Thanks to the visa waiver agreements between Vanuatu and the European Union, Ni-Vanuatu nationals may travel to the European Union during 2020 without having to apply for a visa. Presenting a valid Ni-Vanuatu passport upon arrival will suffice in order to gain entry into Europe.
Nevertheless, starting from 2021, when the ETIAS comes into full force, all citizens from visa-exempt countries —including Vanuatu— will have to aquire a travel authorization for Europe before departing from their home country.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It has been under development since 2016 with the clear objective of improving security within the Schengen borders.
Another one of ETIAS’ major driving forces is its ongoing fight against terrorism as part of an integrated EU intelligence agency.
The ETIAS is being implemented alongside the EES —the Entry Exit System for Europe. Both systems are being designed to work seamlessly together.
The ETIAS will prescreen travelers from visa-exempt countries to determine whether they are a threat to the security and wellbeing of the EU. Ni-Vanuatu citizens that apply for an ETIAS will be granted the travel authorization if they are not considered to pose a risk for the area.
On the other hand, the Entry Exit System will register all the entries, exits and denied entries of third-country citizens crossing the external Schengen borders into Europe.
European Countries That Grant Ni-Vanuatu Citizens Entry With an ETIAS
A total of 26 European countries are part of the Schengen Area. 22 of them are also European Union members whilst the rest are Non-EU.
These are the countries that ETIAS holders from Vanuatu will be allowed to enter and circulate freely between with their travel authorization:
The Schengen Area is presently comprised of 22 European Union countries:
- 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
ETIAS Application for Vanuatu Passport Holders
The ETIAS for Ni-Vanuatu citizens will grant holders permission to enter the Schengen Area and circulate freely amongst all its member nations for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
The visa waiver will be valid for 3 years from the issue date as long as the associated passport remains current.
The ETIAS allows travelers from Vanuatu to enter the Schengen Area multiple times during its 3-year validity.
From 2021 onwards, Ni-Vanuatu travelers of all ages —including minors— will have to apply for an ETIAS before their departure towards the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS will be a mandatory requirement for travelers from Vanuatu visiting Europe for any of the following purposes:
- Tourism and leisure
- Health and medical
Obtaining an ETIAS from Vanuatu will be much simpler than applying for a Schengen visa. The ETIAS can be requested online through an easy-to-use application form, so Ni-Vanuatu citizens will not need to visit an embassy or consulate.
The ETIAS form can be filled out in no more than 10 minutes, once you have the requirements at hand.
A majority of ETIAS applications from Vanuatu will be approved automatically within 24 hours of submitting the request.
As soon as the ETIAS fee payment is received, the automatic screening process will begin. The Ni-Vanuatu national’s data will be cross-checked against multiple international security databases, including the following:
Should the system encounter a hit in the applicant’s data within one or more of the databases, a manual revision may be required. The ETIAS from Vanuatu manual processing will be done by designated Frontex or national EU agents and could extend turnaround time to 2-3 business days.
Therefore, it is advisable to apply for your ETIAS from Vanuatu as soon as you can, allowing at least 3 business days for processing your application prior to your estimated departure date towards the EU.
Traveling to Europe From Vanuatu With an ETIAS
Once the Ni-Vanuatu traveler arrives in Europe, they will be able to present their machine-readable passport at the border. Immigration officials will then digitally scan the citizen’s passport to verify whether they have a valid ETIAS travel authorization.
Passengers from Vanuatu with an approved ETIAS that comply with all the European entry requirements will be allowed to cross the border.
Visitors who do not fulfill the requirements or do not have a valid ETIAS will be denied entry and have their entry refusal recorded in the Entry Exit System.
Entry refusals recorded in the EES may hinder future attempts to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization for Europe, depending on the nature of the denial.
Therefore, Ni-Vanuatu travelers are advised to make sure they have all the European entry requirements in order prior to their trip to Europe.
