From November 2023, visitors from 50+ nations, including Australia and New Zealand, will require an ETIAS to enter any of the EU Schengen area countries.
Australians will need an ETIAS visa waiver to visit Europe from 2023, after the EU announced that its long-awaited electronic visa waiver scheme, ETIAS, would be implemented from November 2023.
The ETIAS visa waiver program was originally set to be implemented in May 2023, but was postponed for six months on August 3.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an electronic travel waiver program (not unlike the ESTA visa waiver program employed by the US) for non-EU nationals travelling to any of the 26 Schengen member countries.
From November 2023, visitors from 50+ nations, including Australia and New Zealand, will require an ETIAS to enter any of the Schengen area countries, including in transit.
The Schengen area is a group of 27 European countries – including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain – which have officially abolished border controls and adopted common entry and exit requirements that allow visitors to move freely between them. Croatia is the most recent country to join the group.
Applications are all completed quickly online, via a “largely automated IT system” and don’t require any biometric information. Most applications will be processed within minutes, although the EU has noted that “in very exceptional cases”, approvals could take up to a month.
ETIAS visa waivers are valid for short-term stays (up to 90 days) and for business or leisure purposes. Once approved, an ETIAS can be used for up to three years or until the passport expires (whichever comes first.)
To apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, you will need a valid passport, an email address, and a debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS processing fee of €7 (or approximately A$11).
There’ll be no changes for those travellers who previously needed a visa to enter.
Read more about ETIAS visa waivers here.