Spain was the third most visited country in 2018 with more than 75 million visitors. With captivating cities like Madrid and Barcelona, 5,000km of coastline stretching from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, great weather and mouth-watering local cuisine, it’s easy to see why. Spain is a member of both the European Union and the Schengen Zone, which allows passport-free travel within its borders
The European Union is changing how it processes visas for those wishing to travel in the Schengen Zone. From the end of 2022 onwards, citizens from 60 eligible countries will be able to apply for the ETIAS (European Travel Information Authorisation System) visa waiver.
The EU has long recognized dual nationality. Read on to find out how dual nationals can go about applying for their ETIAS for Spain.
Travelling in the Schengen Zone
Schengen is a free-movement zone consisting of 26 European counties. Not all EU countries are members of Schengen and not all Schengen members are part of the EU. The travel agreements within the zone mean that someone could travel from Finland to Portugal without ever being asked to show identification.
The ETIAS scheme is intended to improve security within the zone by keeping better track of those entering Schengen countries. Eligible citizens will be able to apply for the visa waiver through the simple ETIAS application form online.
Apart from being a national of one of the 60 eligible countries, applicants will also need to meet certain requirements to apply for an ETIAS. These include providing their passport details, basic personal information, and answering a series of questions about travel plans, health information, and whether or not they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. The data provided will be cross-checked against criminal databases and a decision will be made as to whether to grant the ETIAS or not. The approved ETIAS will be valid for a total of 3 years.
Which Passport to Apply With
To apply for the ETIAS you will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, an email address at which to receive the visa waiver and a credit or debit card with which to pay the ETIAS fee. Those who are dual nationals will need to decide which passport to use when applying for the ETIAS. Keep in mind that if one of your passports is for a country that is a member of the EU then you do not need to apply for ETIAS.
If only one of your passports is for one of the 60 countries eligible for ETIAS then that is the passport you should use for the application. If both of your nationalities are eligible then you will be free to choose. Keep in mind that your application is only connected to one of your passports. All the details entered about the passport must be correct and when you travel to the Schengen Zone you must present the passport that you used to complete the application. Your other passport will not be accepted by immigration officials.
Even though your main destination is Spain, once you have received your ETIAS you will be able to visit any other Schengen Zone country. Just remember to use the appropriate passport according to the tips above in order to enjoy a hassle-free stay in Spain and the other Schengen countries.