Required Documents to Obtain an ETIAS From Vanuatu
The ETIAS for Ni-Vanuatu requirements are simple and straightforward. Once citizens have the following at hand, they will be able to successfully apply for an ETIAS online:
- A machine-readable, current passport from Vanuatu that remains valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended visit dates
- An email address the applicant has access to, where they will receive the ETIAS, once it is approved, as well as updates regarding their request
- A payment method such as a credit or debit card with which the Ni-Vanuatu national will be able to pay for the ETIAS online fees
With the requirements at hand, Ni-Vanuatu applicants will have to fill out the following information in their ETIAS application form:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
- Passport number
- Passport country
- Passport date of issue
- Passport date of expiry
Expert tip: Please make sure that all of the personal and passport information mentioned above is typed into the ETIAS application form exactly as it appears on the citizen’s Ni-Vanuatu passport.
Any typing errors or discrepancies in the applicant’s data may delay the screening process, or even result in a denied ETIAS travel authorization.
Next, Ni-Vanuatu ETIAS applicants will have to disclose a general travel itinerary in Europe, including:
- Intended date of arrival into the Schengen Area
- First country of entry into the Schengen Area
- Purpose of their visit
Although the ETIAS form asks applicants to select a single Schengen country as their designated first point of entry, once they have entered the territory, they will be able to travel to all 26 member nations freely.
Unlike traditional visas —which are issued for a single country— the ETIAS travel authorization will allow holders from Vanuatu to enter all 26 Schengen member nations (see below for the full list of countries).
Ni-Vanuatu citizens will have to fill out a section on the form with basic questions regarding security and health. Applicants are asked to fill out the entire ETIAS form honestly and accurately.
The ETIAS aims to keep individuals deemed dangerous to the European Union outside of the Schengen borders. However, applicants from Vanuatu with a criminal record may still be able to enter Europe if they are not considered to put the Schengen Area at risk.
ETIAS for Ni-Vanuatu Nationals - FAQ
Can Ni-Vanuatu travelers attend a conference in Europe on an ETIAS?
Students and professionals from Vanuatu who wish to expand their knowledge by attending academic events in Europe may do so on an ETIAS as long as they follow certain conditions:
- The ETIAS must be valid beyond the class dates
- The conference, congress, workshop, course or summit must have a duration of under 90 days
- The event must take place on Schengen soil, that is, in a European country that belongs to the Schengen Area
Ni-Vanuatu nationals who wish to obtain a degree from a European University in the Schengen Area must visit the consulate or embassy of the country the school is located in. The student will have to have an acceptance letter for the university they wish to study in.
Next, the student from Vanuatu will have to obtain a study visa by presenting their passport, acceptance letter, and any other documents required by the embassy or consulate.
Can travelers from Vanuatu do business in Europe with an ETIAS?
The ETIAS travel authorization for Europe allows holders from Vanuatu to spend up to 90 days total within the Schengen borders for every 180-day period.
Additionally, the ETIAS grants Ni-Vanuatu holders entry into all of the 26 member nations as well as the freedom to circulate between them so long as they do not exceed the maximum stay.
This period of stay can be spent by Ni-Vanuatu ETIAS holders doing business in the European Union’s Schengen countries.
However, Ni-Vanuatu passport holders who wish to seek employment or start working in the Schengen Area will have to obtain a work visa via an embassy or consulate for the country they wish to reside in.
Do Ni-Vanuatu passport holders need an ETIAS to transit through Europe?
Travelers from Vanuatu that are passing through the Schengen Area en route to a third-country destination will have to carry the appropriate travel documents in order to board their flight.
Regardless of how short their layover is, transit passengers from Vanuatu will have to carry the following documents when arriving at Schengen border control in Europe:
- A valid Ni-Vanuatu passport that is unexpired
- An approved ETIAS travel authorization for Europe
- An onward ticket for a destination the traveler is allowed to enter (they must have a valid visa or travel authorization for this country if one is required)