ETIAS Visa Waiver for Estonia

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The Republic of Estonia is located in the Northern region of Europe. Estonia covers an area of 45,339 km², with Tartu and Tallinn being the most significant cities. Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia. Estonia has land borders to the South with Latvia and to the East by Latvia. Hiiumaa and Saaremaa are the largest islands in Estonia. There are over 2200 other islands under the confines of Estonia. Estonia is an elevated human development index and is a high-income advanced country.
Estonia is one of the 26 countries that allow its citizens and visitors to travel to neighbouring countries without a border check. The combination of these 26 countries is called the Schengen zone. The countries in this Schengen zone have open borders within themselves, allowing their citizens and visitors to move freely across the borders. Citizens of any Schengen member state can travel, settle in, and work in other Schengen zone member states without a visa and check at the borders.
To gain entrance into the Schengen zone as a non-European, you will need to provide a Schengen Visa and your travel passport. A Schengen Visa gives you access to all Schengen member states for a limited period.
Nationals of certain countries are allowed into the Schengen zone without a visa because their government has a visa agreement with the European Union. However, after the end of 2022 and in the future, these citizens will need to show their ETIAS before entering the Schengen zone. ETIAS means Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System.

Estonia Visa and Entry Requirements

There are different types of visas for visitors to enter the Schengen zone, including the Schengen visa, short-term, long term, and medical visa, which are types of visas available in Estonia. Non-Europeans who want to enter Estonia or any of the Schengen zone member states at large would be required to present a couple of documents, usually, identification and travel documents, when applying for a visa. Your travel passport is also needed for entry.
For non-Europeans that do not need a visa currently to enter the Schengen zone, from the end of 2022 will need to show an ETIAS visa waiver before they can gain access to Estonia. The visa waiver delineates between those who can potentially cause harm in the Schengen zone from low-risk individuals and keeps them out of the Schengen zone. The Schengen authorities are particular about this because letting in a high-risk individual into one Schengen country means they can potentially cause harm to the entire Schengen zone.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter Estonia?

To enter Estonia, not everyone is required to provide a Schengen Visa at the airport. Some people can enter without the Schengen visa or any visa at all. There are two classes of individuals who need to provide a Schengen Visa before being let into the Schengen zone. The first class is citizens of third countries. Third countries do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union; hence their citizens must provide a visa before entering Estonia or any Schengen zone member state. Some examples of third countries include Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Botswana.
The second class is individuals from a country whose governments have concluded visa liberalization among themselves, but for one reason or the other, they have been deported or rejected from any of the Schengen countries previously. Other members of these countries can enter without a visa, but that individual needs to apply for a Schengen Visa. Examples of countries that do not need a Schengen include El Salvador, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Australia.

What Documents Are Required when Applying for an Estonia Schengen Visa?

The Estonian Schengen visa allows visitors to travel around as many ETIAS countries as possible and decide to. Application for the Schengen visa is easier and faster than the regular visa types. It is in the best position to serve your short-term visa needs like tourism and business trips. These documents are required to show that you pose no threat to the Schengen area.
The documents required for the application process for an Estonian Schengen Visa include:
  • Two recent passport photographs measuring 3.5 by 4.5 cm and showing all of your facial features.
  • An international passport or equivalent document. The passport should not be more than ten years since it was issued, should be valid for a minimum of 3 months after leaving Estonia, and should have at least two blank pages.
  • Except your fingerprints have been taken within the last 59 months, the consular authorities will take them.
  • A round-trip itinerary shows your movement, entry date, and exit from the Schengen zone, including the flight numbers.
  • A proof that you would leave Estonia, usually an onward flight ticket or a return ticket.
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Birth certificate
  • A cover letter boldly stating your reason for visiting Estonia
  • Proof of financial status

Travelling to Estonia

Estonia is like a diamond hidden away in plain sight. It has a lot of rocky beaches, beautiful landscapes and lakes. It has a population of only about 1.3 million. It is not very popular among tourists, hence, tourists who discover Estonia can enjoy the beauty of the scenery without encountering large crowds.
Estonia can be reached by air, road, and water. There are always flights to many parts of the world from Estonia. The largest airport in Estonia is the Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport when arriving by air. It is only four kilometres away from the city's centre and is well connected by a good road network.
Estonia can also be reached by road. There are excellent bus services that will gladly convey you to Estonia. There are no checkpoints at the Borders, allowing for the free flow of people, goods, and services into Estonia from other parts of the Schengen zone. Travelling by water is an excellent option if you are coming from Finland or Sweden; you can use ferries and other water vessels that convey people into Estonia.

Europe's Travel Authorisation for Estonia

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be in action by the end of 2022. It will be available for non-European countries' citizens to enter Estonia and the Schengen area in general. Due to the travel conditions of a maximum of 90 days every six months (180 days), it is only suitable for short-term visits on tourism, short business trips, etc. It is called the 90/180 rule. Visitors who need a more extended stay in the Schengen zone need to apply for other visa forms.
It is important to note that the ETIAS visa waiver is not a visa. It only serves as a filter system between low-risk and high-risk individuals. It then allows only the low-risk individuals to enter the Schengen area.
In conclusion, Estonia is a tourist haven, even though it receives only a handful of them annually. Visitors who visit Estonia feel the beauty emanating from the surrounding landscapes and rocky beaches.