Guide to ETIAS: The new travel pass for Malaysians visiting Europe

Another travel pass


By Aina Nur Sarah

FEATURED IMAGE: Earth / Unsplash
Guide to ETIAS: The new travel pass for Malaysians visiting Europe

According to a report by Henley & Partners, Malaysia has one of the strongest passport’s globally, ranking 14th in the world. This gives Malaysians access to 179 of 227 countries in the world. However, beginning 2024, Malaysians will need to apply for an ETIAS, a special travel permit to visit EU countries. As Malaysians have enjoyed decades of document-free travels to Europe, the news of a new travel pass requirement may come as a bit of a shock. 

If you’re unsure of how to navigate this new requirement, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about ETIAS.


Photo: Joss Woodhead / Unsplash


What is an ETIAS?

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an electronic visa waiver for citizens of select visa-exempt countries. This special travel document is not a visa and meeting its requirements means you do not need to stress over visa approvals for participating countries. 


Why was this programme implemented?

The ETIAS programme is intended to screen travellers arriving from overseas as a response to the global increase in terrorist activities.


When will the ETIAS take effect?

The ETIAS will begin in 2024. According to its website, Malaysians will be required to complete an ETIAS application before boarding an aeroplane, sea carrier, or coach vehicle to Europe.


Who needs to apply for ETIAS?

Individuals that are planning to travel to European destinations and are citizens of countries that do not need to acquire a visa, including Malaysians. 


READ: A complete guide to beating jet lag so you can travel to the fullest 


Photo: Christian Lue / Unsplash


What happens if you don’t meet the requirements?

If you do not have an approved ETIAS travel authorisation or do not qualify for ETIAS enrollment, you can still acquire a Schengen visa to visit.


How much will the ETIAS cost?

It will only cost you a fee of €7 (approximately RM35.60).


How do you apply for an ETIAS travel pass?

You can apply for the pass on their website, and it will be valid for three years. To apply, you will need a valid travel document (your passport). Your passport needs to be valid for more than three months on the day of your intended departure from the European Union (EU) and be no older than 10 years from the date of issue. 

The applications will take between a few minutes to 96 hours to process. If any additional information or interviews are required, the waiting period can take up to an additional 30 days to complete, so you better apply early! If you are related to a citizen of either the EU or a European Free Trade Association country, then you can opt to apply for an exemption.


What are the current participating EU countries?

All 30 countries of the European Union or Schengen Area, including: 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

For more information, visit the ETIAS website here.


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