Guatemalan passport holders are currently allowed to visit the Schengen Area countries for short stays without a visa. This means that Guatemalans do not need to visit a European embassy or consulate prior to visiting any of the member countries since they are part of the Visa Exempt Program.
Travelers from Guatemala can simply show EU border authorities their passport upon arrival to a Schengen country in order to be granted entry for up to 90 days. However, starting 2021, there will be a new mandatory travel requirement in place for Guatemalan citizens as well as other eligible travelers who intend to visit a Schengen country.
In an effort to protect the region from terrorists attacks, the EU has launched the European Travel Information and Authorization System, also known by its acronym, ETIAS. This visa waiver program will be implemented as of 2021 and citizens of Guatemala traveling to Europe will henceforth be obliged to apply for the online travel authorization prior to their departure.
What are Guatemalans Required to Do Before Heading to Europe
At the present time, citizens of Guatemala are not required to get a Schengen visa. While this is likely to stay the same, by 2021, all Guatemalan citizens will be required to apply online for an ETIAS authorization. The simple online form may be completed by eligible travelers from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer and will not entail visiting an embassy or consulate, since ETIAS is not a visa.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System is an online registration that will pre-screen applicants against multiple security databases prior to granting them authorization to board a ship or airplane en route to any Schengen Area country.
ETIAS was implemented in order to enable European Authorities to register and pre-screen all visa-exempt travelers. This process will, in turn, facilitate preventing individuals that could represent a security threat from entering the Schengen borders.
Citizens of Guatemala, as well as travelers from other eligible countries, visiting Europe under the Visa Waiver Program will be required to apply online prior to their trip. This online registration will allow Guatemalan passport holders to present an approved ETIAS travel authorization along with their valid passport before boarding their flight.
Starting 2021, it will become mandatory for Guatemalan nationals to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver in order to be eligible for admittance into any and all of the Schengen Area member countries.
A Guatemalan citizen with an approved ETIAS visa waiver for the Schengen area will be allowed to travel to all 26 member states participating in the free movement area once they have arrived to the designated first entry country.
ETIAS grants holders permission to visit all 22 EU member countries, 4 European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) members as well as 3 open border countries within the Schengen Area’s borders. Guatemalan ETIAS holders will also be allowed to visit the Special Members of the European Union such as the Canary Islands and Madeira, which reside outside of the EU’s main borders.
Since the ETIAS visa waiver for Guatemalan citizens applies to all the countries and territories that comprise the Schengen area, travelers will be able to travel to any of the 26 member states. However, visitors from Guatemala will be required to designate a specified country of entry, where they intend to first cross the Schengen borders upon their arrival. Nevertheless, once a tourist has arrived in Europe with an approved ETIAS visa waiver, they will be able to visit all the countries that participate in the visa-waiver agreement.
This includes all 22 European Union member states participating in the Schengen agreement:
Aside from the member states located in mainland Europe, Guatemalan ETIAS holders will also be granted permission to visit the overseas territories of some European Union countries although they are situated outside of Schengen’s borders, such as:
- The Canary Islands in Spain
- Madeira, in Portugal
- The Azores, in Portugal
ETIAS also allows Guatemalan passport holders to enter all Non-EU Schengen countries participating in the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA):
In addition, the ETIAS visa waiver also applies to non-member states with open borders including:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
The ETIAS Travel Authorization is valid for a total of 3 years from the issuance date. ETIAS visa waiver allows Guatemalan citizens, as well as all other eligible applicants, unlimited entries into all of the countries and states in the Schengen Area for tourism, business, transit or medical purposes.
Guatemalans can use an ETIAS authorization to visit the Schengen Area by air or sea for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Guatemalan individuals will also be allowed to use their approved ETIAS when transiting through the Schengen Area countries en route to a non-Schengen destination.
All ETIAS holders will be able to travel without any restrictions in all the Schengen Area countries so long as they do not exceed the permitted 90 days within a 180-day period. Once they 180-day period is over, Guatemalan nationals with an approved ETIAS visa waiver will once more be granted another 90 days that they may spend visiting the Schengen Area countries.
