ETIAS Visa Waiver for Travelers from New Zealand

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In November 2016, the European Commission announced the launch of a new Visa waiver system. The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) came as a response to the growing terrorist threat during a terrible year of 140 attacks. It is hoped that ETIAS will make the EU a safer place.
The ETIAS nations have now been finalised, and New Zealand will be one of the 60. When ETIAS comes into effect in 2023, New Zealanders will have to follow the new measures in order to visit the EU for short-term travel of fewer than 90 days.
This new Visa waiver marks the EU formerly restricting tourists' travel into the ETIAS visa waiver countries. Learn how it would change the way that New Zealanders travel to the Schengen area below.

How will the EU Effectively Run this New Visa Waiver?

The EU is far from the first area to implement a Visa waiver system. In 1986, the US Congress formally implemented a similar system. They benefitted from much lower quantities of travellers, and in the modern age of accessible travel implementing Visa waiver systems is challenging.
The EU receives millions of short-term travellers from outside of the Schengen area every year. However, they will be able to use artificial intelligence technology to screen all ETIAS travellers managing the heavy burden effectively. When the AI system flags a traveller as a potential risk, an administrative worker will scrutinise the case before deciding if it is safe to award an ETIAS visa waiver.
The EU is progressing well to having the ETIAS system implemented by the launch date of 2023. All the necessary technology has been in place since August 3rd. However, the EU has had difficulties with staffing, as the ETIAS Visa waiver system will still require more border and administrative staff despite AI technology. The EU still expects it will have its Visa waiver system in operation by January 2023.
Even though the setup has gone to plan, we can still expect teething difficulties when this Visa waiver system comes into effect. With more biometric checks required on the border, New Zealanders should allow time in their travel plans for substantially longer queues than usual.

Which Countries may ETIAS Visa Waiver Holders Enter?

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

New Zealanders’ Applications

The EU requires information from New Zealanders which will help them to define if the New Zealander poses a risk to European citizens:
  • If they have travelled to Europe in the past.
  • Their past trips to conflict zones.
  • If they have any serious convictions.
  • Their travel itinerary.
  • If they have any infectious diseases.
Other information required on the ETIAS application form is basic personal information corroborated by basic personal documentation like a passport.
These are serious questions, and New Zealanders must be careful when they apply for ETIAS to include all necessary information thoroughly and honestly. Any indication that information has been falsified will lead to an automatic rejection of the application.
If their application is rejected, New Zealanders can appeal within 96 hours before waiting four weeks for a reply. It is common for the EU to request further documentation as part of the appeals process.

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

If a New Zealander is one of the 5% whose application will be rejected, it will likely be one of these two reasons.
Firstly, a key function of the ETIAS is to restrict the travel of those with infectious diseases into the EU. Therefore, a New Zealander who is flagged as having a dangerous infectious disease will likely not be awarded an ETIAS visa.
The other key function of the ETIAS visa waiver is to reduce terrorist and criminal offenses committed by travellers. When a New Zealander admits to a serious criminal or terrorist conviction when they are applying for ETIAS, then they will be flagged up on the system and likely not awarded an ETIAS visa waiver.

When will a New Zealander not need an ETIAS Visa Waiver?

Nearly all New Zealanders who travel to the Schengen area for less than 90 days must get an ETIAS visa waiver. They must complete their ETIAS application properly and wait for a successful response. However, they will need no ETIAS visa waiver if they come into the Schengen area by train. For example, if a New Zealander flies to neighbouring Croatia, they may need to arrange a tourist visa for Croatia, but they will not need an ETIAS to travel into the Schengen area.


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