Australian citizens traveling to the E.U. will require a visa waiver for Europe from Australia as of 2021. From that date onwards it will be obligatory to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver for business or leisure purposes once the program is fully implemented in early 2021. This European visa waiver for Australian citizens permits Australians to visit the country for short stays of up to 90 days at a time.
ETIAS, or the European Travel Information and Authorization 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. Australians will be eligible to travel to European countries but will require travel authorization for Australian citizens to do so from the 2021 launch date.
This new system, however, permits Australians to travel to all 26 Schengen member states. This includes 22 EU member states such as France, Germany, Spain, and Italy in addition to 4 non-EU Schengen nations: Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland.
ETIAS permits Australians to travel to all 26 Schengen member states from 2021:
How to Apply for an ETIAS Australia from 2021 Onwards
Applicants from Australia seeking to visit Europe with an ETIAS visa waiver from 2021 will need to fill out an online form in order to register for the program. This will require the applicant to submit the following information:
- Their full name and surname
- Date, location and country of birth
- A current address
- Their contact telephone number
- An active email address
- Their passport number, issue date, and expiry date
Be aware that you will also need to indicate the country of arrival in the Schengen zone. However, once you’ve arrived at your allocated nation of entry you will be entitled to travel freely within the Schengen area at your leisure without any individual permission needed for each country
Once these details have been submitted, you will then need to answer a number of security questions and pay an administration fee (this is usually waived if the applicant is under 18). If approved, your ETIAS will then be sent to your registered email address directly.
Once received, you will then only need to print off your travel authorization and present it at a port of entry of the country you have indicated during the registration process. Once you’ve arrived you will then be able to travel in the Schengen area in its entirety.
Be aware, however, this is not a guarantee of entry into the EU as the final decision to permit entry rests entirely with the border guard on duty at the time of arrival. They may require the visiting Australian citizen to prove that they do not intend to overstay on their ETIAS and could ask for evidence such as:
- A return plane ticket to Australia
- Evidence of onward travel
- Proof of sufficient funds to support the individual during their stay
- Appropriate health insurance coverage
Visa Requirements for Europe for Australian citizens
Various requirements are in place for Australians visiting Europe with an ETIAS. 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 waiver.
With an approved ETIAS visa waiver, Australians will be granted authorization to enter the European Schengen Zone for periods of up to three months. The ETIAS visa waiver for Australians sets out 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. Once the ETIAS travel authorization has been approved, it will be sent directly to the applicant’s email address. The ETIAS requirements for Australian citizens include a number of official ID documents and necessitates the answering of a number of security questions. During the application process you will also be asked to provide information about the following subjects:
- Your criminal record history
- Your employment history
- Drug use
- Human trafficking
- Travel to conflict areas
- Any previous trips you’ve made to Europe
To ensure maximum security in the Schengen area, this information and your identity details will be cross-referenced against international criminal and informational databases such as eu-LISA, Schengen Information System (SIS), INTERPOL, EURODAC, EUROPOL, and Visa Information System (VIS). These will ensure that information on potential applicants meets the security criteria of the Schengen zone.
Do Australian Citizens Need a Visa for Europe?
Australian citizens will need an ETIAS visa waiver in order to visit Europe. To apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, Australians need to fill out the online application and submit the necessary proof of identity. ETIAS Registration 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 be increased at airports all over Europe and that this will guard against terrorism within the Schengen borders. Most passengers should receive their approved ETIAS visa waiver via email within 24 hours after filling out their application and paying the ETIAS visa waiver 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 waiver program is implemented by 2021.
In addition, there will be further travel restrictions when traveling to Europe from Australia. This includes (but is not limited to) importing and exporting currency, perfume or alcohol, and the prohibition of firearms.
All Australian citizens will be required to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver in order to travel to the European Union. Additionally, minors will be allowed to travel with their normal passports but will also be required to apply for an ETIAS.
The ETIAS however, is only available to Australians holding full citizenship. All other Australians who are not full citizens, on the other hand, must have a valid visa to travel to Europe even for short-term stays. This applies to:
- Australian Subjects
- Australian Overseas Citizens
- Australian Protected Persons
ETIAS for Australians - FAQ
How Long Can Australians stay in Europe?
The ETIAS for Australians allows visitors to spend a period of up to 90 days in the Schengen area at a time. The ETIAS itself is valid for three years and can be used multiple times within the validity period of the visa-waiver.
There are a few restrictions to this period of visitation permitted by the European ETIAS. Firstly, you cannot stay in Europe for more than 90 days in any six month period.
Additionally, it’s important to bear in mind that if your identifying document (such as your Australian passport) expires before the end of the validity of your ETIAS, you will need to apply for a new ETIAS in order to travel to the Schengen zone again. This is because your ETIAS is joined specifically to your identifying documents and therefore if you travel with new documents you will need another ETIAS.
Can Australians Work in Europe with an ETIAS?
An ETIAS visa waiver can only be used for tourism, business, and transit purposes within the Schengen area. Australians wishing to work in Europe will not be able to do so with an ETIAS.
Working in Europe with an Australian ETIAS document could lead to the revocation of your visa waiver. This is because working in the Schengen area invalidates the agreed-upon conditions of the travel authorization document at the time of the application. You may also be barred from applying for a new ETIAS for a period of time as well.
However, if australian citizen intend to travel to Europe to seek employment, this can be done with an appropriate national visa or work permit. This will, however, depend on the country you wish to work in. You will also be assessed for eligibility based on your personal and professional circumstances based on the national requirements of the Schengen member in question.
Can Australians use an ETIAS for Study Purposes?
Unfortunately it is not possible for Australian citizens to travel on an ETIAS to study in Europe. The terms of an ETIAS visa waiver specify that the holder may only visit the Schengen area for the purposes of travel, transit and business. In order to study for an Undergraduate degree or Master’s degree program in Europe for Australians, the applicant will instead need to hold an appropriate study visa or national visa, depending on which country they wish to earn their qualification in.