ETIAS Application and Background Checks
ETIAS refers to the Electronic Travel Information Authorization System. It is a digital travel
authorization designed to control illegal immigration and secure Europe’s borders. Starting in 2023,
all non-EU citizens visiting the Schengen region, Switzerland, and Iceland will need an ETIAS to
enter the area. Citizens of countries not participating in the Schengen visa waiver program must
obtain a Schengen visa.
To apply for this travel authorization, simply create an account on the ETIAS portal and fill out
the online application form. The form asks for basic biometric details like name, date of birth,
passport number, contact address, and a criminal background check.
The background check includes questions regarding your criminal record and places where your visa
was rejected, and where you’ve been deported. The information submitted will be used to determine
if it’s safe to grant you entry.
If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily mean that you will get declined for an ETIAS.
The ability to travel with a criminal record depends on the details of your criminal conviction and
when it occurred. However, criminal history of repeated convictions and previous convictions for
serious crimes can lead to the refusal of your application.
Typically, ETIAS approval is given online within 24 hours. However, it will be processed manually
when ETIAS needs further investigation of an applicant’s background. In such cases, it can take up
to two weeks to receive a decision.