Until late 2022, travelers from the Solomon Islands are able to visit Europe without having to apply for a visa beforehand. Presenting their Solomon Islands passport will grant them entry into the European Union thanks to the visa waiver agreements between the continent and their country.
However, by the end of 2022, all travelers from visa waiver countries —including Solomon Islanders— will have to register online for an ETIAS before heading to the European Schengen countries. This includes France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland, amongst others.
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It has been under development by the European Union since 2016. The ETIAS is being set implemented to further the fight against terrorism, improve security within the Schengen borders, and facilitate border crossing for individuals who do not pose a risk for the EU.
The ETIAS is part of an integrated EU intelligence agency that includes other systems such as the Entry-Exit System (EES), and Passenger Name Records (PNR). The European Union is working to seamlessly integrate these systems together. The ETIAS is scheduled to come into full force by the end of 2022.
Once the implementation is fully operational, the ETIAS will become a mandatory entry document for all Solomon Islanders visiting Europe for short trips of up to 90 days’ duration, for any of the following purposes:
- Health and medical
ETIAS Travel Authorization Validity and Permitted Stay for Solomon Island Nationals
Unlike traditional consular visas, the ETIAS travel authorization does not grant entry to a single country but to all 26 Schengen member nations:
As soon as the ETIAS is fully implemented, it will allow Solomon Islander travelers to visit the following 22 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area:
- 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
This means that passport holders of the Solomon Islands with an approved ETIAS can spend up to 90 days within a 180-day period in any and all of the countries mentioned above.
Additionally, the ETIAS for Solomon Islanders enables holders to travel to the European Schengen countries multiple times within its 3-year validity.
Once it is approved, the ETIAS travel authorization remains electronically linked to a single passport. The ETIAS cannot be transferred to another passport, not even when both belong to the same citizen.
It is for this reason that in the event that the Solomon Islands passport expires before the ETIAS’ 3-year validity runs out, the visa waiver will be rendered null. The citizen will then have to apply for a new ETIAS travel authorization using the details of their new passport (including passport number, country, date of issuance, and expiration).
Fortunately, obtaining an ETIAS from the Solomon Islands with a new passport is a quick and easy procedure than can be completed in under 10 minutes.
It is very important for travelers with dual citizenship to use the exact same passport to apply for the ETIAS and to travel on, as well. Solomon Islander nationals traveling on a different passport than the one the ETIAS was granted on —for example, due to dual citizenship— may encounter difficulties upon arrival.
ETIAS Requirements for Solomon Islander Citizens
- A current Solomon Islands passport that remains valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended travel dates
- A payment method with which to cover the ETIAS issuance fee online, such as a credit or debit card
- A valid email address the applicant has access to, where they will receive the ETIAS visa waiver once it is issued, as well as updates in regards to their application
Applying for an ETIAS from the Solomon Islands
As of late 2022, the ETIAS travel authorization for citizens of the Solomon Islands will be a mandatory entry requirement for Europe, for travelers of all ages, including minors.
Obtaining an ETIAS visa waiver for Solomon Islanders will be quick and easy, once the online application system is open to the general public.
Citizens will be able to access a simple web form from the comfort of their home or office. Filling out a request should take no more than 10 minutes, once the applicant has the requirements for an ETIAS from the Solomon Islands at hand. (See below for full list)
Applicants will have to complete the ETIAS application form with the following personal, passport, and travel details:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
- Passport number
- Passport date of issuance
- Passport date of expiration
- Passport country of issuance
- Estimated arrival date in Europe
- First country of arrival in the Schengen Area
Once the Solomon Islander applicant has completed the ETIAS form, they are advised to carefully revise the information entered in order to make sure it corresponds exactly with the data printed on the biographical page of their passport. Any inconsistencies or contradictory information may delay the ETIAS processing, or result in a denied application.
Next, travelers will be required to answer some simple questions related to security, health, and prior trips. All applicants are advised to answer these questions honestly.
Solomon Island nationals with criminal records may still be able to visit Europe so long as they are not considered to pose a risk for the safety or wellbeing of the European Union and its citizens.
ETIAS Visa Waiver from Solomon Islands Processing Time
Once the Solomon Islander national has submitted their ETIAS form and the payment has been completed, the automated ETIAS revision will begin.
The citizen’s data will be cross-checked against multiple international security databases, including:
A vast majority of ETIAS applications from the Solomon Islands are expected to be automatically approved within the first 24 hours.
Nevertheless, a small number of requests may produce a hit during the screening against the databases mentioned above. In this case, a manual revision may be required, either by Frontex, or a national authority, which would extend the processing time of the ETIAS from Solomon Islands to up to 3 business days.
Therefore, it is best practice for Solomon Islanders to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver for Europe at least 3 business days before their expected date of departure towards a Schengen member nation.
Once the ETIAS application processing is finalized, the applicant will receive an email notification at the address submitted within their form.
If the visa waiver is granted, the email will contain a digital copy of the approved ETIAS travel authorization for Solomon Islanders.
If the ETIAS athorization is refused, the email will contain the grounds for which the application was denied. Applicants from the Solomon Islands whom receive a notification for a denied ETIAS travel authorization will receive instructions on how to appeal the decision, should they wish to do so.
In this case, the citizen will be able to appeal by following the instructions they receive by email. Processing time after an ETIAS appeal may take up to 4 weeks. Nevertheless, this is expected to happen in less than 1-2% of visa waiver applications.
In the extremely unlikely event that the ETIAS is refused once again, the Solomon Islander national would still have the right to apply for a Schengen visa through a European embassy of the country they first wish to enter.
ETIAS for Solomon Islanders - FAQ
Can Solomon Islander ETIAS holders work in the EU?
The ETIAS visa waiver allows Solomon Islander citizens permission to do business in any and all of the Schengen member nations (see full list of countries above) for up to 90 days per 180-day period.
Although ETIAS holders from the Solomon Islands can visit Europe for business, workshops or conferences, they are not permitted to seek employment in the EU.
Solomon Islands passport holders who wish to work in the European Union must visit an embassy for the country they wish to reside in in order to apply for a work visa.
Citizens of the Solomon Islands found working in Europe on an ETIAS may face serious consequences, including fines, the revocation of their visa waiver, or even deportation.
How can Solomon Islands passport holders spend more than 90 days in Europe?
There are multiple ways a Solomon Islander can stay in the European continent for more than 90 days.
Since the ETIAS grants Solomon Islander holders multiple-entry 90-day stays per 180-day periods within the Schengen nations, the traveler may spend the second 90-day period in a Non-Schengen European country. After the 180-day period runs out, the visitor will be granted a new 90-day stay in the Schengen Area.
Another way a citizen of the Solomon Islands may legally stay in Europe long-term is by applying for a student, work, or residency visa at the embassy or consulate for the country they wish to reside in.