Citizens of all ages, including children and infants from Guatemala who are visiting or transiting through the Schengen Zone will also be required to have their own approved ETIAS travel authorization.
Guatemalans who wish to visit Europe for a period of 90 days or less, should have a valid passport with a minimum of 3 months beyond the intended stay. All applicants are expected to pay the ETIAS visa waiver fee, therefore a credit card or debit card will be needed during the application process. All Guatemalan citizens that enroll with the ETIAS need a current email account where the approved visa waiver will be sent in PDF format.
Travelers who do not have a valid passport or fail to apply for an ETIAS at least 72 hours prior to their intended departure date towards the Schengen Zone will not be able to enter the territory.
Guatemalans Can Apply Online for ETIAS
Guatemalan citizens can obtain the ETIAS visa waiver by applying online. The program has created a platform that is easy to follow and has steps that simply require applicants to submit their basic biographical details.
The ETIAS online application system will require all eligible citizens to fill out the form with their full name, passport information and intended travel plans. The Guatemalan citizen completing the form should provide a current email where they wish to receive their ETIAS in digital format.
The European Union has come up with this program in order to pre-screen travelers before they arrive to the Schengen borders. This is being implemented in light of recent attacks to the security of the region, hence the ETIAS system aims to improve safety for visitors and residents alike.
There’s a nominal ETIAS fee that needs to be covered upon submitting your application. Once approved, the ETIAS travel authorization will be valid for a period of 3 years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever happens first. The approved ETIAS will be sent to the candidate’s email address and remain digitally attached to the citizen’s Guatemalan passport.
Most ETIAS visa waiver applications should be processed within 24 hours, although this may vary. As a general rule, Guatemalan applicants who wish to travel to Europe should apply at least 3 days in advance.
Traveling from Guatemala to Europe with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
Citizens of Guatemala traveling for short term stays in 2021 should be mindful of the ETIAS application process. All Guatemalan nationals should apply online before their trip. The ETIAS visa waiver is mandatory for all citizens of Guatemala, minors included.
Traveling to Europe from Guatemala has other restrictions regarding the luggage travelers take. Under no circumstance should people travel with explosives, firearms or other threatening materials. Exporting and importing large amounts of money is also not allowed.
Can Guatemalan citizens study in Europe with an ETIAS visa waiver?
Although ETIAS is applicable for Guatemalan nationals visiting the Schengen Area countries for tourism, business or medical reasons, travelers may take part in a short recreational course or workshop while staying in the European Union on vacation.
Guatemalan passport holders who wish to take part in formal studies, whether at the highschool, undergraduate or graduate level, however, will need to apply for a European visa. This will depend on the country in which the foreign citizen wishes to complete their studies. Should this be your situation, make sure to visit the embassy or consulate for the country where you wish to study in order to request information on which type of visa applies to your specific case and the requirements for application.
Are Guatemalans allowed to work in the European Union with an ETIAS visa waiver?
The ETIAS travel authorization can only be used for tourism, business, and transit purposes in any of the Schengen member countries. Therefore, Guatemalans who plan to work in the European Union will need to apply for a European visa. This can be done by visiting the embassy or consulate for the country in which the citizen is planning to work in order to request more information. The embassy personnel will guide you in regards to the documents you will need, how long it will take to obtain a visa, and any other requirements to obtain a work visa.
Guatemalan citizens working in the Schengen Area with an ETIAS could not only have their travel authorization revoked but may also face fines and/or deportation.
How can Guatemalan travelers stay in Europe for longer than 90 days?
The ETIAS visa waiver grants Guatemalan citizens a 90 day stay within a 180-day period. This means that the traveler needs to exit the Schengen Area on day 91 and stay in a third-party country until the 180 days are over. On day 181 the visitor will be granted another 90-day period within the next 180 days during which they may stay in the European Union once more.
Should a Guatemalan traveler wish to stay longer than the 90 days allotted by an ETIAS they will need to visit an embassy or consulate in order to apply for a different type of visa.
Overstaying on an ETIAS travel authorization may result in the Guatemalan traveler facing fines, deportation, having their ETIAS revoked, and, in some instances, even being barred from applying for ETIAS in the near future.