Vanuatu offers economic citizenship to eligible applicants who are looking to live the visa-free lifestyle that comes with a national passport from the Pacific island country. If you already have Vanuatu nationality, or you are looking to obtain Vanuatu citizenship, you may have heard about the recent ETIAS visa waiver requirements for Vanuatuans. As its name implies, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS for Vanuatu citizens) is a kind of travel document that will apply to the entire Schengen area—a group of 26 European countries that collectively grants entry to nationals of certain countries (including Vanuatu). It is these countries—i.e. those whose citizens traditionally did not need a visa for Schengen-area travel—whose nationals will be subject to the ETIAS visa waiver requirements when the system becomes operational toward the end of year 2022. This blog will cover the ETIAS eligibility for citizens of Vanuatu. Learn about the ETIAS requirements for Vanuatu as well as the answer to the essential question: “What Countries Do Vanuatu Nationals Need an ETIAS for?” After reading the below ETIAS application advice, you will come away relieved to know that ETIAS will not significantly impact visa-free travel for Vanuatu passport holders.
ETIAS Requirements for Vanuatu
- As mentioned above, ETIAS is a travel document that citizens of Vanuatu will need if they attempt to visit the European Schengen area.
- The goal of ETIAS is to prevent undesirable travelers from entering the zone, by subjecting all travelers to security screenings.
- These screenings will filter an applicant’s identity through various security systems, which will highlight applications that come from individuals who have a criminal history or those who have previously spent time in a dangerous country, or those who are involved in (or are expected to be involved in) terrorist activity.
- Please note that ETIAS will only apply to citizens of countries like Vanuatu—i.e. countries whose citizens have visa-free access to the Schengen area. Individuals who do not have visa-free access to the zone (i.e. those who traditionally need to apply for a Schengen visa in order to enter it) will not need to apply for ETIAS. Because the Schengen visa application process already involves a security screening, it would be redundant to make Schengen visa seekers also apply for ETIAS.
ETIAS Eligibility for Citizens of Vanuatu
- Vanuatuan passport holders who are looking to apply for ETIAS will need only the following in order to be eligible to apply for the authorization:
- Internet and email access
- 7 EUR application fee
Differences between ETIAS and Schengen Visa
Although ETIAS may sound like a visa—it’s not. Here are some of the main differences between ETIAS and a traditional Schengen visa:
- The ETIAS application is not country-specific, whereas applicants for Schengen visas apply through a specific Schengen country. For example, if France is your primary destination in the Schengen area, and you are applying for a visa to the zone, you will apply for a French Schengen visa. In contrast, an ETIAS applicant who is looking to travel to France will simply apply for an ETIAS—not a French ETIAS.
- The ETIAS application is entirely online and there are no in-person requirements, whereas the Schengen visa application process involves the fulfillment of several in-person requirements, including biometric information submission and an interview.
- ETIAS is electronic in form; unlike a visa, it is not a physical document.
- The requirements for ETIAS are minimal (applicants need their passports in order to apply) whereas Schengen visa applicants must submit numerous physical documents and materials.
- There is only one kind of ETIAS, whereas there are multiple different “types” of Schengen visas (tourist, business, medical, etc)
- You will receive and hold your ETIAS in your email. In contrast, Schengen visas are pasted directly into the holder’s passport.
- The ETIAS application process will take around 10 minutes to complete for the majority of applicants, whereas the Schengen visa requirements can take days—or even weeks—to complete. Relatedly, it can take up to 60 days (in extreme cases) to receive a Schengen visa, while most ETIAS applicants will receive theirs in under 10 minutes.
- ETIAS applies exclusively to individuals who do not normally need any kind of authorization in order to enter the zone.
- The ETIAS authorization for Vanuatu citizens will cost 7 EUR, while Schengen visa applicants pay a minimum of 80 EUR for a Schengen visa.
What Countries Do Vanuatu Nationals Need an ETIAS for?
- ETIAS authorization for Vanuatu citizens will apply to the following 26 countries, which comprise the European Schengen area:
- Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- ETIAS for Vanuatu citizens will therefore affect anyone who tries to travel to the above countries. For example, prior to ETIAS, Vanuatuans could travel to France without first obtaining any authorization. Once the system becomes operational, they will have to obtain ETIAS in order to be let into the country.
How to Apply for ETIAS for Vanuatu Citizens
- Access the ETIAS app/website
- The ETIAS application will be accessible through an application (which you will be able to download) and a website.
- Pay the fee
- The price of ETIAS for Vanuatu citizens is 7 EUR. You will be able to pay for ETIAS through the website/app, via credit/debit.
- Fill out the form
- The ETIAS application form is the main component of the ETIAS application. On it, you will fill in basic biographical information (name, birthdate, etc) and answer a number of questions about your trip, your criminal background, and travel history.
- Submit your application
- Once you completely fill out the form, you will submit it online. At this point, it will be immediately be filtered through various Schengen security systems. If they find anything (i.e. if you show up in any of the systems either because of previous travel or security issues) your application will be examined more thoroughly by an official (rather than via a machine). If you are judged not to present a security or other risk to the Schengen area, you will receive your ETIAS…
- Receive your ETIAS
- If you are approved for ETIAS, you should receive an electronic version of the ETIAS in your email. You can then show this email (containing your ETIAS) to whoever requests it when you attempt to enter the Schengen area.
- Once you are granted your ETIAS, you can use it to enter the Schengen area for three years, at which point it will expire and you must obtain another (via the same process).
For more ETIAS application advice, as well as guidance to obtain Vanuatu citizenship, please contact us here.