Visa-exempt travelers from visa-free countries will soon be required to get an ETIAS Spain to visit the country by the end of November. The new policy will supplant the current policy that is still in place and has lasted for many years. The European Union also claims that the application process will be fast and efficient and will be done online, so applicants will not need to visit a Spanish embassy or consulate.
With a smartphone or laptop, they will be able to complete the ETIAS form electronically and receive confirmation and approval in a matter of minutes. Insiders also claim that more than 95% of applications submitted will be successful since the process will be straightforward and efficient.
What Is ETIAS Spain?
ETIAS (Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System) is a new program that is set to go into force towards the end of 2023. The security system was conceived in 2016 by the European Commission. It was developed over the years to replace the current system for visa-free visitors coming to Spain or any other Schengen country.
For now, all a visa-free visitor needs is to show a valid passport at the airport or border post in Spain or any other Schengen countries, and they will be allowed into the country.
However, in light of the rise in security threats due to global terrorism, the Schengen authorities decided to come up with a security system that can evaluate the security threat posed by any visitor coming to the Schengen Zone. ETIAS system will evaluate the information provided by an applicant and run it through an independent security system. It will also track the movement of visitors within the Schengen Area and update their records in real-time.
This system is not designed to serve as a visa, nor is it meant to place restrictions on the movement of travelers. Instead, it is simply designed to evaluate the eligibility of visitors before they arrive in Spain or the Schengen Zone.
The authorization will use biometric data, which will be linked to the traveler's passport. Once a traveler is issued an ETIAS, it will be recorded against their passport, so once they submit the passport at any of the airports or border checkpoints in the Schengen Area, immigration officers will get their full information and eligibility status.
Who Needs ETIAS?
ETIAS is not for all visitors coming to Spain but only for travelers who are citizens of 63 current visa-exempt countries who can enter Spain without a visa. If you can enter Spain visa free currently, you will need Etias to come November 2023 and beyond when next you visit. But visitors who are not from any visa-free countries will still need to apply and get a Schengen visa to enter Spain.
ETIAS Spain Application Requirements
Applicants coming to Spain will need to provide passport information issued by an eligible country such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and any of the other eligible countries. The passport must be valid for at least three months before they depart Spain. The passport must also have at least two blank pages and not be older than ten years.
They must also pay an application fee using their credit or debit card, which is only €7. Their email address and current phone number will also be requested.
In addition to the above, they must also provide their basic information, such as their full name, nationality, date of birth, contact details, work experience, and education qualifications. They must indicate in the appropriate column if they have been deported from any Schengen country or visited any war-torn country.
It is important that only valid information is provided, as missing or incorrect entries may prolong the process or even lead to cancellation.
How Long Will It Take To Process ETIAS?
ETIAS will take only a few minutes to process your application because the system is electronic. You will not need to visit the Embassy to submit any documents or interact with any official. However, if your information triggers a security alert, your details will be passed onto a manual processing team at the Spanish ETIAS unit for further checks, which may take up to a week or more.
ETIAS Spain Validity
This authorization is valid for three years once your application is approved. You can use it to enter and exit Spain as you wish freely, but you can't stay in the country, or any other Schengen country for that matter, for more than 90 days per visit. Furthermore, you will be free to visit as many countries in the Schengen Area as you wish.
Where to Apply for ETIAS Spain
You can apply for ETIAS Spain online via VisaHQ with the following steps
Choose Spain as your destination
Select your citizenship
Complete the application form correctly
Pay the visa fee
Submit for ETIAS Spain application for processing