The EU commission has announced that, starting on January 1st of 2022, all nationals of countries that have visa-free access to the Schengen Area must now apply online on the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) prior to traveling.
The ETIAS is in no way a visa and was created by the EU to ensure that holders of passports that grant visa free travel to the Schengen Area, such as the Grenada passport, can travel safely knowing that the EU is ensuring no security threats enter. This will allow holders of passports such as the Grenadian passport to continue to enjoy visa-free travel to countries of the Schengen Area such as France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and more.
What is ETIAS
ETIAS is an online platform created by the EU on which nationals of countries that have visa-free treaties with the EU and can enter the Schengen Area without having to apply for a Schengen Visa can get their travel authorization.
ETIAS is basically a security check and is not a visa in any way or form. It is a completely online process with no need to visit a consulate or an embassy and does not require any stamps on your passport.
Up until March of 2021, there are 63 countries that have visa-free access to the Schengen Area, top among them is Grenada; the Caribbean country which offers investors a chance to get its passport through its citizenship by investment program. Investors who get the Grenadian passport through investment will be able to enter the Schengen Area visa free, but like any other nationality will have to apply for the ETIAS come 2022. So let’s take a look at the ETIAS for citizens of Grenada.
ETIAS for Citizens of Grenada
Grenada citizens can travel visa free to the Schengen Area for up to 90 days at a time. A short stay waiver treaty signed in 2015 has given Grenada citizens the right to enter without the need of applying for a visa prior to their travels, but they will have to apply for ETIAS in 2022.
Every traveller must apply for an ETIAS no matter the age, children below 18 included, and the ETIAS validity for Grenadian citizens is either three years or the validity of their passport; whichever comes sooner. So for example:
- A Grenada citizen with a passport valid up until 2026 applies for an ETIAS in 2022; their ETIAS will expire in 2025
- A Grenada citizen with a passport valid up until 2024 applies for an ETIAS is 2022; their ETIAS will expire in 2024.
Since the ETIAS is in its nature a security check, those who have acquired Grenadian citizenship through investment should have no problem getting their ETIAS as they will have undergone security due diligence by the Caribbean island nation of Grenada.
Traveling to Europe from Grenada
The ETIAS system is a completely online platform with no need for a person to visit an embassy or a consulate. The EU advises that a person apply for an ETIAS 72 hours prior to their travel date. You can, of course, apply for an ETIAS prior to even booking a hotel or flight; making it a very simple process for Grenadian citizens to plan their travel to the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS is not concerned with one country in the EU per se, but rather with the entirety of the Schengen Area. Meaning a person who applies for an ETIAS can travel throughout the entire Schengen Area on that same application, if it is not expired of course, and does not need to apply for another ETIAS.
Traveling from Grenada to Europe is quite simple, as direct flights to the UK are often the norm and from there a person can get a connecting flight to anywhere within the Schengen Area. As Grenada citizens also have visa free access to the UK this makes the process much simpler. Grenada has visa free access to 144 destinations worldwide, which means even if you are not traveling directly from Grenada or need another connection to get to Europe, it is a completely straightforward process.
ETIAS application for Grenadian citizens visiting the schengen area
The ETIAS application for Grenada citizens is very simple, the application itself takes no more than ten minutes and is done completely online. If there is an alert on the system regarding a potential security risk the ETIAS will normally take four days of manual processing, however. Let’s take a look at what you need for obtaining an ETIAS from Grenada:
What is required by Grenadian citizens to apply for an ETIAS is:
- A digital photograph
- A valid and machine readable passport
- An electronic passport chip (if applicable/ not mandatory but an advantage for quicker processing times).
- Filled online application form.
The ETIAS online application form can be filled in 10 minutes and contains basic information such as:
- First and last name
- Change of name
- Date and the place of birth
- Passport and citizenship information
- Full residential address
- Contact information such as your email and phone number
- Education background
- Work experience
- Travel itinerary or first EU country you will visit
- Medical condition
- Travel history (travel to war ravaged countries, or countries in which you were deported or rejected if applicable)
- Criminal record
- Guardian info if applying for a minor
- For minors, the legal guardian must apply for ETIAS
- Proof of relationship to EU nationals if applicable.
The steps for applying for an ETIAS are:
- Enter online system and create a user
- Fill online application form
- Upload relevant documentation
- Pay processing fee*
- Wait 10 minutes and get a response
* The processing fee for the ETIAS is EUR 7 for adults between the age of 18 and 70. Both children below the age of 18 and seniors above the age of 70 are exempt from the ETIAS fee.
Can my ETIAS be denied?
Yes, in cases of a security threat or invalid documentation the ETIAS can be denied. You can of course appeal the denial directly. Denial of an ETIAS can be for one of these reasons:
- Travel documentation used has been reported as either stolen, lost, or invalid.
- The applicant is flagged as a security risk
- The applicant does not have a clean criminal record for serious crimes that deem him a security risk
- The applicant is flagged as an illegal immigration risk
- Applicant is applying to travel from an epidemic ravaged area and/or poses a high epidemic risk
- There is an existing alert in the system regarding the refusal of entry into Europe and/or stay in Europe for the applicant
- Applicant does not reply for a request for extra information or documentation within the given deadline
- The applicant was requested to attend an extra interview but did not attend
- Information given by the applicant was deemed inaccurate or non-authentic.
ETIAS visa requirements for passport holders of Grenada
Citizens of Grenada are able to travel visa free to Europe, as there will be no visa requirements for Grenadian citizens, during 2021, but in the following year of 2022 they will have to apply for an ETIAS if they want to travel to Europe from Grenada passport.
The ETIAS will be electronically linked to the passport of the applying Grenadain citizen and they will not have to have anything stamped on their passport and can travel with it to the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS is designed for the nationalities who have visa free access to the Schegen Area, but their are other countries in the European Union that are not part of the Schengen Zone such as Cyprus, and the ETIAS does is not concerned with those countries. So, Grenadian citizens for example, who have visa free entry into Cyprus (no entry permit required) can continue to travel there without the need for a visa or ETIAS, as the latter is only concerned with the Schengen Area.
Grenada citizens must enter the Schengen Area through the first country (country of arrival) that they state on their ETIAS application. As an example person sets their travel schedule on the ETIAS as Germany, France, then Spain. They have to enter Germany first, so:
- This person enters Germany then goes to France then Spain. This is acceptable
- This person enters France then goes to Germany. This is unacceptable.
- This person enters Germany, then goes to Spain then Belgium, and does not go to France at all. This is also acceptable as the only important part is the country of arrival or the first country.
Grenada citizens cannot live, study, or work in the EU with an ETIAS, as it is only applicable for short stay visits up to 90 days at a time.
If you want to know more about the ETIAS or getting a second passport from Grenada through investment contact us today to book a free consultation with our Grenada second citizenship expert.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Is the ETIAS a visa?
No, the ETIAS is an electronic travel authorization that is concerned with security checks. The ETIAS travel authorization for Europe will not be stamped on a passport but is instead linked electronically.
How long is the ETIAS valid for?
The ETIAS is valid for three years or the validity of the passport, whichever comes sooner.
Do I have to apply for an ETIAS every time I travel to Europe?
No, the ETIAS is a multiple entry travel authorization that allows entry to Europe, and is only concerned with its validity and not the number of entries.
Do Grenada citizens need to apply for a Schengen Visa in 2022?
No. Grenada passport for travel to Europe will remain under the visa free waiver treaty but they will need to apply for ETIAS.