ETIAS Visa Waiver for Travelers from Moldova

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The 2.6 million Moldovans have joined the 1.4 billion strong international community of 60 ETIAS countries who have been brought into the ETIAS visa (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). The new visa waiver will fundamentally change the process by which Moldovans enter the Schengen area.
The EU is steadily progressing towards their planned launch of ETIAS in 2023, having prepared the technology required for the system as of August 3rd. International carriers such as airlines and coach companies could register for ETIAS as of October this year. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, and the EU is at risk of staffing issues causing delays despite the progress made in other areas. The EU Observer recently reported a shortage of border force operatives and administrative workers.
The ETIAS visa waiver will grant a host of travel rights, but Moldovans must ensure that they complete their ETIAS application correctly and well in time, so that they can access these rights. Read all about it below.

Why has the EU Changed Moldovans Travel Rights?

Ensuring security while also making themselves appealing to tourists has long been a challenge for the EU. They don’t want to enforce a full tourist visa, which would dissuade travellers, but at the same time, the modern world is too dangerous for unvetted travel.
Visa waiver systems are halfway between unregulated travel and full visa systems, allowing residents of “safe” nations to enter the country for short-term travel with some minimal background checks. They were first introduced in the USA in 1986, but as travel became more accessible, processing such high quantities of traveller information became impossible.
This is the problem the EU is facing with millions of travellers from outside of the EU visiting every year. New technology has been leveraged to allow the visa waiver system to effectively screen all of this human traffic. Most notably, AI technology will be used to flag any discrepancies without any humans having to be involved.
The existential risk posed by terrorism, and fear of the next global pandemic has forced the EU to make this change. ETIAS will be able to track all the risks a traveller will pose to EU citizens, and make a strong decision as to whether they should be allowed to enter the Schengen area.

How will the ETIAS Visa Waiver Change how Moldovans Enter the EU?

The EU will define roughly 95% of Moldovans who are not risky travellers. Similar visa waiver systems have seen this kind of result. Thoroughly filling out the ETIAS application will be enough to travel to the EU, with no barriers in place.
Moldovans must expect that the ETIAS visa waiver will complicate their travel to the 26 ETIAS countries, and they must accommodate for delays in their travel plans. Moldovan’s ETIAS applications will usually be processed in one business day, but it could take four weeks if they must appeal a rejection. Moldovans wishing to appeal their rejection must do so within 96 hours.
On the border, additional biometric checks could add hours to waiting times. Moldovans must factor this into their travel plans from the airport.

Which Countries may ETIAS Visa Waiver Holders Enter?

The ETIAS visa gives Moldovans the right to visit all the Schengen nations which are listed below.
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • Lithuania
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Malta
  • Finland
  • Monaco
  • Vatican City
  • Poland
  • Estonia
  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • Latvia
  • Belgium
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • San Marino
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Slovakia
  • Liechtenstein

Moldovans’ Applications

Completing an ETIAS application form is easy. Moldovans must supply basic personal information and basic personal documentation, like a copy of their passport. The application form does feature some more challenging questions about the Moldovan’s past. When they apply for ETIAS, they must answer these truthfully and thoroughly.
  • European travel
  • Their previous trips to conflict zones
  • Their terrorist, criminal, or human trafficking past
  • Their planned travel itinerary
  • If they carry any infectious diseases

The Security and Public Health Reasons Justify Rejection of an ETIAS Application

Sadly, around 5% of Moldovans will not be able to enter the Schengen area because of the ETIAS visa waiver. No matter how they apply for ETIAS, they will receive a rejection, usually for one of the two reasons described below.
Moldovans who are considering a public health risk will find it challenging to get their ETIAS visa waiver. They will be asked for a medical background of their infectious diseases when they apply for ETIAS, and the EU will refuse to grant them one if they are concerned.
An even more concerning threat for the EU is the terrifying risk of travellers committing terrorist or serious criminal acts. Regulations for ETIAS and criminals have been released, and we now know that serious criminal convictions will not be wiped from the system for 15 years, and terrorist convictions for 25 years. The more obvious threat is that of international crime and terrorism, and ETIAS has more tangible measures in place to stop individuals that pose this risk.


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