Will Australian citizens need a visa for Europe?
No, Australians do not and will not need a visa to enter Europe. Their visa-free status will remain unchanged.
However, by the end of 2022, Australians must get an ETIAS, a new entry requirement for Europe.
European Union authorities will introduce the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). A visa waiver program that will require all visa-free travellers to apply online for an electronic authorisation. Australians are eligible for this new travel permit.
Is ETIAS for Australians the same as a visa?
ETIAS is not a visa, it is an electronic travel authorisation. Australian nationals can continue visiting Europe’s Schengen Area without applying for a visa.
Australians should register with ETIAS before they travel to the Schengen Area.
Once approved, ETIAS holders from Australia will have unrestricted access to countries within the Schengen Area for 90 days within a period of 180 days.
An approved ETIAS is valid for multiple entries as long as the visitor does not exceed a 90-day stay within the Schengen Area.
Documents required to obtain ETIAS for Australian citizens
When the system launches toward the end of 2022, the ETIAS application process is done online.
An Australian citizen wishing to apply for a visa-waiver can submit their form from anywhere in the world.
Australians will only need their valid passport and a credit card to complete the application online and gain permission to enter Europe. Further documents may be required of certain applicants depending on their specific circumstances.
ETIAS application requirements for Australian citizens
The ETIAS application is straightforward. Applicants from Australia can complete the entire process in around 10 minutes. Still, it is important to pay close attention to each step, answering each question as accurately as possible.
Below, applicants can find a list of requirements for the ETIAS application for Australian citizens:
- A valid Australian (or other ETIAS approved country) passport
- A valid email address so that the authority’s decision regarding the waiver can be communicated
- A credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS application fee
ETIAS application process for Australian citizens
In addition to meeting the above requirements, Australian citizens applying for visa-free entry in Europe need must enter the following information:
- Personal information such as the traveller’s full name, date of birth, and gender.
- Contact details such as their current address, a valid phone number, and a valid email address.
- Passport details including the date of issue, the date of expiration, and the country of issue.
- Travel plans such as their intended port of entry.
Note: It will not be required to provide a complete itinerary as the Schengen Area allows for borderless travel between member states.
In addition, travellers must answer health and security questions on their application.
The EU anticipates a 95% acceptance rate for Australian applicants of the ETIAS visa waiver. The traveller will receive an email notifying them of the status of their authorisation.
If ETIAS is declined, the email will detail the reasons for the denial. Applicants may appeal the decision directly to the country where they initially intend to enter.
Ex: If a traveller intends on arriving in Paris for one night before spending six weeks in Berlin, the appeal would be made to France, not Germany.
Why do I need to obtain the ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Europe?
Australian travellers may wonder why European authorities will be implementing a new system in 2022. In November 2016, the European Commission voted in favour of the ETIAS program to ensure more secure borders and smoother document checks.
The ETIAS visa waiver is expected to lead to a safer Europe for both its citizens as well as the tourists intent on visiting. At the same time, it will make border procedures more efficient and waiting times shorter.