The new visa waiver program being developed by the EU, inspired by the US ESTA, is known as the Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation Service (ETIAS) and is planning to be implemented by 2021.

The ETIAS program will require travelers from approximately 60 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia and Japan who currently travel to Europe visa free to apply online for the ETIAS visa waiver before traveling and it is expected that nearly all applicants will receive their approved ETIAS visa by email within minutes. However due to the nature and purpose of the EU ETIAS visa program there may be certain applicants who could be refused the ETIAS after applying.

The approved ETIAS travel visa for Europe will allow tourists from ETIAS eligible countries to enter the EU Schengen area and travel from to any of the Schengen zone countries within a 3 year period. The ETIAS is a multiple entry visa for non-EU member citizens.

Who could be denied an ETIAS?

The completed ETIAS application will be screened against various European security databases including the ETIAS Watchlist and Interpol which means anyone who sends up a red flag during this screening process may be denied an ETIAS visa for Europe.

It will be possible for the country that is processing the visa to deny the ETIAS to any citizen who applies incorrectly or with false information, so it is very important to check all details included in the application correspond correctly to all identification documents and be completely truthful with any health or security questions.

Additionally, the country transmitting the ETIAS travel visa waiver could deny someone the right to enter the EU Schengen zone by rejecting the ETIAS if they have overstayed on a previous trip. As well as overstaying, citizens who have criminal offences recorded in their past in EU databases and any citizens who are ‘wanted’ by Europol may be at risk of being denied an ETIAS.

How to avoid a rejected ETIAS

The ETIAS application system uses a simple form which will take approximately 10 minutes for travelers to complete with their personal information, travel details and some security and health questions.

It is imperative that all applicants ensure their details are correct and updated when applying online for ETIAS and correspond correctly to any documents needed for travel. In addition, all applicants are reminded to complete all of the questions including passport details, travel arrangements, health and security questions and personal information as well as any other extra data that may be required of you for an ETIAS application.

Remember to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge when completing the online ETIAS application to avoid any unnecessary problems with the visa application process or at border control upon entry.