ETIAS Visa Waiver for Slovakia

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Slovakia is officially known as the Slovak Republic and is a landlocked country in the central region of Europe. Poland borders it on the North, Ukraine on the East, Hungary on the South, the Czech Republic on the Northwest, and Austria on the Southwest. Slovakia covers 49,000 km² and has a population of 5.48 million in 2021. It is one of the Schengen countries in Europe.
The Schengen zone is a conglomerate of 26 ETIAS countries in Europe that open up their borders to themselves, allowing people, goods, and services to freely move from one country to another. The border restrictions enable citizens of the Schengen zone to live, work and travel to other member states for as long as they want. Visitors to the Schengen area can also travel within the Schengen zone for as long as their visa affords them.
Citizens of the Schengen zone do not need a visa to visit other member states. However, most visitors need to own a Schengen Visa before they can enter other Schengen countries. A few countries' citizens can enter Slovakia and other Schengen member states without visas. These countries' governments agree on visa liberalization with the European Union.

Slovakia Visa and Entry Requirements

A Slovakia visa and a valid travel passport allow visitors into the Slovak borders. Your visa type into Slovakia is dependent on your aim of visiting Slovakia and your likely duration in the country. For citizens whose governments have a visa liberalization consensus with the European Union, all they need to access Slovakia is their valid passport or other travel documents equivalent to the passport.
Different visa types can admit you into Slovakia, and some examples are tourist visas, study visas, long-term visas, short-term visas, and the Schengen visa. These visa types apply to different people and different situations. Visitors coming into Slovakia for studying, for example, need a student visa because of the duration it offers its holders.
The Schengen visa allows its holders to visit the Schengen zone for 90 days every six months (180 days). It is referred to as the 90/180 rule. The Schengen visa also allows its holders to visit other member states of the Schengen zone. Provided the holder of the Schengen visa obeys the 90/180 rule, their Schengen Visa has a validity period of five years.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter Slovakia?

Like other visa types, the Schengen visa has a validity period and is available to a select group eligible for the visa. There are two categories of visitors who need a Schengen Visa before they can enter Slovakia:
  • The first category consists of visitors from non-European countries whose governments do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union. These countries are called third countries, and some examples are the Democratic Republic Of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea.
  • The second category is visitors from non-European countries with a visa liberalization agreement with the EU but has been rejected from any Schengen zone member state in times past. Although they come from countries whose governments have concluded an agreement with the European Union concerning a no-visa entry, they still have to provide a Schengen Visa.
Citizens who need a Schengen Visa to enter Slovakia can easily apply for it at the Slovakian embassy or consulate in their home country. The Schengen visa allows its holders to travel into any of the Schengen zone member states since they all have open borders within themselves.

What Documents Are Required when Applying for a Slovakia Schengen Visa?

The process of applying for a Slovakia Schengen Visa is straightforward, provide the required documents, attend the interview, and you are on your way to getting your visa approved. The documents required for applying are:
  • Passport photographs showing all of your facial features on a plain white background. It should be sized 35 by 45 mm.
  • A travel passport or any other equivalent travel document not older than ten years since it was issued. The passport should have at least two blank pages and should be valid for at least three months after leaving Slovakia.
  • Consular authorities will capture fingerprints only If it has not been captured within the last 59 months.
  • A Round-trip itinerary that shows all of your activities during your stay in Slovakia. You should include your entry and exit dates with your flight numbers.
  • A proof that you will leave Slovakia like an onward ticket to another country or a return ticket to your home country.
  • A proof of your accommodation. If you are staying in a hotel, it should show your hotel's location, contact number, and booking reference number.
  • Proof of Medical insurance.
  • Previous Schengen visas, if applicable.
  • Birth certificate.
  • A cover letter showing your reason for entering Slovakia.
  • A signed and filled visa application form.
  • Bank statement to prove you can finance your stay in the Schengen zone.

Travelling to Slovakia

Travelling to Slovakia is an easy and fun process. International flights from many countries land in Slovakia. There is an excellent network of roads to lead you from the airport to other parts of the country. When arriving by air, M. R. Štefánik Airport, also known as Bratislava Airport, is the main international airport in Slovakia. It is only about nine kilometres from the city centre. The airport welcomes about 2.3 million visitors annually.
Slovakia is surrounded by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Austria, making it easy to arrive by road or rail into Slovakia from these locations. Some popular routes from neighbouring members of the Schengen zone include:
  • Slovakia (Bratislava) to Hungary (Budapest) takes only about 2 hours 40 minutes.
  • Bratislava in Slovakia to Vienna in Austria takes only about an hour.
  • From Prague in the Czech Republic to Bratislava takes about four hours.
  • Warsaw in Poland to Slovakia is the farthest and takes about eight hours.
Driving into Slovakia is another excellent option. There are quality road networks that lead into Slovakia. There are no border checks as you move into Slovakia from other Schengen countries. Visitors to the area must always have their passport and Schengen at all times.

Europe's Travel Authorisation for Slovakia

Starting from 2023, visitors to Slovakia and Europe who previously needed no visa to enter Europe will need an to apply for ETIAS visa waiver on entry. The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will serve as a security measure to check European visitors.
Only low-risk and eligible visitors will be granted access to Slovakia. The ETIAS visa waiver will have a validity period of three years, during which its holders can have access to Slovakia.
In conclusion, Schengen Visa gives its holders short-term access to the Schengen area and five years validity period. It is available for citizens whose governments have no visa liberalization consensus with the EU. Countries with an agreement with the EU will need an ETIAS visa waiver starting from 2023.