Aussies travelling to Europe will need to apply online for a special visa waiver from the end of 2022.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was proposed by the European Union (EU) in 2016 and will begin rolling out at the beginning of 2022.
It aims to improve the security of the Schengen area by screening travellers before their arrival in Europe and prevent those who pose a security threat from entering.
Obtaining an ETIAS will allow Aussies to travel within the 26 countries that are Schengen member states including France, Germany, Spain and Italy for short stays of up to 90 days at a time.
It also covers non-EU Schengen states including Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Travellers won’t need the visa waiver for non-Schengen EU states such as the UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus.
ETIAS will work similarly to the US’ ESTA and will cost €7 ($11). It can be used for an unlimited number of leisure or business trips and is valid for three years.
Applicants will need to fill out an online form and provide their name, nationality, date, and location of birth, current address, phone number, email address, and passport details.
However, having an ETIAS is not a guarantee of entry into Europe – border guards may need to see visitors’ return ticket back to Australia, evidence of onward travel, proof of sufficient funds, and health insurance documentation.
To see what countries will require an ETIAS, go here.
Featured image source: iStock/CHUYN