Australian citizens traveling to the E.U. for business or leisure reasons will be obligated to apply for an ETIAS visa once the program is fully implemented in 2020. ETIAS, or the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) has already received the full backing of the European Union. The new security system is being implemented to reduce illegal immigration and to better protect against terrorist threats. Australian will be eligible to travel to European countries requiring visas for Australian citizens.
ETIAS Requirements for Australian Citizens
Various requirements are in place for Australians visiting Europe. Australian citizens need to have a valid passport, working email address and a valid credit or debit card at the time of their application. Without these documents, any potential travelers to the E.U. will be unable to apply for an ETIAS visa.
With an approved ETIAS visa, Australians will be granted the authorization to enter the European Schengen Zone. The ETIAS visa for Australians is aimed to reduce travel restrictions while at the same time improving safety standards for international travel throughout the European Union.
Australian citizens must also securely pay the ETIAS application fee in advance using a credit card or debit card. The ETIAS travel authorization, once approved, will be sent directly to the applicant’s email address.
Do Australians need a visa for the E.U.?
To apply for an ETIAS visa, Australians need to fill out the online application. Registration for ETIAS will be purposefully intuitive and will be resolved quickly in order to expedite the approval process. Applicants will answer basic security questions and give details about their travel plans, in a registration process similar to the ESTA program in the United States.
Authorities hope to improve the prescreening process for travelers who are bound for the Schengen Zone. With even more additional safety checks, security will greatly be increased at airports all over Europe.
Most passengers should receive their approved ETIAS visa via email within 24 hours after filling out their application and paying the ETIAS visa fee.
Visiting Europe from Australia
While Australian citizens do not currently need a visa for short-term stays to enter the Schengen Zone for touristic, family, or business purposes, this requirement will change once the ETIAS visa program is implemented by 2020.
In addition, there will be further travel restrictions when travelling to Europe from Australia. This includes but is not limited to importing and exporting currency, perfume or alcohol, and the prohibition of firearms.
Only Australian citizens over the age of 18 will be required to apply for an ETIAS visa in order to travel to the European Union. Minors will be allowed to travel with their normal passports and will not be required to pay the visa fee.
All other Australian citizens, however, must have a valid visa to travel to Europe for short-term stays.