Each country decides how to manage the entry of foreign citizens at its borders by establishing a series of requirements and protocols. In this way, they ensure that there are no possible threats in the national territory and that public order is not altered.
In the case of the European Union, which is an association that establishes common agreements for many countries, the entry of foreigners into border regions will be regulated through the ETIAS certificate.
As of the year 2022, it will be a mandatory requirement to enter Spain and certain parts of the territory known as the Schengen Area. Next, we explain more about this new requirement and what you must do to obtain it.
What is the ETIAS certificate?
The ETIAS certificate, also known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System, is a permit that authorizes the citizen to cross the borders of all member countries of the Schengen Area.
In this area there are 26 European countries that agreed to abolish their internal borders with other nations to allow the free movement of people, goods, services and capital.
Since a form of control is needed despite free access between one territory and another, the European Union created the ETIAS to regulate the entry of citizens who do not need a tourist visa to move.
Other countries, such as Canada and the United States, have their own access permit at internal borders due to the great extent of their geography.
What citizens do not need a tourist visa?
There are currently 62 countries whose citizens can travel to the Schengen Area for 90 days without having to apply for a visa. Some of them are mentioned below.
Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, United States, Georgia, Grenada, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Israel, Macau, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Timor Leste, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
How to apply for the ETIAS certificate?
Fortunately, the application process is very simple and takes about 10 minutes to complete, but it is advisable to apply for it a few days before traveling since if it is denied, you can present the necessary documentation.
The European Union must enable the form on its official website, each interested foreigner can enter and fill out the form providing the exact information that is requested. It will be basic personal information.
After a few minutes, or up to 48 hours, the citizen will receive an email response from the issuing agent. If approved, the document issued must be printed and presented together with the passport at the time of boarding a plane.
If the request is rejected, the email will give the reasons; if it is due to lack of documentation, foreigners have the opportunity to present them again within a period of not more than 96 hours.
In the event that the applicant is considered a possible risk to the security of the countries, his permit will be denied.
What are the requirements for applying for the certificate?
The only requirement that is requested for the ETIAS certificate application is to fill out the form with real personal information, for example, first name, last name, gender, country of origin, country of current residency, passport information and questions related to safety and health.
They ask for information on the behavior of the citizen in relation to the use or trafficking of drugs and their participation in criminal acts; the answers will be checked with a database or other documents to prove their veracity. This is why in some people permit is denied.
The citizen who makes the request must have a credit card to make the necessary payments. The amounts and fees to be canceled have not yet been established but this information will be on the website when it is available.
The ETIAS certificate is non-transferable, that is, it is unique for each citizen, even if the citizen has dual nationality.
Foreigners who have two nationalities must register one of their passports on the form and must have it at the time of travel. If they have their second passport when boarding the plain, their access will be denied.
The European Union had anticipated that this certificate would enter into force by the beginning of 2021, however, the necessary processes have been delayed, so it is expected to be a legal requirement by the end of 2022.
Although there is still time for this permit to enter into force, it is recommended that you know the procedures that foreign citizens must do to avoid delays in documentation, so you can maintain a quiet stay without legal inconveniences.