Can the ETIAS be refused or denied?


  • Posted on 14 Jun, 2021
  • 0 65
June 2021 – The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which is scheduled to launch late 2022, will be required for non-European Union (EU) nationals in order to travel to the Schengen Zone.

ETIAS is also known as the visa waiver program and will function similarly to the visa application process, in that the application is a security screening tool to confirm identity and assess for security risks of foreign nationals who wish to enter any countries of the Schengen Area.


This online visa waiver process serves as a security and identity background check, and while most applications will be processed quickly, there is a possibility that some applications will result in refusal or denial of entry. Most reasons for refusal are related to administrative issues, but here we will take a look at how and why an ETIAS application  could be denied (and what you can do to avoid it).

Can my ETIAS application be refused?

The short answer—yes. Non-EU nationals (sometimes called third country nationals) must apply for travel authorization to the Schengen Area of Europe, a 26-country region. Applications will be processed through the EU Central Unit, and there are several ways an application can be denied. However it is anticipated that the large majority be will be easily approved.

Why can my ETIAS be denied?

The European visa waiver application can be denied for several reason, some of which are administrative in nature, while others tie in more directly to security. 

Application errors: If an ETIAS application is incomplete or has inconsistencies (even a name misspelling), the application will be flagged for refusal.

Missed interview: There are some rare instances where an applicant will be required to give a short interview. This interview could be phone, video, or in person, and failure to attend the interview can lead to denial.

Suspicious information: Part of the ETIAS process is to confirm travelers’ identities, and Central Unit database processing looks for anomalies in the application. This can range from providing misleading information or inconsistencies with application content compared to the supporting documents.

Passport issues: A valid passport is required for application approval. Providing expired passport information will result in denial. 

An SIS “hit” occurs: The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a database of criminal activity, including migration alerts, such as when a traveler has over-stayed. If the waiver application results in an SIS match, or “hit,” the application will be refused. 

What do I do if my ETIAS application is denied?

In the case that a traveler’s ETIAS application is denied, applicants have two options:
•    Appeal the decision
•    Apply for a traditional visa for travel to the Schengen Area of Europe

If an ETIAS application for visa-free travel be denied: Applicants will receive an email that will include the reason for refusal. Depending on the nature of the refusal, the applicant may be able to appeal and re-apply, and applicants will be notified if this is the case. 

The other action an applicant can take is to go through the traditional visa application process. This can be lengthy and has a much higher fee than the European Travel Information and Authorization System will. The visa process will require an in-person interview at a consulate office.  

How do I avoid denial of the ETIAS?

In order to avoid refusal, the ETIAS application must be filled out precisely and without error. When applications become available, our customer care team can make the process smoother by ensuring that information is consistent, accurate, and all supporting materials match.

How do I apply for the ETIAS visa waiver?

The application process is done entirely online, and the waiver itself is an electronic document that is tied digitally to your passport. As part of the application, you will need to provide information about your identity and provide support documents. The waiver application will request the following information:

•    Biographical information, including name and date of birth (including if there have been name changes)
•    Contact information, including email address and residential address
•    Occupational or school information, including contacts
•    Passport details (must not be expired)


The ETIAS Europe Application Process

The actual application process is anticipated to take approximately 20 minutes and the visa waiver from can be filled in on a desktop, laptop or mobile device. As mentioned previously, however, a short application that seems simple may lead to carelessness, and precision is the fastest way to gain approval.

Once approved, entry into the Schengen Zone should be a relatively fast process, and the ETIAS is valid for three years, or until the passport linked to it expires, whichever occurs first. Entry at the external border will also mean free travel across internal borders throughout your stay, without the need for additional paperwork. The visa waiver is only applicable to short-term travelers—long-term travellers (those travelling longer than 90 days) will still need to apply for the traditional visa.

Visa-free travel to Europe is easy—when you have help

Although the visa waiver application is straightforward, simple errors can result in refusal and a time-consuming appeal process. When it is time to apply for ETIAS, we can help. Bookmark our website here.

Sign up now for our ETIAS European travel newsletter to get the latest ETIAS updates and other European travel news. 

Share It