Entering Europe to get more complicated for Australians
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There’s a change in the wind that means travel to Europe is going to get slightly more complicated for most of us. Starting next year, the EU will implement a new entry system designed to reduce illegal immigration and beef up security against terrorism, and this will affect how Australians travel around Europe.
Australians will find entering Europe more complicated from next year.Credit: AP
From 2024, Australian passport holders wishing to visit Europe will be required to apply to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). At its heart, ETIAS is a visa waiver which will allows citizens of some countries, including Australian passport holders, to enter Europe and travel freely.
The ETIAS application process will require you to provide personal information including date and place of birth, nationality, home address, parents’ first names, email address and phone number. It will also ask for your passport details, level of education and current occupation, your travel plans and any criminal convictions, past travels to war or conflict zones and whether you have recently been required to leave any country.
To apply for the ETIAS travel authorisation, travellers will need to complete the application form which will become available on the official ETIAS website or apply via the ETIAS mobile application. Without ETIAS authorisation you won’t be allowed to board any aircraft, ferry, cruise ship or train heading for Europe.
The ETIAS is valid for three years from the date of issue or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. The cost is €7 ($11.40) and applicants under 18 or over 70 pay nothing. Although it adds another hoop to jump through, ETIAS changes nothing for Australian travellers once you’re actually there. Australians with ETIAS approval will be able to enter any one of 30 continental European countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
That’s the same as the present entitlement for Australian passport holders in the Schengen area, which includes most countries in continental Europe. Once ETIAS comes into effect, beware of scammers who set up official looking websites offering to facilitate the ETIAS application process (just as they have for the US visa waiver and many other visas and entry forms). These sites will add a massive surcharge to the relatively minor ETIAS fee and slow down the approval process.
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