ETIAS Visa Waiver for Travelers from Saint Lucia

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62 nations are set to become ETIAS Europe nations when ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is launched in 2023. The 183,000 Saint Lucians must abide by these new restrictions and the new system when they travel to Europe for less than three months.
The press in the UK and the USA have raised concerns about the barriers that ETIAS might establish in the way of its citizens travelling to the EU.

Implementing ETIAS

The world first learned of the ETIAS visa waiver system at the end of 2016, a year where the EU was hit by frequent terrorist attacks. After 135 EU citizens died, the EU could not afford to allow anybody to come into the Schengen area on just a passport. An initial launch date of 2021 was planned, but COVID presented a more existential threat than terrorism, and ETIAS was sidelined. As the world emerges from the COVID crisis, the EU has announced a new launch date of 2023.
The EU will now be thankful for the delay which helped them to construct artificial intelligence data processing systems. More border and administrative staff will still be required, but the AI systems are set to significantly reduce the human resources required to run the ETIAS visa waiver system. Only Saint Lucians whose applications are flagged by the system for posing a risk to Europe will have applications processed by a human administrative worker.
The EU will still have to hire more staff to run the ETIAS visa waiver system because the AI technology will offer little help on the border. They will still need scores more border staff and some commentators are concerned that the EU is struggling to make the required new hires. Saint Lucians should not expect this will delay the launch of ETIAS, but they should expect border staff to take longer to process them as a result.

Which Countries may ETIAS Visa Waiver Holders Enter?

The ETIAS visa does not give Saint Lucians access to all the EU nations, but it does give them access to all Schengen nations which are listed below.
  • Liechtenstein
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Latvia
  • Belgium
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Czech Republic
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Vatican City
  • Estonia
  • France
  • San Marino
  • Monaco
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Poland

Saint Lucians’ Applications

The main difference that Saint Lucians will see with ETIAS is that they will have to show they are safe and do not pose a terrorist, criminal, or public health risk while in the Schengen area. To apply for an ETIAS, and therefore prove this, Saint Lucians need to answer six main questions along with standard personal information. The basic information will allow cross-references to be carried out by the AI system, leveraging Interpol databases. The results of the cross-references will be compared with the answers given, and if falsifications or reasons to believe the Saint Lucian is a danger are found, they will not be offered an ETIAS visa waiver.
The six serious lines of inquiry are (ETIAS requirements):
  • 1. Do they carry any infectious diseases?
  • 2. Has the Saint Lucian taken questionable trips to conflict zones?
  • 3. What is their travel itinerary?
  • 4. What serious criminal convictions does the Saint Lucian have in the last 15 years?
  • 5. What travel has the Saint Lucian made to Europe?
  • 6. What terrorist convictions does the Saint Lucian have in the last 25 years.

When will a Saint Lucian not need to Apply for ETIAS?

Aside from obvious limits to the ETIAS countries allowances of 90 days’ travel within the Schengen area, there are some unusual circumstances when no ETIAS visa will be required. The Saint Lucian will not have to apply for ETIAS if they are entering the Schengen area via train. This unusual quirk may be leverage able by Saint Lucians who cannot access an ETIAS visa waiver. However, the Saint Lucian must remember to arrange legal travel into the nation bordering the Schengen area.

Saint Lucians who Appeal their ETIAS Application Rejection

The small minority of Saint Lucian will still desire to come to the EU, and a rejected application does not mean they will be unable to do so. Completing an appeal within 96 hours will reopen their application and the Saint Lucian may see success if they provide everything requested of them in the appeals process. Patience will be required though, with four-week waiting times predicted for a decision to be made on appealed applications.


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