Canada and European Union (EU) member states, as well as most European countries both inside and outside the EU, have a long history together and share many of the same values. Canada maintains strong ties with the EU through strategic partnerships in political relations, economic and trade relations, and a shared worldview on the environment and climate, democracy and human rights, and many other issues.
The EU has announced the introduction of ETIAS, which will take effect in 2024. When the program becomes operational next year, Canadian citizens who want to travel to countries in the Schengen region of Europe for a short period (90) for general tourism, business, family visits, transit, or medical reasons will need to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver before they can be allowed entry.
The ETIAS application process is nothing to stress about. Canadians can register for the ETIAS through a simple online process and expect their application to be processed and approved within minutes.
Before we dive into answering all the important questions about ETIAS for Canadian citizens, let’s take a moment to briefly explain what the ETIAS program is and why it was conceived in the first place.
What Is ETIAS?
ETIAS is the acronym for European Travel Information and Authorization System. An ETIAS travel authorisation will be required for visa-exempt foreign nationals, including Canadian nationals, who want to travel to European countries within the Schengen area for short trips (90 days or less).
The ETIAS travel authorization is linked directly to a traveler’s passport and it permits multiple entries into Europe. It is valid for 3 years. If the passport expires before the three-year period, the ETIAS authorization becomes invalid as well. As a result, if a traveler gets a new passport, they must apply again for a new ETIAS travel authorization. Travelers who don’t have a valid travel authorization may not be allowed to board the plane, bus, or ferry.
Why Is the ETIAS Travel Authorization Being Implemented?
The EU is implementing the ETIAS program to strengthen the borders of the Schengen area by screening visa-free visitors prior to their arrival to determine whether they pose a security, illegal immigration, or public health risk. This travel authorization system is similar to a database in that it will collect, track, and update necessary information about visitors in order to determine whether it is safe for them to enter Schengen countries.
In 2016, legal processes were initiated to pass the ETIAS. And after a couple of postponements, the system is expected to come into effect in 2024. The application process for the ETIAS visa waiver is entirely online, so eligible travelers can apply from anywhere with an internet connection.
The ETIAS system is similar to Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) system, which is also required for visa-exempt foreign nationals visiting Canada. The main difference is that an eTA is only required when flying to Canada or transiting through a Canadian airport, whereas an ETIAS authorization is required when arriving in Europe by air, sea, or land.
How Do I Apply For ETIAS As A Canadian Citizen?
Canadian citizens do not need to visit an embassy or consulate to obtain an ETIAS travel document. The application process is done online. It would only take a few minutes to fill out the required information, which includes answering some questions, paying the ETIAS processing fee, and submitting the form.
ETIAS requirements for Canadian citizens:
Your passport must still be valid for at least three months after the date you plan to leave the Schengen region. In addition, your passport must contain a section that is machine-readable on the same page as your biometric information.
Valid email address:
When filling out the ETIAS application form, you will need to give a valid email address. This email address will be used to keep you informed about the status of your application and other relevant information.
Canadian citizens will be required to provide travel information such as the first country they intend to visit, flight tickets, accommodation, and other pertinent information regarding their entry into Schengen.
Debit card or credit card:
The ETIAS application process concludes with the payment of the required fee. For the application fee, you’ll need a debit or credit card. You cannot submit your application unless the transaction is completed.
Filling out the ETIAS online application form:
Note that all of the information you give must match exactly what is on your passport.
Canadians will need to give the following information as part of their ETIAS application:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Your parents’ information
- Your Canadian passport details (number, issues/expiry date)
- Current address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Current occupation
- The first Schengen country you will enter
- Details about previous trips to Europe, including whether you have ever been ordered to leave the territory of any country.
- Medical condition
- Criminal history
- Any past visits to war or conflict zones
To finish the application, Canadians will pay the ETIAS processing fee online using a debit or credit card.
How Much Does ETIAS Cost for Canadian Citizens?
The application fee for ETIAS is €7, which is equivalent to $10.10 CAD. Adults over the age of 70 and children under the age of 18 are exempt from paying the fee. Payment can be made with either a debit card or a credit card.
How Long Does It Take to Process an ETIAS Application for Canadian Citizens?
Most applications are processed within minutes, and you will be notified via email that your application has been approved. However, if additional checks or documents are required, your application may take longer to process. In this case, It could take 96 hours or even 30 to get a decision. Hence, you should apply for an ETIAS travel authorization well ahead of time before your planned journey.
Canadians who don’t have any other travel permission and are still waiting for a decision on their ETIAS application will not be allowed to enter the EU.
What Should I Do if My ETIAS Application is Denied?
Your ETIAS application will be accepted without a doubt if you meet the requirements and provide accurate information. But if your application is rejected, you can either reapply and make sure all the information you provide is accurate this time, or you can appeal the decision.
Do Minors Require an ETIAS?
Yes. The EU requires all travelers, no matter how old they are, to have a separate ETIAS that has been approved.
Applicants under the age of 18 may have a parent or legal guardian complete the application on their behalf. Keep in mind that children under the age of 18 are not required to pay the ETIAS application fee.
Which Countries Do Canadian Citizens Need an ETIAS To Travel To?
Canadian citizens are required to have an ETIAS document for travel to any of the following 30 European countries:
How Long is the ETIAS for Canadian Citizens Valid For?
The ETIAS travel document is valid for 3 year beginning on the date it was issued. If your Canadian passport expires prior to the three-year validity period, your ETIAS will also expire. If you get a new passport, you’ll need to reapply for ETIAS.
How Long Can Canadian Citizens Stay in Europe with an ETIAS?
With an ETIAS travel authorization, Canadians can stay in Europe for up to 90 days over the course of 180 days. The 180-day period begins on the first day you enter one of the 30 Schengen countries.
Will Canadian Citizens Need a New ETIAS for Every Travel to Europe?
No. Canadian citizens with a valid ETIAS travel authorization do not need to reapply for a new one before each trip to the Schengen area. The ETIAS permits multiple entries and has a three-year validity period.
Are Canadian Citizens Allowed to Work in Europe with an ETIAS?
No. A valid ETIAS does not give you the right to work in any of the European countries requiring an ETIAS. To work in one of the countries, you need to obtain a work visa. However, if you want to attend a business conference or meeting, an ETIAS travel authorization is enough.
Are Canadian Citizens Permitted to Study in Europe with an ETIAS?
Canadian citizens who wish to enroll in short-term study programs (90 days or less) in one of the EU countries need to submit an online application for an ETIAS travel authorization. A student visa is needed for those who want to study for a long time.
When Will ETIAS Be Required for Canadian Citizens Traveling to Europe?
2024. Canadians can freely travel to Schengen countries before the ETIAS requirements take effect next year.*
Do I Need an ETIAS If I’m Only Transiting Through an Airport in Schengen?
No, you do not require a travel authorization from ETIAS if you are going to be staying in the transit area the whole time. If you are leaving the airport transit area, you will need an approved ETIAS.
I Have a Valid Long-Stay Visa from One of the Schengen Countries; Do I Still Need to Get an ETIAS?
No, Canadians with a valid long-stay visa or residence permit for a country that is part of the EU are not required to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization to travel through Schengen regions. You’ll be allowed entry to any Schengen country if you show border authorities your visa.