Spain is one of the most popular European countries for a majority of Asian tourists, which include Hong Kongers. However, thanks to a new rule going into effect in 2021, Hong Kong citizens traveling to Spain should stay up to date about the ETIAS.
What is the ETIAS? Starting in 2021, travelers from more than 60 countries will need to have an authorization before they can enter the European Union.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS for short, was developed by the European Union in order to better secure the EU borders and improve the safety of Europeans and travelers.
Traveling to Spain from Hong Kong with an ETIAS
Hong Kong citizens are on the list of 60 countries who are eligible to apply for the Spanish ETIAS. All travelers need to do is apply for their ETIAS authorization online by filling out an application, getting approved, and that’s it! Once travelers arrive in Spain, they will get their passports scanned and be allowed into the country.
The best part about applying for the ETIAS is that the process takes less than 20 minutes and most travelers will get approved for their ETIAS authorization instantly. Likewise, the ETIAS Spain for Hong Kongers gives travelers the chance to stay in the European Union for a maximum of 90 days at a time. The ETIAS is valid for a total of three years, and Hong Kong citizens who have an ETIAS are allowed to visit other Schengen countries without having to apply for separate visas or authorizations.
ETIAS Application for Hong Kong Citizens
The process to apply for the ETIAS to visit Spain from Hong Kong is very easy and should only take applicants a few minutes to do so. What is even better is it only takes a few minutes to process the ETIAS authorization. However, in some cases it may take up to three business days (72 hours) if there is high demand or if it is during the popular tourist season.
The first step towards obtaining an ETIAS for Spain is for travelers to fill out the online application form. The form will ask applicants a few simple questions about their personal details (including their full name, contact details, and date of birth), their travel itinerary, passport information (such as the passport number and date of issue/expiry), as well as security questions (including criminal record and previous travel to Europe). This information will be checked against multiple security databases in Europe, such as Interpol, to make sure that all travelers that enter the Schengen area are deemed safe.
After reaching the end, we recommend going through the application one more time to make sure that all of the information is correct and accurate. This is very important because even one small mistake or typo may cause the entire ETIAS application to be rejected, and the applicant will need to start over again.
The confirmation email with the approved ETIAS will be emailed to the applicant’s email address that was listed on the application form. We recommend constantly checking your regular inbox and spam inbox just in case it happens to be misfiled.
Passport and Documents Needed
The ETIAS Spain requirements for Hong Kongers are very simple and minimal – in fact, applicants will only need three main things. They include the following:
- A valid passport. The applicant’s Hong Kong passport must have a minimum validity of three months from the day that they plan to arrive in Spain. We recommend having your passport in an easy to reach place when filling out the online ETIAS form so that you have easy access to the information.
- A valid method of payment. In order to pay for the ETIAS application fee, applicants will need to have a valid form of payment such as a credit card or a debit card.
- A current email address. Finally, all applicants will need to enter a valid email address when filling out the application. Please make sure to enter an email address that you regularly check so that you can receive all messages regarding your ETIAS authorization on time.
After applicants have met all of these requirements, they are ready to start an ETIAS application.