Understandably, travelers to Norway would want to know if the new travel policy will affect their future travel plans to the Scandinavian country. Foreign nationals from visa-free countries have long been able to travel to Norway and many Schengen countries without visas but they're valid passports, but is that set to change?
Keep reading to find out more.
The European Commission has recently released a new travel policy called ETIAS. ETIAS is the European Travel Information and Authorization System which is a security vetting System to check the identity of travelers coming into the Schengen Area. This System scans security databases to see if interested travelers will pose any risk to the host country.
ETIAS is not a visa but a visa waiver system since travelers from visa-exempt countries will still not need visas to enter Norway like before.
Applicants are required to submit their applications and get ETIAS approval at least 96 hours before their trip, and once they get it, ETIAS is designed to last for at least 3 years before the need for a new one. This travel authorization document is an online application and will be used to enter Norway and any other Schengen country via air, train, or land travel.
When Will ETIAS Become Active?
The European Commission has announced the testing of the System this year, but it will become mandatory for all visa free travelers in 2024. During the testing stage, eligible visitors will still be allowed to enter the country with only their passports, but once it becomes fully active in 2024, they will not be allowed to enter Norway without one.
Who Is Eligible For ETIAS?
This travel document will only be issued to travelers who are citizens of visa free countries. There are more than 50 countries on the visa exempt and they
ETIAS is not issued by the Norwegian embassy but is available online through an electronic system where applicants must submit their personal information for approval.
A valid passport is one of the few documents required, so ETIAS is a large information-based system.
Applicants can use the official platform or secure third-party websites like VisaHQ. The application process on VisaHQ is quite easy in a few steps.
Choose Norway as your destination
Choose your country of citizenship
Complete the application form
Upload your passport bio page and other required documents
Pay the application fee
Submit for approval
Since you don't have to visit the Norwegian embassy or any visa application center to submit physical copies of your documents, you can get your ETIAS approval from the comfort of your home. The System will scan your details across multiple databases, and if it doesn't register a hit, the approval will be forwarded to your email.
What Will Happen If There Is A Security Alert?
If an applicant's information triggers a security alert, the details will be forwarded to the manual ETIAS unit of Norway to review in detail by Norway's immigration and border control.
If they make a decision that the System was right, the application will be denied, and the applicant will have to apply for a new ETIAS; if they don't consider the applicant a security risk, the approval will be granted.
The application fee for ETIAS is non refundable, €7. This fee must be paid with a credit or debit card and is only charged to travelers between 18-70 years; minors pay no fees, nor do travelers over 70.
Cause of ETIAS Rejection
Applicants' ETIAS applications may be rejected if they are known criminals facing sanctions or have prison terms not yet fulfilled. Another reason an application may be rejected is that the applicant used wrong or false information or invalid documents. Those who have been to war regions or regions infected by a pandemic or epidemic may be denied Entry for a while as they may pose wider risks to the general population.
There are multiple factors that may cause an Etias application to be rejected if your application was rejected once, you still have the option to apply for a new one and may get the approval to travel to Europe. The Commission has also said that applicants with criminal records in the past can still apply for ETIAS as long as they have settled their cases with the law in their respective countries.
'Do I need ETIAS for Norway?' You only do this if you are from a visa exempt country. Visitors from non-visa-exempt countries should apply for a Schengen visa instead. Visit VisaHQ now to apply for ETIAS if you qualify.