions for how to appeal the decision will be sent. All appeals will be handled directly by Schengen member country that the traveller intends to initially enter.
Why is the ETIAS for Singaporeans needed?
For those travellers wondering why the European authorities are adopting a stricter policy, the answer is primarily about safety and border security.
In November 2016, the European Commission voted to implement the ETIAS program to improve security across the continent. Authorities believe that the waiver system will be an efficient and secure way to screen travellers without adding unnecessary steps to their pre-travel checklist. The ETIAS will ensure a safer Europe for all of its citizens as well as its tourists.