ETIAS announces major change for Aussie travel through Europe in 2024

Arrival Immigration Passport Control Point at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport In The Netherlands Europe

A new immigration system introduced by the European Travel Information and Authority System (ETIAS) will give Aussie travellers free movement through 30 countries in Europe from 2024.

Following Brexit, Australia (and many other nations) lost free movement through 30 countries in the Schengen Area countries in Europe.

The Schengen Area includes most countries in Europe apart from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Ireland, Romania and Bulgaria are currently in the process of joining.

Essentially, being a member nation means checks at EU international borders are abolished and a single set of rules for external borders are applied to all who enter the Schengen area for a period of up to 90 days.

The new changes have been made to advance the immigration system and protect against illegal entry and will be necessary for some 1.6 billion people from 63 countries.

An ETIAS will be valid for three years, or until the traveller’s passport expires and will cost AUD$11 for everyone apart from those under 18 or over 70, who will be able to attain one free of charge.

The European Union suggests applicants should apply well in advance, “Before you buy your ticket or book your accommodation,” on its website.

“Most applications will be processed within minutes and at the latest within 96 hours.

An additional 30 days may be needed for applicants needing to provide further information.

The EU website also warns of a number of impersonation scams that have already arisen, saying application forms should only be accessed through the official ETIAS app or the European Union Website.

“There are tens of websites claiming to be the official ETIAS application sites: they use the official EU logo, some even collect travellers’ personal data.”

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