A major change is on the way for Australians heading to Europe
The EU has announced the launch of its long-awaited visa waiver scheme, ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), to debut in May 2023.
Australian citizens will be required to apply for an ETIAS to enter participating European countries on a short term basis, under 90 days, for general tourism, business, transit or medical purposes.
While ETIAS is not the same as a visa - it is quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information - there is still a procedure and a cost to acquiring it, similar the United States’ scheme, ESTA.
The application process will be via an automated IT system, with approval granted within minutes in most cases. There is no need to print or present any documents as the ETIAS is stored electronically against the passport details stored in the European Immigration system.
ETIAS authorisation be valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years. However, holders must abide by immigration and overstay rules.
Currently, third-party nationals cannot stay more than 90 days in its entirety, for every 180-day period.
Any Australian citizen that wishes to enter Europe for over 90 days, or for other purposes than those allowed under the ETIAS program will need to apply for a Schengen visa. Further details can be found by visiting https://etias.com and using the homepage assessment.
The cost: €7 ($A11) for those aged between 18 and 70. Applicants under the age of 18 or over the age of 70 will receive their ETIAS free of charge.
It is advised that Australian citizens complete their ETIAS application 96 hours prior to their departure date.
Full details can be found by visiting the ETIAS requirements page or the ETIAS FAQ's. It is advised to review these pages prior to starting an ETIAS application to avoid any delays or the risk of an ETIAS being refused.
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