By 2021, the European Union aims to implement an electronic visa waiver program similar ones already in place around the world, including in the United States. The program will be called ETIAS, which stands for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, and has been readily accepted by nearly every EU country.
ETIAS comes as a response to the recent wave of terrorist attacks all over Europe. The reality of the situation has called for more intense background checks for people traveling to the European Union.
Under the ETIAS program, travelers wishing to enter or transit through the Schengen Area must go through a series of steps prior to embarking on their trip. Passengers must fill out an application form that provides basic information, including the passenger’s name, date of birth, passport information, and travel plans. Additionally, passengers must also answer security questions intended to screen out dangerous travelers and pay the fee.
But how does ETIAS work for dual nationals? Does the EU allow for dual citizenship?
ETIAS and Dual Citizenship
The laws and regulations that govern dual citizenship vary from country to country and region to region. Because of its plurinational makeup, the EU certainly allows for dual citizenship, meaning that one country’s citizenship is recognized by the other European countries as well. EU dual citizenship is well-established.
When it comes to ETIAS, the regulations are relatively straightforward. Passengers have to fill out the ETIAS application using only one of the valid passports that they hold. ETIAS for dual nationalities will thus largely work in the same way that it does for those who only have 1 nationality.
For example, if a passenger is traveling to one of the ETIAS elegible countries and they have dual citizenship in 2 non-EU countries, they would simply have to choose whichever valid passport that qualifies for an ETIAS visa waiver.
In the event that someone is a dual national of an EU country as well as a non-EU country, the passenger should know that they do not need to apply for an ETIAS, as they can enter the Schengen Zone using the passport of the EU member country.
In any event, for travellers that do need travel authorization to travel to the European Union, they should be especially mindful of the ETIAS expiration date. Once implemented, ETIAS will have a validity period of 3 years.