Australian nationals are currently able to travel to most European countries without the need for any specific travel visas, however, as part of a European Scheme to improve security and migration issues in the EU zone, this will be changing from 2021. (Update: The original starting date of 2020 has now been amended to 2021.)
In 2021 when the new European visa comes into effect, also known as the ETIAS visa, any Australian citizens wishing to visit Europe will need to obtain a European visa waiver before travelling.
This will be an obligatory, digitised travel authorisation linked to each Australian passport that tourists will need to access before visiting Europe. Read on to find out more about ETIAS and how to apply for a European visa from Australia.
Similar to many other countries around the world, applicants will be able to apply for their travel authorisation for Europe via a simple online application.
What is ETIAS visa?
The ETIAS visa waiver is a European Travel Information and Authorisation System which will require Australian travelers to apply online for a visa for Europe before visiting.
The European Union announced in 2016 that they would be creating various schemes and databases to strengthen the external borders with regards health, safety and migration issues. Several of the programs currently under construction throughout the European Union also aim to improve the possibility of identifying terrorist threats associated with travellers to and from Europe.
- This new European visa will permit stays of up to 90 days.
- It will have a total validation period of 5 years, as long as the corresponding passport
remains valid for this time also.
- ETIAS is a multiple-entry visa for Europe , allowing the holder to travel to and
around the EU zone as many times as he/she wishes within the 5-year validity period .
How will ETIAS work for Australians?
ETIAS, similar to the American ESTA visa waiver, will allow visitors to apply for their Europe visa online before travelling and will include a simple application form to complete.
Before getting started, Australian citizens should be aware that the ETIAS will be available for tourism and business travel within the European Schengen zone. Tourists visiting European countries from Australia will need to get an approved ETIAS to accompany their valid Australian passport and other travel documents such as insurance, itineraries etc.
What do Australians need to visit Europe?
Australian nationals will be required to provide the following information when applying for the new European visa :
- Personal information: Name, date of birth etc.
- Passport details: Issue number, validity dates etc.
- Travel, health, security and previous migration information.
The online ETIAS application will ask basic questions regarding health, travel and security risks to be checked against various European and international databases in order to determine the eligibility of each citizen.
These entry requirements for Australian citizens visiting Europe will become obligatory for all over-18s from 2021.
In addition to giving this information, Australian travellers will be required to pay the ETIAS fee before being granted access to the EU. This can be done easily and quickly via credit/debit card with the online application.