ETIAS Alicante Airport
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ETIAS at Alicante Airport

Please note that the ETIAS system has not yet gone live and travel authorisation is not currently needed.

What is ETIAS?
Who needs ETIAS travel authorisation?
When and how to apply
What do I need for my application?
How long does it take to receive travel authorisation?
Can travel authorisation be declined?
Can I travel without authorisation?
What is the purpose of ETIAS?

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is short for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It is an electronic system established by the European Union (EU) for travellers from visa-exempt countries who are visiting the Schengen Area, including Spain. ETIAS will require eligible travellers to obtain an online authorisation before their trip.

ETIAS is similar to other electronic travel authorisation systems like the U.S. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), the UK ETA ( electronic travel authorisation) or the Canadian eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

When will it come into force?

ETIAS is due to start in the first half of 2025.

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Who needs ETIAS travel authorisation?

ETIAS will apply to visa-exempt non-EU citizens who are planning to visit Spain and/or other Schengen countries for a short stay (up to 90 days in 180 days). This includes nationals from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. A full list can be found in Annex I of EU Regulation 2018/1806. Some visa-exempt non-EU citizens do not need to apply for travel authorisation. Details can be found here.

ETIAS requirements for children

  • People under the age of 18 years also need to apply for ETIAS travel authorisation.
  • Applications for children and teenagers under the age of 18 will have to be made by a person with parental responsibility or a legal guardian.
  • Applicants under 18 are exempt from the application fee.

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The ETIAS Application Process

When and how to apply

  • You should apply before you book a plane ticket or accommodation, ideally at least 4 weeks before your planned travel date.
  • You can apply via the official ETIAS website or the official ETIAS mobile app.
  • If you have had a previous ETIAS travel authorisation, double-check how much longer this will be valid.

What is required for my ETIAS application?

Your travel document(s)

You will need your travel documents (e.g. passport) to hand.

When you complete your ETIAS application, you will be asked to give the following information:

About you
  • Personal information (your name, date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ first names, email address and phone number
  • Travel document (passport) details.
  • Your level of education and current occupation

Information about your intended travel and stay in Spain and any other countries requiring ETIAS.

Here you will need to list any criminal convictions, any past travels to war or conflict zones, and whether you have recently been subject of a decision requiring you to leave the territory of any country.

Fee Payment

As part of your application, you will need to pay a non-refundable fee of € 7, if you are between 18 and 70 years of age. This payment can be made online via a payment card.

What to watch out for

When filling in the form, you will need to make absolutely sure that your passport details correspond with those in your ETIAS application form. If your details do not match, you will be refused boarding and entry at the border.

Once You Have Submitted Your Application

What happens next?

Your application will be checked against several databases. Once all checks are completed, you will receive a response by email.

How long does it take to receive travel authorisation?

In the majority of cases, you will receive your ETIAS travel authorisation within a few minutes of completing the application. In some situations, it can take longer and may take up to 4 weeks.

Do I need a printed copy of my travel authorisation?

Information on the outcome of your application will be held on a database, so you will not need to print out your travel authorisation. Some people may wish to carry a printout for peace of mind.

How long will my ETIAS authorisation be valid?

Your travel authorisation will be valid for 3 years OR until the expiry of your passport, depending on which comes first.

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Can I be refused travel authorisation?

Yes, in some cases, travel authorisation may be declined. Should this be the case, you will be informed of this within 4 weeks of the application date. In this case, you will not be able to travel to the European Union. However, you have the right to appeal against the decision.

Why can travel authorisation be declined?

There are a variety of reasons for this, e.g.

  • The information you gave in your application form was incomplete
  • Your passport is out of date
  • You have given false or intentionally misleading information in your application form
  • There are previous alerts about you on one of the databases that are being checked

Can I travel without a valid ETIAS travel authorisation?

Without a valid ETIAS travel autorisation, you will be refused entry into the country. Usually, your airline carrier will check that you have all the required documents, so you will be denied boarding if you do not have a valid travel authorisation.   

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What is the purpose of ETIAS?

  • The system aims to enhance security by conducting pre-travel screening of visa-exempt travellers. This includes checks against various security databases, to identify potential security risks before they enter the Schengen Area and to prevent irregular migration.
  • In combination with the Entry/Exit-System (EES), it is also intended to save travellers time at the security checkpoints.

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ETIAS explained in brief

Further Information

For information on how long you are able to stay in Alicante without a visa, please see our page Entry/Exit System.

For information on travel documentation and other requirements for travel to Alicante, please see our page Travel Documentation for Flying to Alicante Airport.

For further details on ETIAS, please also see the European Union ETIAS FAQ page.

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