From 2021, citizens of the island state of Timor-Leste, or East Timor, will have to apply for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in order to travel to 26 European countries.
These 26 countries form the Schengen Area—an open borders region where travel is permitted between the member states with no border checks apart from when the visitor first arrives. Schengen countries include France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Sweden.
Currently, East Timorese travelers can visit countries within the Schengen Area without any additional paperwork other than their passport. This is because Timor-Leste is on the list of visa-exempt countries for Schengen states.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be an additional requirement starting from 2021. Visitors from East Timor will be required to register their details with this visa waiver system in order to visit these European nations.
Countries that Require East Timorese Nationals to Carry an ETIAS
ETIAS authorizes East Timorese Nationals to travel to all 26 Schengen member states from 2021:
- EU Schengen
- Non-EU Schengen States
- Non-Schengen EU States
Micro-States de facto part of Schengen Area:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Non-Schengen EU States
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
How Can East Timorese Nationals Get ETIAS Authorization?
Nationals of Timor-Leste will be able to obtain authorization to enter Europe’s Schengen Area by registering their data with the European Travel Information and Authorization System. This can be done quickly and easily by completing an ETIAS application form online.
Traveling to an embassy is not necessary; the registration can be completed entirely from the applicant’s home or office.
The East Timorese applicant must fill out a section of the form with their personal information, passport details, and travel plans, then answer some questions relating to security.
The applicant must provide the following personal and contact data:
- Full name
- Date and country of birth
- Current address
- Contact phone number and email address
They must also include the details of the passport they intend to travel with. This is important because the ETIAS authorization is electronically linked to the passport that is registered at this step of the process.
If a traveler arrives at European border control with a passport that does not match the one listed on their ETIAS registration, they may be denied entry. If the passport used to register with the ETIAS is lost, stolen, or damaged, the traveler must register with ETIAS again with their new passport.
Passport details required in ETIAS registration include:
- Passport number
- Passport country
- Date of issue
- Date of expiry
The applicant must give details about their travel plans while in Europe, including their country of arrival and the dates that they intend to arrive in and leave the Schengen Area.
Once the ETIAS application is submitted, the information is screened against international databases in a process designed to identify risks to European security. The majority of applications will be approved within 24 hours, although applicants should allow up to 3 business days.
A document confirming the ETIAS authorization to visit Schengen countries in Europe will be sent to the email address provided by the applicant.
What Are the Requirements for ETIAS for Citizens of Timor-Leste
East Timorese nationalstraveling to Europe must meet the ETIAS requirements to be eligible for the visa waiver:
- The purpose of visiting the Schengen Area must be either tourism, health, business, or transit
- The stay cannot exceed 90 days within a 180-day period
If a national of Timor-Leste wishes to live, work, or study in a Schengen member state, they must apply for the relevant visa and permits for that country.
Similarly, if the intended stay will be longer than 3 months, the visitor should apply for a Schengen visa.
Providing that the planned stay is within the 90-day limit and the visit is for business or pleasure, an East Timorese traveler may apply online for the ETIAS travel authorization. In order to complete the registration successfully, the following are required:
- A passport that will be valid for at least 6 months after the date the traveler intends to leave Europe
- A current email address (to receive confirmation)
- A payment method (credit or debit card)
All the information must be entered accurately and honestly. Errors or discrepancies could result in the ETIAS application being delayed or denied. In particular, the passport details must match the passport used to enter Europe.
What Is the Purpose of the ETIAS for East Timorese Travelers?
The European Travel Information and Authorization System is being introduced to improve security at Europe’s borders. This will make the continent safer for both European residents and for international visitors, such as those from Timor-Leste.
The information submitted by each East Timorese applicant is checked against the following international databases:
- Interpol (TDAWN, SLTD)
- The ETIAS watchlist for Europe
By pre-screening each traveler from East Timor before they arrive, border control authorities for the Schengen Area can identify security risks and prevent them from arriving in Europe. In this way, ETIAS will combat and help to prevent the following:
- International crime
- Human trafficking
- Drug smuggling
- Illegal immigration
To help identify potential security risks, the ETIAS application requires that the traveler from Timor-Leste answer some questions about their employment history, past travel (especially to zones of conflict), and criminal record (if any).
The increased security afforded by ETIAS will give travelers peace of mind when visiting European countries. There are further benefits for East Timorese travelers:
- Digitized data and pre-arrival checks mean fewer border checks and quicker entry to the country of arrival (especially with e-Passport gates).
- ETIAS is valid for 3 years after issue
- It can be used for multiple entries to the Schengen Area
- Once the traveler has arrived in the Schengen Area, they can travel freely between member states with no further border checks
Do Nationals of Timor-Leste Need a Visa for Europe?
East Timorese nationals currently do not need a visa to visit any country within the Schengen Area. However, there is a limit on the time that can be spent there visa-free (90 days), after which the traveler will need a long-term visa.
When the ETIAS visa waiver is launched, it will be an additional requirement to enter the Schengen countries. However, ETIAS is not a visa, but a travel authorization, similar to the USA’s ESTA and Canada’s eTA. It will be much quicker and simpler to obtain than a traditional consular visa.
The Schengen Area does not include every country in Europe. Sovereign states that have not signed the Schengen Agreement have their own visa and immigration policies.
The majority of European countries outside the Schengen Area also grant visa exemption to citizens of Timor-Leste, meaning no visa is required. These countries include:
- The UK
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
However, certain European countries do require that East Timorese visitors have a valid visa, including the following states:
- Georgia (eVisa)
- Turkey (eVisa)
- Ukraine (eVisa)
Before booking travel to Europe, it is important to make sure you have the correct visa or visa waiver for all of the countries you plan to visit.
ETIAS for Nationals of Timor-Leste- FAQ
Do East Timorese citizens need an ETIAS?
Nationals of Timor-Leste will need an ETIASto visit any of the 26 member states of the Schengen Area from 2021.
The exception to this would be any East Timorese individual with dual nationality whose second citizenship was of one of the Schengen states. By virtue of the Schengen citizenship, they would not require authorization nor a visa to enter the Schengen Area.
Citizens of East Timor who are not also citizens of a Schengen country will have to apply for an ETIAS for visits of up to 90 days. The ETIAS does not grant permission to stay longer than this. For stays of more than 3 months, a long-term visa is needed instead.
Can nationals of Timor-Leste study in Europe with an ETIAS authorization?
Citizens of Timor-Leste will be able to travel to any of the 26 member states of the Schengen Area from 2021 using the ETIAS. They will be able to visit for purposes of tourism, business, health, and transit.
ETIAS can be used to attend conferences, workshops, and events in Europe. However, the ETIAS does not entitle international visitors to study long-term in any of the member states of the Schengen Zone. Each country has their own policy regarding international students and residency for nationals of countries outside of the European Union and Schengen Area.
East Timorese citizens who wish to attend university in Europe or otherwise study in a European country must apply for and obtain the relevant visa and any applicable residency permit and study permit they may need for that particular country.
Is the ETIAS for East Timorese visitors a visa?
The European Travel Information and Authorization System is not a traditional visa. While it requires applicants from East Timor to register some of the same information as in a visa application, the process is much more streamlined in nature.
Traditional consular visas usually require that the applicant go to an embassy to apply and, in many cases, attend an interview. ETIAS can be obtained by applying online without having to leave home or travel anywhere.
ETIAS is a visa waiver system that exists to improve security by allowing border authorities to screen travelers to prevent risks. Similar systems include the ESTA for America and the eTA for Canada.
ETIAS grants the East Timorese national multiple entries to the Schengen Area and remains valid for 3 years, whereas most true visas have stricter limitations.