Nationals of Saint Lucia are currently able to visit countries in the Schengen Area of Europe without a visa. The Caribbean island nation is part of the visa-exempt program for visitors to Schengen States. From 2021, a new system will come into place under the name of ETIAS. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is an online authorization similar to the American ESTA or the Canadian eTA. It will be introduced to improve security, while simplifying border checks on travelers by screening them ahead of their journey.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be mandatory for Saint Lucians traveling to Schengen countries, and travelers will be required to complete ETIAS registration online.
What must Saint Lucian Nationals Do Before Going to Europe?
Saint Lucians currently need only their valid passport to visit Europe’s Schengen Area. This passport must be legal for a minimum of 3 months after the intended date of arrival in Europe.
Travelers from the island state may visit any of the 26 member countries, which includes 22 European Union (EU) countries along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
ETIAS authorizes Saint Lucian 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
Once the visitor arrives in the Schengen Area, they will be able to travel freely between all the countries in the region, with no border checks. A valid passport is the only document they currently need.
However, starting in 2021, all Saint Lucian citizens traveling to Europe must have an ETIAS visa waiver before boarding an aircraft or ship to any Schengen state. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) can be obtained by completing the ETIAS application form online.
Saint Lucian nationals can only visit without a visa for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. The same applies for citizens of other visa-exempt countries. For stays longer than 90 days, travelers must apply for a Schengen visa.
This will continue to be the case following the introduction of the ETIAS visa waiver. That means that ETIAS will only be valid for 90 days within a 3-month period. Travelers planning to stay for longer will have to obtain a Schengen visa.
Traveling to Europe from Saint Lucia With an ETIAS Visa Waiver
By the end of 2021, all nationals of Saint Lucia who plan to travel to a European country in the Schengen Area will be required to complete an ETIAS registration before embarking on their journey.
This includes children as well as adults. Parents or legal guardians may complete the ETIAS form on behalf of minors.
The following EU countries have separate visa policies and ETIAS will not be accepted for entry:
Citizens of Saint Lucia are currently allowed to visit all 6 of these countries without a visa. However, the United Kingdom’s immigration policy may change following its exit from the European Union.
It is also likely that some of these states will join the Schengen Area in the near future, meaning that ETIAS will be required to visit them.
There are also various countries that are either totally or partly located in the continent of Europe, but are neither part of the EU or the Schengen Area and will not accept ETIAS.
It is important for all Saint Lucian travelers to ensure they have the correct documentation to legally enter the countries they are visiting. An approved ETIAS visa waiver is valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
ETIAS Requirements for Citizens of Saint Lucia
Individuals traveling to the Schengen Area with a Saint Lucian passport must complete a simple ETIAS registration form before their visit. The online application form requires the applicant to enter basic passport details and contact information, including:
- Full name (as it appears on the traveler’s passport)
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Current address
- Contact details (phone number and email address)
- Passport number
They will also be required to disclose their travel plans, including the dates they intend to arrive in and leave the Schengen Area, and which country or countries they intend to visit. There are also some basic security-related questions to obtain the ETIAS visa waiver. These are related to:
- Criminal record (if any)
- Employment history
- Previous travel to Europe
- Previous travel to conflict regions
The questions are designed to screen travelers before they arrive in Europe, which has the dual benefits of:
- Improving security for the Schengen Area,
- And speeding up the process of passing through border control when the traveler arrives in their European destination.
Saint Lucian nationals will be required to:
- Complete the ETIAS application form accurately and honestly
- Provide a valid biometric passport that can be read by a machine
- Use a credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS fees
When arriving at the border of the Schengen Area, visitors may be required to show additional materials, including:
- Proof of onward travel, such as return flights to Saint Lucia
- Travel health insurance
- Proof of sufficient funds to pay for their stay in the Schengen Area
Previous involvement in crime or terrorism could result in the ETIAS application being denied. Entering incorrect information while completing the form can also cause delays in the registration process.
Confirmation of the approved ETIAS is sent in a digital format to the email address provided. It is advisable to register at least 3 days before traveling to allow sufficient time for the application to be processed.
ETIAS Security Procedures for St. Lucian Travelers
The ETIAS visa waiver has been introduced to boost security on the border of the Schengen Area.
When travelers from any country, including Saint Lucia, register online, their data is checked against various international databases and watchlists, including:
- The ETIAS watchlist for Europe
If applicants are found to be connected to or suspected of criminal activity, their ETIAS may be denied. Likewise, individuals who have previously entered Europe illegally, or stayed for longer than they were permitted, may find their applications rejected.
ETIAS has been introduced to pre-identify any potential risks before travelers arrive in Europe, in order to combat international crime, human trafficking, and terrorism and, improves security not only within the Schengen Area but for people traveling to Europe as well.
Nationals of Saint Lucia traveling to Schengen countries should have no trouble acquiring an ETIAS visa waiver as long as they have not been involved in any major criminal activity.
ETIAS for Saint Lucians - FAQ
How long can Saint Lucians stay in Europe with ETIAS?
Saint Lucian citizens can visit any European country in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. However, these 90 days do not have to be used consecutively. Instead, they can be used over multiple visits during a 180-day period.
When ETIAS is introduced, the rules will be the same. ETIAS will permit multiple entries to the Schengen Zone, which must total no more than 90 days over a period of 180 days.
An ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years from the date it is approved, or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first. This is because the ETIAS visa waiver is electronically linked to the passport used to complete the online form. If this passport expires, the Saint Lucian traveler must apply for a new ETIAS from outside the Schengen Area.
Can Saint Lucians work in Europe with ETIAS?
Nationals of Saint Lucia who want to work in Europe may find ETIAS useful to visit countries in the Schengen Area and see if they meet their needs and expectations before moving there.
The ETIAS visa waiver gives travelers seeking work the advantage of visiting different European countries to see which one best fits their requirements. However, it only allows the bearer to visit Schengen Area countries for tourism, business, medical treatment, or transit. Attempting to work in Europe with an ETIAS could lead to the visa waiver being revoked and the traveler receiving a ban on returning to the Schengen Area.
When moving to Europe for work, each country has their own individual policy on work permits and work visas. Saint Lucians who plan to work in Europe should research the requirements of the country they are going to and apply for the appropriate documentation.
Do Saint Lucians need a visa to travel to England?
England is part of the United Kingdom, which is not a member of the Schengen Area. Therefore, an ETIAS visa waiver is of no use to a traveler who wishes to visit England, as the ETIAS is only valid for Schengen countries.
There is often confusion between the European Union and the Schengen Area. The United Kingdom is currently a member of the EU (although it plans to leave in 2020), but it opted out of joining the Schengen Area and maintains its own separate visa policy.
The good news for Saint Lucians is that they are currently eligible to enter the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies such as the Isle of Man for up to 6 months without having to apply for a UK visa.