First things first, let’s have a look at some ETIAS facts
An ETIAS is not a visa but a travel authorisation, and it is currently not in operation, so applications cannot yet be made.
The plan is for it to become operational in 2024.
ETIAS approval is not the same as having a residence permit in an EU country, it is intended for short stays of 90 days or less in any 180 days only.
Nationals of the following non-EU countries (over 60 such nations) who do not require a visa to enter the EU will be required to obtain an ETIAS for short-term stays in the EU, with some exceptions and caveats that I’ll list a bit later on.
An ETIAS will cost seven euros and be valid for multiple entries into the EU for a period of three years, or until the travel document registered to it expires, if that’s sooner. In some cases, it will be free.
30 European countries will require visa-exempt nationals to have an ETIAS to enter.
How do you apply for an ETIAS?
ETIAS applications will be processed in a mere few minutes in the vast majority of cases. In rare cases, the process may take longer. It can take either four days, which can be extended to two weeks should you be asked to provide more information, or even up to a month (30 days) if you need to have an interview. Such cases will be exceptionally rare, but it is still wise to apply for your ETIAS long before your scheduled trip through either the ETIAS app or website.
You’ll be emailed with confirmation of your application and this email will contain a unique application number. You’ll then receive another email with the result of your application once it has been processed successfully. In the very rare event of your application being refused, you’ll be told why and also given the chance to appeal the decision. Find out more about that here.
What if you want to enter Croatia in 2024 and you’re stateless?
If you don’t hold the citizenship of any country, you’ll still need to have an ETIAS to enter Croatia as of 2024 if you hold a travel document issued by the Republic of Ireland or any of these countries.
Who won’t need an ETIAS to enter Croatia in 2024?
If you hold the citizenship of any of the countries requiring ETIAS, you don’t need one yourself in order to enter.
If you hold a residence permit issued by the authorities of any of the countries which would otherwise require an ETIAS, you do not need one yourself to enter Croatia.
If you’re a citizen of Monaco, the Holy See, the Republic of Ireland, San Marino or Andorra, you do not need an ETIAS to enter Croatia.
If you’re a British citizen protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, you do not need an ETIAS. This also includes any family members protected under the same Agreement. Both British nationals who have rights afforded to them by the Withdrawal Agreement and their family members (who do not necessarily have to be British) can reside in the country of their registered residence and travel to all other countries which would otherwise require an ETIAS without one, but they must have documents (such as residence permits) to prove their status with them.
If you’re a stateless person (a person with no citizenship), a refugee or a person who doesn’t hold the citizenship of any country and you reside in any of the European countries otherwise requiring ETIAS and you hold a valid travel document issued by that country.
If you hold a national long-term visa, a uniform visa or a local border traffic permit, or if you hold a service, special or diplomatic biometric passport.
Can you apply for an ETIAS for other people?
Yes, you can.
You’ll need to sign a declaration of representation when doing so via the app or the website, as will the person you’re making the application for. Only one declaration per traveller will be permitted.
One ETIAS per person will be the rule, therefore family or group applications won’t be possible. It is up to you to make sure that all of the data is correct when making the application, and then again when you receive your decision by email.
British nationals are no longer EU citizens. They will require an ETIAS to enter Croatia or any other country requiring ETIAS travel authorisation for 90 days in any 180 days (short-term stay) given that the United Kingdom is a European country which has visa-exempt access to the EU. The only exceptions to this are those who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and who can prove it, as stated above. British Withdrawal Agreement residence permit holders will not require an ETIAS to enter Croatia or any other EU country otherwise requiring it of British nationals who are not holders of the aforementioned residence permit.
Nationals of neighbouring non-EU countries such as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will need to have an ETIAS to enter Croatia, ending the easy passage in and out of Croatia for holders of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens that has been enjoyed for many years. Croatian citizens living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and those with Croatian residence permits are exempt.
Being approved for an ETIAS doesn’t automatically guarantee you entry into the country you’re travelling to. That is ultimately up to the border guard.
You must use the passport you used as part of your ETIAS application when you arrive at the Croatian border as the authorisation is linked to that particular travel document. You will be refused entry into the country upon arrival at the border if you present a different document to the one used to make the application.
For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.