The ETIAS for nationals of Malaysia is an upcoming travel authorisation that will grant entry to 26 countries in Europe.
Scheduled for launch in 2022, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will allow Malaysians to obtain permission to travel to almost all the countries in the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Travellers from around 60 non-EU countries, including Malaysia, will need to register with the new system. The application will be fully online and quick to complete.
Malaysian citizens will simply have to register their details online to obtain the ETIAS visa waiver in a rapid and convenient process.
Will Malaysian citizens need a visa for Europe?
No, Malaysian citizens will continue to enjoy the benefits of visa exemption for all of the 26 countries in the Schengen Area.
Malaysians currently do not need to get a visa to enter Europe for short-term stays for tourism or leisure purposes. This will not change with the launch of the ETIAS in 2022.
Is ETIAS a visa for Malaysians to enter Europe?
ETIAS is not a visa; it is a travel authorisation.
It will allow Malaysian passport holders to stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days visa-free.
It is being introduced to improve security for both residents and foreign visitors to Europe and is far easier to obtain than a visa. Citizens of visa-exempt countries like Malaysia must simply register online, rather than go to an embassy to fill out an application in person.
The ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years, or until the Malaysian passport registered expires, and can be used for multiple trips to Europe provided the 90 days in a 180-day period limit is not exceeded.
ETIAS requirements for Malaysian citizens
Malaysian nationals will need to have a few things in order to apply for the ETIAS and receive the visa waiver for entry to Europe.
To meet the ETIAS requirements, each Malaysian traveller must have the following items:
- Valid Malaysian passport
- Credit or debit card in order to pay the ETIAS application fee
- Up-to-date email address to which notifications can be sent
It is essential that all of the information provided when completing the ETIAS application is correct. If there is an error of any kind, the authorities could have cause to deny or delay the request.
Documents required to obtain ETIAS for Malaysian citizens
It is vital to have a valid passport in order to register with the ETIAS.
The passport must have been issued by Malaysia or another ETIAS-approved country.
It is also important that the passport will continue to be valid for the duration of the planned trip to Europe and for a further 3 months afterwards. Passports that are over 10 years old are also not accepted.
The ETIAS application process for Malaysian citizens
Malaysian applicants will need to give the following information when completing the ETIAS application form:
- Personal information, such as their full name as it is seen on their passport, their date of birth, their place of birth, and their gender.
- Passport information, including the passport number, the country of issue, the date of issue, and the expiry date.
- Contact details, such as their current address of residency, valid email address, and an up-to-date phone number.
- Intended itinerary, including where they intend to enter the Schengen Area and any the countries they are planning on visiting
Additionally, travellers should be prepared to provide information regarding their health background and criminal record, if applicable.
Once the travel authorisation has been approved, it is linked to the applicant’s passport electronically and an email notification is sent. The ETIAS will be verified when the passport is scanned at the border upon entry to Europe.
It is important to remember that the final decision regarding entry to the Schengen Area falls with border security and that holding an approved ETIAS does not automatically grant access.
In the event of a denied application, an email is sent explaining why the individual was rejected. The applicant will then have the option to appeal the decision, which they will make directly to the appeals board of the country they listed as their intended port of entry. Example: If their itinerary noted that they were flying into Paris, they would issue their appeal to France.
Why the need for ETIAS?
In November 2016, the European Commission responded to an increase in terrorist activity by voting to implement the ETIAS programme for entry to Europe.
Authorities believe that the visa waiver system will be an efficient and secure way to screen travellers without adding an additional burden to their pre-trip routine. ETIAS was designed to be hassle-free, protecting visa-free privileges of Malaysian citizens whilst boosting cross-border security.