Estonia ETIAS - Visa Exemption for Estonia

There is no individual visa in Estonia, as Estonia is linked to many other EU countries. If you need a visa for Europe, the same visa will also be valid for Estonia. It is true that the EU is introducing a new system that will affect many people who are not citizens of the EU. The system is called the EU Travel Information Authorization System or ETIAS. This will affect your trip to Estonia as it will in the rest of Europe if you have not needed a visa so far, but do not hold an EU passport. This will mean, when it is introduced early in 2020, that you will have permission to visit Europe before your arrival rather than just at the border, which is happening right now.

I heard that Estonia is now part of Schengen. Is it true?

Yes. Estonia has joined the Schengen bloc of countries, although in reality these countries are almost all EU countries, with one or two exceptions, such as Norway and Switzerland. Many non-Europeans and a number of Europeans are not sure of the difference. Basically, if you need an ETIAS in the future, once you have it, you can visit any Schengen country. The total time in the Schengen bloc will be 90 days. Schengen deals with common border controls, whereas the EU is much more than that.

Is Estonia an interesting place to visit?

Absolutely. Its main attraction is the old town of Tallinn, the capital, which has many medieval buildings in very good condition. The medieval part of Tallinn has been tightened by the German Crusaders and is considered one of the best preserved medieval centers in Europe. There are several other cities that are also worth visiting, especially what has been called the summer capital, Pärnu.

What is not so well known is the fact that Estonia has a huge number of islands, even more than Denmark. Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are two of the most famous islands, the first is famous for its castle and the second for its many lighthouses. Although the trip around the countryside and especially the islands is best in the summer, if you are a birdwatcher, you may want to go at any other time. Estonia has many beaches and locals bathe in the many inland marsh lakes.

Do I need an Estonia ETIAS visa waiver if I go?

You could, but not yet, because the EU authorities have not officially introduced it. When it is operational, you will need to fill out an online form and pay a fee of € 5 at least 72 hours in advance. The authorization will last 5 years. The best way to know if you will need it is to know if you need a Schengen visa at the moment. If you do not hold a passport from an EU country, it is likely that you will need an ETIAS Estonia to travel anywhere in the EU with one or two exceptions (the Grande Britain has different travel regulations, for example). To find out if you need an ETIAS visa waiver, visit the home page and take a look at