By the end of 2021, The European Travel Information and Authority System, or ETIAS, will be implemented by European authorities. The ETIAS will function as a visa waiver, allowing citizens from South Korea, as well as 60 other countries around the world, to visit the countries of the Schengen Area without having a traditional visa.
The visa waiver will be applied for and granted entirely online, streamlining the process for applicants. This means that any traveler from South Korea who holds a valid passport will be able to apply for and receive the waiver from anywhere in the world instead of being required to visit a consulate or embassy.
Once granted, the ETIAS will be valid for up to but not exceeding 90 days within a period of 180 days. If a traveler exits the Schengen Area before their allotted 90 days have been used and wishes to re-enter within 180 days, they will not be required to obtain a separate ETIAS as their original one will still be valid.
ETIAS Requirements for South Korean Citizens
Below, South Korean citizens can find a list of requirements that each traveler must have in order to apply for the ETIAS:
- A South Korean (or other ETIAS approved country) passport with a minimum of three months validity remaining from the date of arrival into Europe.
- A credit or debit card to pay for the application fee.
- An active email address so that the decision on whether the waiver has been granted can be communicated.
Although the ETIAS was designed to be as simple as possible, it is critical that travelers double-check their applications as any incorrect data, even if entered accidentally, increases the possibility of having their application rejected.
The ETIAS Application Process for South Korean Citizens
In addition to providing passport data and paying the fee, South Korean passport holders will need to give additional points of data while filling out the ETIAS application.
- Personal information: Travelers will need to provide basic information about themselves such as their full name, their date of birth, their place of birth, and their gender.
- Passport information: Travelers will be required to give their passport number, the country of issue, the date of validity, and the date of expiration.
- Contact details: In addition to the valid email address, travelers will also be required to provide an up to date address of residency and a valid phone number.
- Travel plans: Though it is not necessary to offer up an exact itinerary, applicants will be required to give their intended port of entry, as well as a rough outline of their intended travels.
Note: Additional information regarding medical history and criminal records may also be required
Authorities are currently projecting a 95% rate of approval. Once a decision has been made, authorities will send an email detailing their decision. In the event of an approved application, the traveler should print out a hard copy of their ETIAS and carry it with them while traveling. Transport authorities in their port of departure may ask to verify that each traveler holds a valid ETIAS. Border authorities in the Schengen Area will also ask for the ETIAS, alongside the valid passport, before travelers are granted entry into Europe.
Note: Border authorities have the final say over who gains entry into the Schengen Area. Simply holding an approved ETIAS does not guarantee entry.
If the application is rejected, an email detailing the reasons for the denial will be sent alongside instructions for how to make an appeal. The appeal process will be handled by the country where the traveler intended to initially enter.
Why the Need for ETIAS?
For any travelers curious about why the European authorities are adopting a stricter policy, the answer can be boiled down to one thing: safety.
With the implementation of the program, Europeans will have a better handle on exactly who is entering their countries and will be able to better secure their borders.
Following a steep increase in the amount of terrorist activity within larger cities across the continent, the European Commission voted to implement the ETIAS program in November of 2016. Although it may appear to most travelers to be an unnecessary nuisance, authorities believe that the waiver system will be an efficient and secure way to screen travelers. The ETIAS will ultimately ensure a safer Europe for all of its citizens as well as any tourists wishing to visit the continent.