As far as dream travel destinations go, European countries and cities are on top of everyone’s list. Among all the European travel destinations, Italy is always one of the most sought after destinations. A stunning smorgasbord of culture, history and quite possibly the most delicious food in the world. What can beat enjoying some pasta Aglio e olio with some nice chianti while enjoying the sunset at the Italian Riviera? While Italy might be a dream destination for a lot of Mexican people, there are some new rules and regulations that you must follow before visiting Italy. This new authorization called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be mandatory and required for every foreigner visiting Italy. In this post, we will take a look at the ETIAS Italy requirements for Mexicans. We will also give you more insight into ETIAS and how you can go about planning your dream Italian vacation around it. Let’s get started.
Planning Your Italian Vacation From Mexico: Things To Know
What makes Italy such a beloved tourism destination?
Whether for their culture, history, architecture, gastronomy, education or fashion, cities like Rome, Milan, Turin, or Naples offer unimaginable experiences. However, Italy was one of the worst hit countries during the global pandemic and because of that, some rules have been changed when it pertains to visiting the country.
What are the changes made to Italy’s travel requirements?
If within your medium or long-term plans you plan to travel to Italy or any other country of the European Union, it is important that you know that from 2021 some countries of the European Union will request a special permit to travel that will apply to 60 countries, including Mexico.
What is ETIAS?
This new authorization called the European Travel Information and Authorization System will be mandatory and required by 26 countries (including Italy) that make up the Schengen region.
What is the Schengen region?
It came into effect in June 1995. It was the result of an agreement between several European nations thanks to which, today, both residents and tourists who enter on a regular basis, can move freely through that area. This modified border security controls, eliminating internal borders and moving them to external borders.
The Schengen region is made up of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland
This area is considered an area without internal borders, where citizens of the European Union and other countries of the same continent can circulate freely, without being subject to revision controls.
When will ETIAS be officially implemented?
At the end of 2021, the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will come into force, through which foreigners who wish to visit Europe (specifically the Schengen region) must pay seven euros (approximately 150 Mexican pesos) prior to making their trip.
How long is the ETIAS permit valid?
This permit system will be necessary to enter any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen area and will be valid for a period of three consecutive years or until the passport expires.
Will getting the ETIAS be a very long process?
This permit will operate in a very similar way to other electronic authorization systems such as Canada’s eTA, so it promises to be a quick and easy process. Similarly, the vast majority of requests would be approved in a matter of minutes and notified via email.
How will the ETIAS work?
The procedure must be done online before your trip, by filling out a registration application on the ETIAS portal. For this, it will be necessary that you have a valid passport (and a country eligible for ETIAS), an email and have paid the corresponding fee.
As an applicant, your personal data will be analyzed and compared with the databases of Interpol, Europol and the Schengen Information System in order to determine if there are reasons to deny the application for admission.
In the event that your application is rejected, they may ask you for additional documents that you must deliver within the next 96 hours.
Likewise, both airlines and maritime carriers will have the obligation to verify that your passport has a valid authorization and, if you do not have one, prevent you from traveling.
Why has the ETIAS been implemented?
In response to the attacks that occurred a few years ago in Paris and Brussels, respectively, the European Union decided to implement this measure with the main objective of contributing to the strengthening of security and control of its borders.
It will be used as a tool to identify which people are heading to the EU before they even reach the border and thus prevent possible threats and risks that may be associated with them.
ETIAS will be a visa exemption that will only apply to those people who travel for business or leisure to any of the countries in the Schengen zone. It is not a substitute for a work or student visa, so those citizens of third countries who wish to work, live, study in Europe or stay for periods longer than 90 days must apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy corresponding to the country where you want to stay longer.
What is the role of ETIAS as it pertains to tourism in Europe?
ETIAS will collect, track and update the necessary data related to visitors, in order to determine if their entry into the European Union is safe. On its website, it is stated that the main purpose of this new permit is to reinforce and prevent possible terrorist attacks, vandalism or criminal acts by foreigners.
It is emphasized that it is not a visa from the European Union, but a permit that is automated and centralized. All countries of the Schengen region viz. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland will require tourists to obtain the ETIAS permit before their visit.
Remember, every EU country doesn’t fall in the Schengen region/didn’t sign the Schengen agreement. So countries such as Ireland, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania will have their own visa requirements and rules and the ETIAS won’t be applicable there.
How to apply for ETIAS?
- To process it, applicants must fill out an online form for an ETIAS travel authorization that will last approximately 10 minutes and it will not be necessary to check documentation in person.
- Some of the information that will be requested are name, date and place of birth, citizenship, address, email and telephone number, as well as training and work experience.
- You will also be asked to provide information about your health and about your travel itinerary. If you plan to visit several countries, you need to mention which is the first one that you plan to visit. For example, if you intend to go to Germany, Belgium and Austria and indicate in your application that you want to visit Germany first, then you must first go through this nation and then through Belgium and Austria. Failure to follow this order will result in you being denied entry.
- Due to the above, it is recommended not to make last minute changes to your itinerary, in addition to requiring you to have your route planned. Improvisation will most likely end up in you catching the first flight back to Mexico.
- Once the information is captured, you will have to pay for said document and the system will verify that the information entered by the applicant is correct. To do this, it will corroborate the eligibility of those who intend to visit any of the European countries, and will review possible risk factors for the traveler.
- If the information provided is correct and the established requirements are met, the request to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization will be approved.
- However, if there are any obstacles or inconsistencies, the request must be done manually. This process is expected to last from 96 hours to a maximum period of two weeks, so, in the event that this situation happens, you must process it in advance.
- Among the requirements that will be requested are the Mexican passport with a minimum of six months of validity remaining, a credit or debit card to make the corresponding payment and a valid email account.
- The application fee is seven euros or 150 pesos.
- The validity of the ETIAS will be three years from the date of issue or until the expiration of the Mexican passport, while the maximum time to stay with this new permit will be 90 days. If the passport expires, a new application will have to be made with a valid passport.
- If this period is exceeded, but does not exceed 180 days, you will have to process a national visa that is granted to certain people who need to study, work or reside permanently in one of the countries.
Is Mexico the only country whose citizens require ETIAS?
No, citizens of other countries that must also request this permission to travel to the Schengen zone of Europe include South Korea, China, the United States, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Japan, Peru, Panama and New Zealand, among others. The charge for processing this authorization will apply to all foreign visitors who are citizens of visa-exempt countries to enter Europe, which are 60 and among them is Mexico. Among Latin American countries, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia are exempt.