The Schengen Map or the Schengen Border Area is an area that consists of 26 European States. These 26 countries falling in Schengen Border Area have officially canceled the requirement of all passports and other border control at their mutual borders. These 26 countries collectively known as the Schengen Border Countries is known for functioning as a single jurisdiction when it comes to international travel issues. They all follow a common visa policy at their respective borders. The Schengen Border has a population of 400 million.
The 26 countries falling under the Schengen Border Area are namely, Spain, Denmark, Liechtenstein, France, Greece, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Finland, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, and Switzerland.
Starting from the year 2021, citizens visiting any of these countries will need a new visa-waiver system introduced by the European Union. The new visa-waiver system is called the European Travel Information and Authorization system shortly known as ETIAS. ETIAS will permit you to stay in the European nations as well as the countries falling under the Schengen Border area.
Applying for ETIAS is not as complicated as applying for a passport. It will not require you to sit through interviews or go through some major security checkpoints. You will just have to apply for ETIAS on the official website, there you will get an online application form. It will require you to fill your basic details like name, age, nationality, gender, place of birth, date of birth etc. And upon submission you will receive the decision on your ETIAS.
ETIAS are only for those who are allowed to stay visa-free in the continent. There are around 61 countries in the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States that are permitted to visit Europe without having to acquire their visa. The rest of the population will remain unaffected with this new travel regulation. They will continue needing their visa for their stay in Europe.
ETIAS will be valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. But please note that it will expire as soon as your passport will expire regardless of its own validity period. You must have a passport to apply for your ETIAS. You can use the ETIAS to stay in the European Nations for four purposes including Travel, business, transit and medical. That means it is not valid if you are staying in the country for some other purposes like employment and studies.
Every eligible person will have to apply for ETIAS regardless of their age. Minors (children below the age of 18) and old age people above the age of 70 will also have to apply for their ETIAS. However for them the application fee will be free of cost but adults will be required to pay seven euros as an application fee to apply for their European Travel Information and Authorization System.