ETIAS requirements for Serbian citizens
Italy has visa-free agreement with over 60 countries, including Serbia. This means that Serbian citizens do not have to apply for a traditional visa if they wish to enter Italy.
However, the Schengen countries (Italy is part of the Schengen Area) are making efforts to make their borders safer for both European citizens and foreign visitors. At the same time, they are implementing measures and procedures to make border check and visa processes quicker and easier for travelers.
With this goal in mind, they have developed the ETIAS (Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System) program. Starting from late 2022, all visa-free travelers will need to obtain a valid ETIAS visa waiver before entering the Schengen zone.
This means that Serbians will maintain their visa-free status but will be required to apply for ETIAS before they can visit Italy and the rest of the Schengen member countries.
Personal information for the ETIAS Italy
The ETIAS application is designed to be easy and straightforward. Serbians do not need to apply in person as the whole process is completed online.
As part of the online process, they must fill out the application form. This should only take a few minutes but it is paramount that travelers complete all fields carefully.
The online questionnaire will ask applicants to provide some essential information in order to obtain the ETIAS permit. This includes:
- Personal information: date of birth, full name, gender
- Passport information: document number, date and place of issue, expiration date
- Contact details: home address, email address, telephone number
- Travel plans: the Schengen country the applicant intends to enter first
The answers on the questionnaire should also reflect exactly what is included in the applicant’s passport. Please note that Serbians should use the same passport for applying for ETIAS and traveling to Italy.
As mentioned above, the form is easy to complete. All visitors must have their own individual ETIAS and fill out their individual application form. However, if necessary, travelers can assist their family members in completing the online application should it be necessary.
What documents do I need for the ETIAS Italy?
As part of the ETIAS visa waiver requirements for Italy, Serbians must submit relevant supporting documents as part of their application. Besides the completed online questionnaire, they must also provide:
- A valid Serbian passport
- A credit or debit card activated for online purchases to pay for the ETIAS fees
The Serbian passport must be valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of arrival. Should the passport expire before ETIAS does, a new ETIAS application must be submitted with the details of the new passport. That is because the ETIAS authorization and the passport used in the application are directly linked.
Please note that the Schengen authorities may require further documentation in some cases (as part of the ETIAS review process or at the border) in order to confirm that the traveler does not pose a threat to the security and health of Schengen citizens and residents.
Medical information for Serbian citizens
Italy is a developed country with a modern and efficient public health system. Italian and European citizens can access healthcare for free both in Italy and across the EU territory.
Foreign visitors will easily find pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. However, only EU nationals and residents have the right to free medical care in the EU.
Although Serbia has applied for the European Union in 2009 and become a candidate for accession in 2011, negotiations are still ongoing, meaning that it is not a member country of the Union and its nationals are not considered EU citizens.
Health insurance is not a requirement for ETIAS. However, non-EU nationals (including Serbian) are strongly recommended to purchase coverage for their trip so as to explore Italy and Europe with peace of mind.
No vaccinations are required for Serbians who travel to Italy. However, those who have recently visited certain areas of the world may need to show proof of vaccinations or other health certificates. These visitors should make sure to ask their health practitioner for advice before leaving for Italy.
Food and water are generally safe to consume in Italy as they follow strict European guidelines.
The Italian emergency phone number is 112.
ETIAS Italy benefits for Serbian citizens
As outlined above, the ETIAS program is intended to improve the safety of European citizens and all people present on the Schengen territory, including Serbian visitors.
Thanks to the new electronic system, European law enforcement will have better and more reliable data on individuals crossing the external Schengen borders. This will give them more tools to prevent and fight international crimes such as:
- Identity theft
- Drug and human trafficking
- International terrorism
The data collected from travelers will be encrypted and protected by the European eu-LISA system and will need to be handled following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information will only be accessed by authorized personnel such as immigration and police officers.
The completely electronic program will also save Serbian citizens time and effort. Unlike traditional visas, Serbian passport holders will not need to book an appointment with an Italian embassy or consulate in order to get their permit.
The online application only takes minutes and can be completed from any device that can connect to the internet and from anywhere in the world, including one’s home or office. Supporting documents are also uploaded in electronic format.
Processing times are minimal: in just a few days or even hours, Serbian passport holders will receive their approved ETIAS via email.
Once approved, the ETIAS visa waiver is valid for 3 years during which the holder can enter Italy and the other Schengen member countries multiple times for stays of up to 90 days each for every 180-day period.