A visa waiver is essentially a means of making travel to a country easier and less bureaucratic while keeping control over who is allowed to enter the country and the duration of the tourist, commercial, medical or transit trip. There are about 60 visa-exempt countries whose citizens do not need visas to travel to Europe for up to 90 days. They include passport holders from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and others. The Schengen entry and exit system for these travelers is what will change with the deployment of ETIAS. Everyone in this current visa waiver group will have to apply online before traveling to the Schengen area from early 2020. The new visa waiver system is called the Travel Information Authorization System. from the EU or ETIAS for short. Any other holder of a non-EU passport whose passport is not on the visa waiver list must apply for a visa in advance before traveling to the Schengen area.
San Marino is not in the EU, is it?
Like many other small but independent European nations, San Marino is not a member of the European Union, but it has a very close association with Italy. This means that for all practical purposes, San Marino is an associate member of the Schengen bloc because of its connection with Italy. Currently, visiting San Marino is like going to a rather special region of Italy. If you come from one of the countries mentioned above, your stay in San Marino is covered by your status in Italy as in any other member state of the Schengen area. You will need an ETIAS authorization to travel to San Marino once the system is deployed in early 2020.
San Marino is worth a visit?
San Marino is one of the smallest countries in Europe with an area of less than 62 square kilometers. It claims to be the oldest republic in the world, making it an interesting place to see, if not for nothing else. In fact, San Marino is not yet fully urbanized and has many rural areas outside the main city. San Marino, the city, is the best market. This gives you the feel of the place rather than driving slowly through the narrow streets trying to find a place to park. The small streets are full of good surprises. San Marino is a pretty hilly place and you will find yourself walking up and down the city.
Will I need to apply for an ETIAS in San Marino?
Not yet, even if you are part of the group of countries that will need an ETIAS in the future. This is because the system is not yet operational. The deployment of ETIAS depends on the improvement and installation of the type of infrastructure needed to make the system work in all the countries that will be covered by ETIAS and which seems to be in early 2020 according to the latest Commission report Brussels.