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European Visa and Travel Requirements for Canadians

Thinking of travelling to Europe in the next few years? Then you should prepare for the European visa and travel requirements that Canadians will have to meet starting in 2021. Learn how to meet the travel requirements and have a stress-free European vacation.

Visa Requirements for Canadians in Europe: All You Need to Know

The European Union announced in March this year that they will soon introduce new visa and travel requirements for Canadians travelling abroad. While Canadians have one of the most powerful passports in the world, starting in 2021, they will need to apply for a travel authorization in order to travel to countries in Europe. On the bright side, the application process should be quick and easy, and the visa will be valid for three years.

person holding their Canadian passport at the airport with plane tickets in hand
European Visa and Travel Requirements for Canadians | Skyscanner Canada

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System. The system was first proposed by the EU Commission in 2016, after numerous events prompted safety concerns in European cities. ETIAS was approved in 2018, and the setup is expected to take three years to implement. Overall, ETIAS will act as an added security check for visitors travelling to Schengen-zone European countries.

What’s the Schengen Zone?

The Schengen Zone is comprised of all EU countries, with the exception of the UK, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania. It also includes four non-EU countries including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. From 2021 onward, ETIAS will be required for visitors from 60 different countries, including Canada, the US, and the UK. This new system of European visa and travel requirements applies to Canadians of all ages, including minors.

Is it easy to apply for an ETIAS?

ETIAS is an easier application process than typical visas. While applying for visas can be time-consuming, costly, and complicated, ETIAS requires much less information. It will be similar to existing visa waiver programs, such as Canada’s eTA, USA’s ESTA, and Australia’s eTA. To apply for ETIAS, all users need is a valid passport, debit/credit card, and email address. They will also need to fill out a short online form. The cost of applying for ETIAS is seven Euros (around $10 CAD) for individuals 18 and older, and is free for individuals under 18.

Applying for ETIAS

On the form, applicants must provide basic personal information such as their date and place of birth, address, parental information, and passport details. Applicants will also have to answer questions relating to drug use, terrorism, human trafficking, travel to conflict areas, criminal history, employment history, past European travel information, and security information.

After submitting an application, it is expected to take 24 hours or less for it to be approved. If rejected, applicants can re-apply with additional material. Once approved, the visa remains valid for up to three years. Canadian travellers will be able to travel an unlimited number of times to Europe in this three-year time period, and to an unlimited number of Schengen countries.

European City | Skyscanner Canada
European Visa and Travel Requirements for Canadians | Skyscanner Canada

Entry Country Requirements

Keep in mind that your application with ETIAS will be with one specific Schengen country. This means that you must first enter Europe through the country which you applied for with ETIAS, before you can visit other Schengen countries. Make sure you plan out your flights or application country accordingly.

Before booking travel and departing, it’s always best to check entry requirements with official sources, such as the Government of Canada travel website, or your destination’s embassy.

Need tips on planning a trip to Europe? Check out these top European summer destinations.

Canadians Travelling to Europe

While there will be stricter European visa and travel requirements for Canadians travelling to Europe after 2021, don’t let it deter you from your dream European vacation. Europe will still be accessible to Canadians, with a quick and easy visa waiver program in ETIAS. If you find ETIAS to be a hassle, take advantage of the two remaining without any restrictions. What are you waiting for? Book your European adventure now!

Disclaimer: Information correct as of July 23, 2019, obtained from www.etiasvisa.com. Canadians should always check the latest requirements at travel.gc.ca before booking a trip.