Since Venezuela is part of the European Visa-Exempt Program, all citizens from this nation are allowed to travel without any restriction in the Schengen Area. However, the European Union has announced the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) which affects all visa exempt travelers, including Venezuelans, starting 2021.
This means that as soon as ETIAS is fully implemented, Venezuelan nationals will be required to register online prior to their travels to the Schengen Area. ETIAS is part of an EU intergovernmental legislative initiative created with the intention of improving security within the member states. The ETIAS program will achieve this by requiring travelers from eligible countries, including Venezuelan citizens, to register online for an electronic travel authorization before traveling to Europe from Venezuela.
The information submitted by Venezuelan citizens when they complete their ETIAS application form will be checked against multiple security databases in order to screen applicants prior to granting them entry into the Schengen Zone. This pre-screening is expected to simplify security checks when entering the Schengen Area.
The changes that make ETIAS a mandatory requirement for Venezuelan citizens wishing to visit Schengen countries are scheduled to come into effect as of 2021.
ETIAS will allow Venezuelan citizens into the following 22 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area:
What Should Venezuelans do Before Traveling To Europe
Citizens of Venezuela are currently not required to apply for a visa to enter the Schengen Zone for short stays. At the moment, they are granted entry into any of the Schengen countries as well as unlimited freedom to travel between member states, just by carrying a valid passport.
However, traveling with this visa exemption will entail an additional mandatory requirement starting 2021. Once ETIAS comes into full effect, all Venezuelan citizens will have the obligation to apply for an online travel authorization prior to their departure towards any Schengen member country.
Venezuelan passport holders who wish to visit Europe are currently only required to present a valid passport with a minimum remaining validity of 3 months beyond the intended departure date. Spain, thanks to its historical ties with Venezuela, is an exception, though, since it presently allows Venezuelan citizens entry into the country, even when arriving with an expired passport.
Nevertheless, starting 2021, all Venezuelan nationals will also have to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. Obtaining an approved ETIAS will entail paying for the visa-waiver fee using a credit or debit card as well as having a valid email address.
Once the ETIAS is granted, the approved travel authorization will be sent to Venezuelan passport holders in PDF format via secure email to the electronic address provided during the application process.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for Venezuelans
From 2021 onwards, all Venezuelan nationals should be mindful of the ETIAS application program and apply online before their trip to any Schengen Area state. ETIAS will grant Venezuelan citizens entry and free transit throughout all member states of the Schengen Area.
Travelers visiting Europe with an approved ETIAS from Venezuela may spend up to 90 days within any 180-day period in the Schengen member states using this travel authorization.
ETIAS will allow travelers from eligible countries, including Venezuela, multiple short-stay entries into the countries listed above for 3 years from the date it is approved. In the event that the citizen’s passport should expire before ETIAS’ validity period is over, the travel authorization will be automatically rendered null as soon as the passport surpasses its expiration date.
Venezuelan citizens in any of the following situations are advised to request a Schengen visa rather than an ETIAS visa waiver:
- Visiting Schengen for work or business purposes
- Studying in a Schengen member country for more than 3 consecutive months within a 6-month period in the Schengen Area
- Moving to a Schengen member state or wishing to stay for longer than the allotted 90 days
- Visiting any of the European countries that have not yet signed the Schengen agreement, such as the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, or Romania.
ETIAS Requirements for Venezuelan Citizens
Venezuelan passport holders wishing to travel to Europe for tourism purposes with intended stays shorter than 3 months will be able to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver online. Obtaining an ETIAS is a straightforward procedure that does not require visiting an embassy or consulate, since the process can be completed by applying online.
Once it is in full effect, Venezuelan citizens will be asked to complete a simple online ETIAS application form with their personal information and travel details. They will also be required to answer some simple health and security related questions in order to be eligible for admittance into the Schengen Area.
The application form is easy to fill out and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Venezuelan citizens filling out the ETIAS form will be asked to disclose information such as the following:
- Full name, as it appears on the first pages of their Venezuelan passport
- Passport information such as country and date of issuance, and expiration date, and passport number
- Travel plans, such as intended country of entry and date of arrival as well as departure date
Venezuelan nationals completing the ETIAS application form will be required to provide the following:
- A valid biometric, machine-readable passport
- A current email address to which their visa waiver will be securely sent in digital format.
- A debit or credit card to cover ETIAS fees
Most applications can be filled out in under 10 minutes and will usually be processed and delivered electronically in under 72 hours. Applying for ETIAS involves paying a one-off issuance fee that can be covered using a credit or debit card.
