Canadians intent on travelling to the European Union for business or leisure will need to apply for an ETIAS visa starting in 2020. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) has received support from all the EU member countries. Authorities hope to curb illegal immigration and to safeguard better against the threat of terrorist attacks. Once implemented, Canadian nationals traveling to Europe from Canada will need a visa.
Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens
There are several visa requirements for Canadian citizens travelling to Europe. Canadian nationals will need a valid passport, email address, and valid credit card or debit card. Unless they provide these documents, any potential travellers to the European Union will not be able to apply for an ETIAS visa.
Once approved, an ETIAS visa for Canada gives Canadian nationals the authorization to enter the European Schengen Zone. The ETIAS visa for Canadians, when implemented, is designed to reduce travel restrictions while improving safety standards for international travel.
When submitting their Europe visa application, Canadian citizens must also pay the fee in advance via a secure credit card or debit card. Once approved, the ETIAS travel authorization will be sent to the applicant’s inbox.
How can Canadian citizens apply for ETIAS?
To obtain an ETIAS online visa, Canadian citizens need to apply online. The registration process for ETIAS is designed to be simple and quick in order to expedite the approval process. Like the ESTA program already in place in the United States, applicants will answer some security questions as well as provide information about their travel plans.
The idea behind these strict travel controls is that travellers can be prescreened before boarding their flight to Europe. With these controls in place, safety will greatly be improved at European airports.
After the passenger provides the requisite information and paid the nominal ETIAS fee, the passenger should receive their approved ETIAS visa via email within 24 hours, in most cases.
Traveling to Europe from Canada
Canadian citizens do not currently require a visa for short-term stays for tourism, family, or business purposes. But once the ETIAS program is fully implemented in 2020, Canadian citizens will require an ETIAS visa in order to travel to the Schengen zone.
Moreover, there will be further travel restrictions when traveling to Europe from Canada. This includes the prohibition of certain materials, like firearms or importing/exporting currency, perfume, or alcohol.
Presently, only Canadian citizens over 18 are required to apply for an ETIAS visa in order to travel to the Schengen zone. Minors are allowed to travel with their normal passport and will otherwise be exempted from paying the fee.
Please remember that from 2020 onward, Canadian citizens will be required to have a valid visa to travel to Europe for short-term stays.