Starting from January 2021, Canadians intent on travelling to Europe for business or pleasure will need to apply for authorization – an ETIAS visa waiver, and to pay a fee.
Traveling to Europe from Canada
Now, Canadian citizens do not require a visa waiver for short-term stays for tourism, family, or business purposes. But once the ETIAS program is fully implemented in 2021, Canadian citizens will require an ETIAS visa waiver in order to travel to the Schengen zone.
Canadian citizens are allowed to go into countries in the Schengen Zone for business or travel purposes for up to 90 days. During these 90 days, these visitors are not allowed to work or study, but can engage in business and tourism activities.
ETIAS – Europe Visa Waiver for Canadians
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It is a completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. The idea behind these strict travel controls is that travellers can be prescreened before boarding their flight to Europe. The ETIAS visa waiver is designed to reduce travel restrictions while improving safety standards for international travel.
All Canadian citizens are required to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver in order to travel to the Schengen zone, minors included.
The ETIAS visa waiver is a travel authorization for business or touristic purposes, and will not be a substitute for a student or working visa. Any Canadians who wish to live, study, work, or remain in Europe longer than 90 days, will have to apply for a different type of visa.
Visa Waiver Requirements for Canadians
There are a few visa waiver requirements for Canadian citizens travelling to Europe. Canadians will need a valid passport, email address, and valid credit card or debit card. Unless they provide these documents, any potential travellers to the European Union will not be able to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
When submitting their Europe visa waiver application, Canadian citizens must also pay the fee in advance via a secure credit card or debit card. Once approved, the ETIAS travel authorization will be sent to the applicant’s inbox.
To apply for the ETIAS you need:
- A valid passport with a minimum validity of 3 months from the date of arrival
- A debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS application fee
- An email address
Online ETIAS Visa Waiver Application
Canadians will have to follow these steps to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver:
First step: filling out the application form
The ETIAS application is expected to take about 10 minutes to fill out. There will be several fields to fill. You must give the following information:
- Your first name, last name, last name at birth, date of birth, place of birth
- Information regarding your citizenship
- Email and phone number
- Education and work experience
- First EU country you intend to visit
- Background and eligibility questions which will inquire on your medical condition, travel to war countries or places where you were deported or rejected, as well as criminal records
For minors, the legal guardian must apply for ETIAS
Second step: paying the fee
The ETIAS cost will be €7 for each application. This is only valid for adults over 18 years old, as those under 18 will not have to pay any fees. You can pay the fee by debit or credit card. Immediately after you complete the payment, the ETIAS authorization will start processing.
Third step: submitting the application
After completing the application and paying the fee, you’ll submit it. The system will do the following:
- Check if the information you gave was correct
- Check your eligibility
- Check your risk factors
If what you filled out on the application form is correct, and you are eligible and not risky for the ETIAS, then you will be approved. This whole procedure is expected to be completed in only a few minutes.
However, if there is a hit from the ETIAS, the application will be manually processed. The manual processing is expected to take about 96 hours (4 days), or a maximum of 2 weeks.
Fours step: checking your email inbox for approval
After submitting your application, you should receive your approved ETIAS visa waiver via email within 24 hours, in most cases.
You have only 10 minutes to apply!
The ETIAS online application is expected to only take about 10 minutes to fill. After 10 minutes, you will receive a notification that your session has timed out and you might be asked to start from the beginning. To avoid this, try to go through the application carefully and save your information.
Here is the list of the EU countries which Canadians can enter without visas:
- San Marino
- Czech Republic
- Vatican City
ETIAS Visa Waiver FAQs
What if my ETIAS application is denied?
Within minutes of your submission of the application, you will get a response on the status of your ETIAS. If it is approved, congratulations! If not, though, you will get the denial message. In the denial message, you will also have a reason as to why the ETIAS was denied. You could appeal to this decision or based on the denial reason, you can adjust your application and try again.
How long is the ETIAS valid?
If approved, the ETIAS might be valid for 3 years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. Whether you will get the first period of validity or the second depends on the system’s evaluation of your information and risk.
How many times can I enter the EU with an ETIAS?
You can enter the Schengen Countries for as many times as you want, for as long as your ETIAS is valid, and you have not stayed more than 90 days in a 180 days period.
Do infants and children need ETIAS visa waiver?
Yes, they do.
Please remember that from 2021 onward, Canadian citizens will be required to have a valid visa waiver to travel to Europe for short-term stays.