Venezuelan nationals planning to visit Schengen countries are advised to check this page regularly for updates regarding this European travel authorization including special passport conditions as well as payment options. Venezuelan travelers with dual citizenship are advised to keep in mind that ETIAS is non-transferrable, and remains electronically linked to the exact passport used to apply for the travel authorization. This means that visitors with more than one nationality must make sure to travel on the same passport provided during the ETIAS application process.
All ETIAS applicants’ data, including Venezuelan passport holders’ will be submitted to a pre-screening procedure before they are granted an electronic authorization to travel to Europe. This online registration and background check have been put in place in an effort to improve the security of the member states, as well as preventing individuals that could potentially threaten the security of the EU from entering the Schengen Area.
Once a citizen’s travel authorization is approved, it will remain valid for a period of 3 consecutive years or until the passport associated to the citizen’s ETIAS expires, whichever happens first.
The approved ETIAS will be sent to the candidate’s email address in digital format. All Venezuelan nationals who wish to travel to Europe are advised to apply for their ETIAS visa waiver at least 3 days ahead of their intended date of departure in order to account for processing, screening and delivery time.
ETIAS from Venezuela Security Procedures
The ETIAS visa waiver will allow Venezuelan nationals to enter and visit any of the territories in the Schengen agreement once they have been screened by the EU Border Control and immigration authorities. The information submitted by applicants will be thoroughly checked against multiple security databases such as Interpol and the ETIAS watchlist to maintain the highest level of security within the area.
Data will also be cross-checked with other databases including SIS, VIS, Europol, and EURODAC. Individuals with suspected criminal activity are likely to be denied an ETIAS in order to prevent them from entering Schengen.
All of the aforementioned security procedures are being put in place in order to help identify individuals who illegally enter the area, as well as prevent identity theft and fraud.
An ETIAS visa waiver for Venezuelan citizens is likely to be refused in the event that the applicant has been involved in any major criminal activity. The ETIAS system aims to identify and prevent terrorist threats as well as human trafficking.
Therefore, it is possible that certain countries still grant entry to travelers that have a history of minor criminal offences. However, Venezuelans with serious criminal records or that have been convicted over issues related to drugs, violence or public order will most likely be denied access into most Schengen countries.
Traveling to Europe from Venezuela has certain restrictions regarding luggage. Under no circumstance should people travel with drugs, explosives, firearms or other restricted or forbidden items. There are also restrictions on other items such as alcohol and tobacco.
ETIAS for Venezuelans - FAQ
How much time are Venezuelan passport holders allowed to stay in Europe?
Citizens of Venezuela are currently allowed to enter, travel between, and stay within the Schengen borders for up to 90 days within a 180-day period visa-free. Both the 90-day period, and the 180-day period begin on the day that a traveler first enters any member country.
Venezuelan travelers are granted unlimited visa-free entries into the Schengen Area as long as the total sum of days spent in all member countries does not surpass 90 days within 180 days.
As soon as ETIAS is fully operational, Venezuelan tourists will be granted the same time to visit Schengen. Therefore, Venezuelans traveling to Europe with an ETIAS may stay in the Schengen Area for a total of 90 days out of every 180 days, as explained in the visa-free situation detailed above.
What happens when a Venezuelan citizen spends more than 90 days in Europe?
Venezuelans have the obligation to leave the Schengen Area once they reach the sum total of 90 days spent within any and all of the member countries. Citizens of Venezuela must depart towards a non-Schengen country they are allowed to enter. This means that they must either be granted visa-free entry into this third country, or have a valid visa to enter its borders.
Tourists from Venezuela must then remain outside the Schengen Zone until the 180-day period detailed above runs out. As soon as they reach day 181, Venezuelan citizens are granted a new 90 days to spend in the European Union within a second 180-day period. Failure to leave Schengen once the 90 days run out, often means that a Venezuelan national could face serious fines, or even deportation.
What happens when a Venezuelan passport expires while the traveler is in Europe?
Venezuelan citizens traveling visa-free to the European Union are required to have a passport that will remain valid for 3 months beyond the intended departure date. This requirement will also apply once ETIAS is operational.
That said, if a Venezuelan national’s passport expires while they are in the Schengen Area, the citizen must contact the Venezuelan embassy or consulate in order to request a new passport, or travel authorization. The latter would temporarily replace the tourist’s expired passport and allow the individual to return to their home country.
Travelers are reminded that ETIAS is rendered null as soon as the citizen’s passport expires. This means that even though an individual’s ETIAS is still within its 3-year validity period, as soon as the associated passport expires, the travel authorization will no longer be valid.