With the introduction of the ETIAS in the later part of 2021, traveling to Europe’s Schengen area is going to be very different for certain nationalities.
The EU is set to launch the ETIAS visa waiver, beginning from the end of the year 2022, and it is likely to affect how travelers from around the world visit the 26 countries in the Schengen area, including Hungary.
The Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a visa waiver initiative aimed at enhancing the collective security of European Union member states in response to global threats. It was also developed as a convenient mechanism allowing global travelers ease of application and freedom to travel within Europe for a 90-day period.
International travelers interested in visiting Hungary will be able to submit an ETIAS application online and receive their approved ETIAS visa waiver electronically, within a few days.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be a requirement for travelers from certain countries interested in visiting any of the 26 countries in the Schengen area once it is implemented. Traveling to Hungary will, therefore, be a little different than it is currently, once the ETIAS visa waiver becomes mandatory for non-EU foreign travelers.
Before we talk about the ETIAS visa waiver in detail, it is important to make a distinction between the ETIAS visa waiver and the Schengen visa. The ETIAS visa waiver is not a replacement for the Schengen visa. The Schengen visa will still be required for certain nationalities to travel to Hungary and other Schengen area countries for tourism even after the ETIAS visa waiver goes into effect for others.
One of the main requirements for the ETIAS visa waiver that travelers to Hungary will need to consider, is the validity of their passport. In order to submit a successful ETIAS visa waiver application, prospective travelers will need to ensure that their passport is valid well beyond their intended date of departure from Hungary. Failure to meet this requirement may result in their request for an ETIAS visa waiver being denied.
The ETIAS visa waiver requires travelers to complete an online application with essential travel details such as:
The ETIAS visa waiver application form also contains certain security questions that are geared towards building a complete profile of the applicant in order to assess any security risks associated with allowing the applicant entry into Hungary or any of the other Schengen area countries.
Travelers can also expect to answer some basic questions regarding their overall health when completing the application.
The information entered on the ETIAS visa waiver application form is cross-referenced against international security databases to find any existing records of the applicant that may have on databases such as:
Travelers are automatically sent an email regarding the status of their ETIAS visa waiver application if their application has been approved. The average processing time for an ETIAS visa waiver application is 72 hours from the time the application is submitted for review.
In the event that an applicant is denied an ETIAS visa waiver, the justification for the refusal will be sent to them. Travelers will have a right to appeal the refusal.
It is imperative for travelers interested in visiting Hungary in 2022 to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver at least 3 days before their intended departure for Europe in order to receive the ETIAS visa waiver in time for their travel.
ETIAS visa waivers also require travelers to pay an online processing fee using a valid debit or credit card to conclude the application process.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be electronically linked to the traveler’s passport and travelers will receive their ETIAS visa waiver securely via email. It should be noted that it is not possible to transfer the ETIAS visa waiver from one passport to another even if they both belong to the same applicant.
The ETIAS visa waiver entitles travelers to a maximum stay of 90 consecutive days in the Schengen Area within a given 180-day period. It also allows travelers multiple entries into Europe.
An approved ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years from the date it is approved or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Visitors to Hungary must note that they will not be able to extend their ETIAS visa waiver and will need to apply for and obtain a new one once the previous one expires.
International travelers arriving in Hungary will need to present their passport as well as a copy of their ETIAS visa waiver to Hungarian/European border authorities to be allowed entry into the Hungary/the Schengen area country.
Travelers will need two copies of their ETIAS visa waiver with them throughout the entirety of their stay in the Schengen area.