Citizens of Palau who wish to travel to countries in the Schengen Area of Europe will need to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) from late 2021 onwards. This new visa waiver system for European travel will allow Palauans to visit any Schengen state for up to 90 days.
Palauan citizens currently benefit from being members of the visa-exempt program. This means that at present they do not require a visa to visit the 26 countries of the Schengen Area.
Once the ETIAS visa waiver is introduced, it will be mandatory for all Palauans and citizens of other visa-exempt countries traveling to the Schengen zone. It will grant them the right to stay in these European states for up to 90 days.
The ETIAS will help to improve security in the Schengen Area by pre-screening travelers to identify any possible risks. Traveling to Europe will, therefore, be safer than ever and will come with further advantages for the international visitor.
Palauan travelers need an ETIAS visa waiver to enter:
ETIAS permits Palauans to travel to all 26 Schengen member states from late 2022 onwards:
- 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
Do citizens of Palau need a visa for Europe?
Currently, Palauan travelers do not need a visa to enter any country within the Schengen Area as long as they meet the following conditions:
- They are carrying a passport that will be valid for at least 3 months after their visit
- They do not intend to stay longer than 90 days
- They are traveling for tourism or business purposes
- They are not going to do paid work or study in Europe
Palauan nationals who wish to work or study in a European country must obtain the relevant visas and/or permits for that particular country. Those who intend to stay in the Schengen Zone for longer than 90 days must apply for a Schengen visa instead. When the ETIAS is launched, this will continue to be the case. Palauans traveling to Schengen member states as tourists or for business will be able to stay visa-free for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Nonetheless, there will be an additional requirement: they will also have to register with ETIAS.
ETIAS is a travel authorization system, similar to the ESTA for the USA or the eTA for Canada. It is much simpler to register with ETIAS than it is to apply for a visa. The first step travelers from Palau must follow is to enter their details in an online ETIAS application form. This process is quick and straightforward and eliminates the need to travel to an embassy, as with a traditional visa.
Until the ETIAS is launched, the only documentation Palauan citizens need to travel to Europe’s Schengen Area is a valid passport.
However, it is important to remember that not all European countries are part of the Schengen Agreement. Various countries in Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, and Serbia maintain their own border control and immigration policies, including separate visa systems.
Palauan nationals traveling to Europe should check whether the country they will be visiting is part of the Schengen zone before booking their trip and ensure they apply for the correct documentation for that country.
How can Palauans apply for ETIAS as of late 2022?
By the end of 2022, nationals of Palau can apply for ETIAS by registering their information in an online form. They will be required to provide personal data, contact details, and their travel plans, along with some security-related questions.
The personal information required in the application includes the following:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Location/country of birth
- Passport number
- Date of passport issue
- Date of passport expiry
The following contact details must be submitted in the ETIAS registration:
- Current residential address
- Contact phone number
- Active email address
The Palauan applicant will also have to describe their travel plans while in Europe. This includes indicating in which European country in the Schengen Area they will arrive first, as well as both the dates they intend to arrive in and leave the open borders region.
There are also questions related to security that the applicant must answer. These pertain to criminal records, employment history, and previous travels—in particular, previous visits to Europe or to conflict zones around the world.
The ETIAS application form must be completed accurately and honestly.
For the ETIAS application to be successful, the Palauan traveler must have the following to hand while completing the form:
- A valid passport that will not expire until at least 3 months after the intended visit
- A method of payment (credit or debit card)
- A current email address so that the approved document can be sent
If all of these ETIAS requirements are met, the application will almost certainly be approved.
How long can Palau nationals stay in Europe with ETIAS?
Palauan citizens may travel to Europe visa-free after registering with ETIAS. They will need only a valid passport and confirmation of their approved ETIAS to do this. However, there is a limit to the length of time that foreign nationals can stay in the Schengen Area.
Citizens of Palau may enter the Schengen Area and stay in or travel around any of its various member states for a maximum of 3 months within a 180-day period.
These 90 days do not have to be consecutive, i.e. the traveler can make more than one visit within a period of 180 days as long as the combined total of days spent in Schengen countries during all these visits does not exceed 90 days.
For example, the visitor may stay for 30 days in France, leave the Schengen Area for 2 months, then travel to Germany and stay for up to 60 days.
If a Palauan spends 90 consecutive days in the Schengen Area with ETIAS and then leaves the area, they will have to wait a further 90 days before they can apply for another ETIAS. Palauans who wish to spend more time in a European country will need to visit an embassy and apply for a visa and/or residency permit.
Once the ETIAS is approved, it is valid for 3 years and can be used for multiple visits over this period.
ETIAS for Palauans - FAQ
How does ETIAS for Palauans improve security?
Palauans traveling to Schengen countries in Europe from late 2022 onwards will have to register their information with ETIAS before their trip. This data is encrypted and securely stored by the eu-LISA system and can only be accessed by authorized border control personnel. The data entered by each Palauan applicant will be used to check the traveler against international databases to screen for security risks.
If an applicant is found to have a history of serious criminal activity, terrorism, war crimes, genocide, previous incidents while visiting Europe, or to have provided false information on their application, their ETIAS will be denied.
In this way, security risks are stopped before they reach the Schengen border, making travel safer for travelers with an approved ETIAS, as well as for Europe and its citizens.
What are the advantages of ETIAS for Palauans?
Obtaining the ETIAS visa waiver permits Palauan citizens to visit all of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area.
There are several key benefits that the ETIAS brings to travelers heading to Europe:
- Improved security means traveling to Europe is safer, giving visitors peace of mind
- Fewer document checks at borders and faster process of entering the Schengen Area due to the digitalization of data, pre-screening of travelers, and the fact that ETIAS is connected to visitors’ e-passports.
- Once ETIAS is approved, it will be valid for 3 years
- ETIAS holders will be able to check and edit their information online
ETIAS will also benefit the Schengen member states and their citizens and residents by increasing security checks and preventing potential risks. It will help the open borders area to monitor who is coming in and out and reduce the number of people overstaying their permitted time in Europe as well as illegal immigration.
It will also help authorities to crack down on international crime, including organized crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and terrorism, keeping Europe a safe place for travelers.
Can Palauans visit the UK with ETIAS?
Palauan nationals who successfully apply for ETIAS may enter any of the 26 member countries of the Schengen Area. This includes 22 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
The United Kingdom has never been part of the Schengen Area having opted out of the Schengen Agreement. It maintains its own border security, immigration control, and visa policy.
However, Palauans who wish to visit the UK do not need to apply for a British visa for visits up to 6 months in duration. According to British visa policy, Palau is on the list of countries whose citizens are visa-exempt. This means that Palau nationals may visit the UK for a maximum of 6 months with only a valid passport.
The exception to this is if they enter the United Kingdom via the land border with the Republic of Ireland, in which case they may only stay for a maximum of 3 months without a visa.
After the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, other aspects of its immigration and visa policies may change. It is advisable to keep up to date by checking the current British visa requirements before traveling to the UK.