By Amit Acco, Partner |

There is often confusion between the Schengen visa and the EU ETIAS system. As of 2024, Israeli citizens will be required to register with the new ETIAS system in order to continue enjoying visa-free travel to European countries. However, it’s important to note that this does not eliminate the need for Israeli citizens to obtain a visa for entry into any of the countries in the Schengen Area of Europe.


The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is a new travel authorization system that the European Union is implementing for visitors from visa-exempt third countries, including Israel in 2024. The ETIAS is designed to improve security and manage migration risks by screening travelers before they enter the Schengen Area, which is the area of 26 European countries that have abolished passports and other types of border control at their mutual borders. The ETIAS will require visitors to provide personal information, and travel details, and undergo a security check before they are granted permission to travel to the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Visa

Schengen visa is a type of permit that allows the holder to move freely within the Schengen zone consisting of 26 European countries. Depending on the nature of travel, there are different types of Schengen visas, each with its own restrictions and validity period.

Uniform Schengen Visas (USV) are the most common type of Schengen visas. They allow holders to transit or reside in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days every six months, starting from the date of entry. The visa can be obtained in the form of a single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa, depending on the holder’s purpose of travel.

A single-entry visa permits the holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, for a specific period of time. A double-entry visa is similar, but allows the holder to re-enter the Schengen Area once after leaving it. A multiple-entry visa permits the holder to enter and leave the Schengen Area multiple times, provided they do not violate the 90/180 days rule.

The 90/180 days rule

The 90/180 days rule is a regulation that applies to the visa-free entry of third-country nationals into the Schengen Area. It means that a person can stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period. This means that once a person has spent 90 days within the Schengen Area, they must leave and cannot return until 180 days have passed since their initial entry.

The rule is applicable to travelers who are exempt from the visa requirement and who hold a passport that is not issued by an EU Member State or a Schengen Associated Country. It is designed to prevent individuals from abusing the visa-free entry by using it for long-term stays or to work illegally in the Schengen Area.

In conclusion, Schengen visas are an essential requirement for anyone planning to travel within the Schengen Area. It is important to understand the different types of visas available and their restrictions before applying for one. By following the rules and regulations, travelers can enjoy a hassle-free journey within the Schengen zone.