A new visa waiver program is going to make travelling around the Schengen Area a lot safer and easier for people outside the bloc, especially once this pandemic is over.
The ETIAS Visa Waiver, which comes into effect in 2022, is going to pave the way for a more safe Schengen Area with foreign nationals from outside the bloc now required to register their details to continue visiting without a visa.
Who requires an ETIAS visa?
Citizens from across 60 countries that currently enjoy visa exemption will now be screened upon entry with authorities privy to information such as name, nationality, date of birth, passport details, email address and so on.
The goal is to improve security and combat international crime and terrorism for all of us, including Malta, which is part of the Schengen Area.
Not only is it safe and effective, but it’s also super simple and easy for foreign nationals to do – with all application forms available online and accessible from the comfort of your home.
Much like the US ESTA system, ETIAS is designed to be streamlined and user-friendly meaning that you can fill it out in a matter of minutes and receive confirmation online via email.
It’s the perfect visa waiver program for a short holiday in Malta or in any other country in the Schengen Area.
How long is it valid for?
The ETIAS visa waiver is valid for a maximum of 90 days. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend all 90 days on the sunny island of Malta. Thankfully, once you obtain the ETIAS visa, you’ll be able to travel around the Schengen Area within a 180-day period after registering.
That means you can hop between Greece, Italy, France or Greece… and make your way back to Malta too!
You can also leave the Schengen Area and come back in – as long as it is within that 180-day period.
So, how does it affect Malta?
Apart from securing our borders further, the ETIAS visa program doesn’t affect Maltese citizens whatsoever. In fact, it is expected that the ease of the program will encourage more tourism to Malta and that’s exactly what we need after this pandemic.
The ETIAS visa program is the future of travel around the Schengen Area and it’s time to brush up on all the documents you need when you plan a short trip to the bloc next year!
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