Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago currently do not need to obtain a travel document to travel to European countries in the Schengen passport-free zone for short stays. This is because Trinidad and Tobago is included on the list of visa-exempt countries for the Schengen Area.
However, by the end of 2021 all Trinidadian passport holders will be required to apply for and obtain an online ETIAS visa waiver to visit Schengen countries for up to 90 days.
ETIAS means European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). This new compulsory visa waiver will become a mandatory requirement for visa-exempt citizens to visit the Schengen Area once introduced in 2021, including Trinidadians and Tobagonians.
Read on to learn about the requirements for this new electronic travel authorization for Europe and how to apply for an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago.
Europe Travel Requirements for Trinidad and Tobago Nationals
It is currently possible to visit Europe from Trinidad and Tobago without a visa. Trinidadians and Tobagonians are currently permitted to enter the Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days visa-free, for purposes of tourism, business or transit.
However, by 2021, Trinidadian citizens who wish to visit these countries for short stays will first be required to register online for an ETIAS visa waiver.
The Schengen Area is made up of the following 26 ETIAS countries ((22 European Union (EU) countries and 4 non-EU states) which have all signed the Schengen Agreement and permit passport-free travel with their borders:
ETIAS permits Trinidadians and Tobagonians 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
The ETIAS authorization is being introduced to combat security threats to the Schengen Area and strengthen its external borders by pre-screening visa-exempt travelers before they can board transportation carriers and arrive in Europe.
ETIAS was approved by the European Parliament in 2016 and is currently being implemented by the European Commission with an expected 2021 launch date.
Once available, Trinidadian nationals will be able to submit an ETIAS visa waiver application online, to receive an approved ETIAS linked electronically to their passport.
An approved ETIAS authorization for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago is a multiple entry visa waiver which allows the holder to travel to and between all of the countries in the Schengen zone during its validity.
ETIAS permits the holder to stay in Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days with each entry, within every 180-day period. It is valid for a total of 3 years from the date of approval or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.
This means that there is no need to re-apply for an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago before every trip to Europe.
ETIAS Visa Waiver Requirements for Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago
In order to apply for an ETIAS to travel to Europe, it is first necessary to meet the ETIAS requirements for Trinidadian and Tobagoians, which state that the applicant must:
- Have a biometric passport from Trinidad and Tobago valid at least 3 months past the intended entry date to Europe
- Supply valid credit or debit card details to pay the ETIAS for Trinidadians fee
- Provide a current email address at which to receive the approved ETIAS.
As the approved ETIAS for Trinidadian citizens is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport, applicants with dual national should take care to use the same passport to complete the online form as the one they will later use to travel to the Schengen Area.
For this same reason, if the traveler’s passport expires during the validity of the ETIAS for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, it will be necessary to submit a new online visa waiver application from outside of the Schengen Area in order to be able to return.
Applicants also need to meet the personal information requirements for an ETIAS for Trinidadians to complete and submit the online form. It is necessary to complete the application with the following passport, contact, and travel information:
- Name and surname
- Current address
- Passport number
- Passport expiry/issue date
- Contact Phone number
- Intended date of entry to Europe
- Flight information
When completing the ETIAS form, applicants are advised to carefully check all the information provided is correct and matches the details of their Trinidadian passport. This is because even small mistakes may result in delays in receiving the approved visa waiver, or even the rejection of the application.
Apply for ETIAS Travel Authorization for Trinidadians
Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are able to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe through a simple online application which only takes minutes to complete.
The process of applying for an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago is quick and straightforward. Applicants can complete the application from the comfort of their own home from anywhere outside of the Schengen Area.
After filling in the personal and travel information listed in the requirements above, the applicant is required to answer a few security questions and pay the ETIAS fee to submit the visa waiver application for Trinidadians.
The security questions on the ETIAS form cover the following topics:
- Prior travel to Europe
- Travel to conflict areas
- Employment history
- Human trafficking
- Criminal convictions.
All of the information provided on the form is screened against several European databases in order to pre-identify any risks and improve the security of EU citizens.
All of the security databases used are managed by eu-LISA, the EU Agency which manages the operations of its large-scale information systems and includes SIS, VIC, Interpol, and a dedicated ETIAS watchlist.
Unlike with similar visa waiver systems for the US and Canada, those who apply for an electronic travel authorization for Europe with a criminal record for a minor offense should not have any problem receiving an approved visa. The important thing is to answer the ETIAS security questions answers honestly.
However, applicants with a criminal record for the following serious offenses are unlikely to receive an approved ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago:
- Any offense related to human trafficking
- Drug offenses with a sentence of more than 2 years
- A public order conviction with a sentence of more than 3 years.
If an ETIAS application from a citizen of Trinidad or Tobago raises a red flag during automated revision, the application will be manually revised by an ETIAS official.
Travel to Europe with an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago
The majority of ETIAS visa waiver applications will pass through the automated screening process and be approved within 24 hours on business days.
In some rare cases, the screening process may take up to 72 hours to complete. Therefore, Trinidadian citizens are advised to submit an ETIAS application no later than 3 days before the intended date of entry to Europe, to allow for sufficient processing time.
Once approved, an ETIAS authorization for Trinidadians and Tobagoins is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport. The applicant will also receive an approval notice via email with a copy of the approved ETIAS.
Although not mandatory, travelers are nevertheless advised to print a paper copy of the ETIAS for Trinidadians to carry with them when traveling to Europe, in the rare case of a problem with the electronic system.
In most cases, travelers from Trinidad and Tobago will simply be able to present the ETIAS-linked biometric passport to board transportation to Europe and to an EU border official to sain entry to the Schengen countries.
ETIAS for Trinidadian Citizens - FAQ
Can citizens of Trinidad and Tobago visit Europe without a visa?
Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago can currently visit Europe without a visa for short stays for tourism, business, or transit purposes. However, from 2021, it will be compulsory to submit an ETIAS visa waiver application to travel to Schengen Area countries for the same purposes and period of time.
An approved ETIAS electronic visa waiver for Trinidadian citizens is a multiple entry authorization that allows the holder to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area with each entry, within every 180-day period.
As it is valid for a total of 3 years from the date of issue, travelers do not need to apply for an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago before every trip to Europe.
Can I work in Europe with an ETIAS for Trinidad and Tobago passport holders?
An approved ETIAS visa waiver from Trinidad and Tobago allows the holder to travel to the Schengen zone for purposes of tourism, business, or to transit to an onward destination.
Trinidadians wishing to work in Europe are not able to do so with an ETIAS. Working in Europe with a Trinidadian ETIAS could lead to the revocation of the visa waiver.
Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who wish to work in Europe are required to apply for the appropriate national visa or work permit from an embassy or consulate of the individual Schengen country they intend to visit.
Can I use an ETIAS from Trinidad and Tobago to study in Europe?
It is not possible to study in Europe with an ETIAS for Trinidadians. Studying in the Schengen Area invalidates the agreed-upon conditions of the ETIAS travel document at the time of the application.
Trinidadians and Tobagoins who attempt to study with an ETIAS may have their visa waiver revoked and be barred from applying for a new ETIAS for a period of time.
In order to study in Europe from Trinidad and Tobago, it is necessary to apply for the relevant study visa from a diplomatic office of the individual European country which the applicant wishes to visit.