Do Aussies Need Those New Visas For Europe Too?

ETIAS visa Australia Europe travel

As if sky-rocketing airfares to Europe, not to mention accommodation and meal price hikes, weren’t enough, soon, you’ll need to pay for a visa to get into parts of the continent too. As part of Europe’s new ETIAS program, citizens from roughly 60 countries, Australia included, will need to register and pay a fee for travel to certain countries in Europe.

The new program, called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), will apply to 27 member countries of Europe’s Schengen Zone, including France, Germany and Greece. The 60-odd countries and territories eligible for the program include Australia, the US and the UK.

It’s also important to note that ETIAS isn’t technically a visa – it’s a travel authorization requirement for visa-free visitors. It’s also been described as a “visa-waiver”.

Italy train travel
Image: Unsplash

The change was supposed to come into effect on January 1, 2021, but has been delayed several times. Now, it’s reported to be launching sometime in 2025. When it does, all citizens of applicable countries will need to register and pay for travel to the 27 member countries of Europe’s Schengen Zone or risk being turned away at the border.

The countries where a ETIAS will be mandatory, if applicable, are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

“The European Union decided to implement this new travel authorization program to protect and strengthen its borders amid mounting terror threats in Europe,” reports US travel publication AFAR. “By requiring visitors to register, the hope is that the EU will be able to identify any possible threats or risks associated with travellers coming into the participating countries before they arrive.”

Luckily, the process of applying for a ETIAS isn’t too time-consuming – you’ll be able to apply online and according to a landing page for information on the process, it should only take about 10 minutes.

You’ll need a valid passport, email address and a debit or credit card to pay for the non-refundable 7-euro application fee, which applies to travellers aged 18 to 70. Those outside those ages will need an ETIAS but won’t be charged for it. The application will see you being asked to enter your personal information and then being asked a series of security and health questions.

Mykonos Greece
Image: Getty Images

Once you’ve submitted it, it’ll be processed immediately, and you should receive an email confirming your ETIAS within 96 hours. However, the ETIAS site does say that a small percentage of applications may take up to four weeks to process if additional documentation is required from the applicant.

Also, you won’t need to reapply for each time you go to Europe – the ETIAS authorisation will be valid for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. It’ll be valid for up to 90 days of staying in Europe. You’ll be able to re-enter Europe multiple times within that three-year period if your stay doesn’t exceed 90 days within a 180-day period.

Related: The Tokyo Neighbourhood Dubbed ‘Little Europe’

Related: This European Tourist Island Has Banned Phones, So Now You Have to Connect With Nature

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.