Romania ETIAS - Visa exemption for Romania

ETIAS, which is the abbreviation of the EU travel information authorization system, will not enter into force until the beginning of 2020. This is despite the fact that its introduction has already been confirmed by the European Commission . It takes time for these kinds of changes in Europe because approving major changes to things like border regulations has to come from all the Member States. In addition, because ETIAS will involve an online application process and the information collected will be shared between all EU and Schengen countries, it will take time to develop and install the necessary hardware and infrastructure.

Is Romania now in the EU and what about Schengen?

Romania is one of the other 27 countries of the European Union, but it is not yet part of the Schengen bloc of 26 countries. The partial approval for entry to Schengen was made in April this year (2016), but full entry depends on a unanimous decision of the 26 countries. The ETIAS system is expected to be operational in early 2020, Romania will be part of Schengen and this will mean that it will have the same border regulations as other Schengen countries. ETIAS is designed for Schengen, although it will affect the EU because most of the EU is already party to the Schengen Agreement anyway.

What is worth visiting in Romania?

When Romania joined the EU for the first time, visitors flocked there because prices were considerably lower than in other EU countries for the same things, especially housing and transport. The main attractions of Romania are the Black Sea coast and the seaside resorts scattered along it and its mountainous interior. Most people know the legend of Dracula and although this is a little exaggerated, Transylvania is usually on the wish list of most visitors, even if it wants to see some of the beautiful mountain scenery and not experience the empire of Vlad the Impaler.

Everywhere in Romania there are monasteries, churches and other religious paraphernalia that remind visitors that it is one of the most devoutly Christian (Orthodox) countries in Europe. It is wise to remember it in many very conservative villages.

There are still many wild animals in Romania's deep forests, including brown bears and wolves. In some places, especially in winter, it is possible to see bears coming to feed on the outskirts of cities.

Will visitors to Romania need an ETIAS in Romania?

It all depends on their nationality. Romania is not yet in Schengen, so she can theoretically establish her own rules on who she lets in and for how long. However, as it is expected to be part of the Schengen bloc before 2020, this will mean that the country will have exactly the same requirements as the other Schengen countries by then. If you come from one of the Schengen visa-free countries and do not need a visa to enter Europe, you will need to apply for ETIAS Romania once the ETIAS system is officially operational, but not yet.