By Andrew Rasch
Published: Monday, June 5, 2023
From next year, the days of Aussies getting into Europe with just their passport will come to an end.
The European Union is introducing the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), meaning travellers from certain visa-exempt countries, including Australia, will need to apply for a special waiver to travel freely across Europe.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS is a travel requirement that becomes compulsory for most travellers visiting Europe from 2024. An ETIAS authorisation will enable you to enter 30 European countries for short-term stays, normally up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Keep in mind, an ETIAS authorisation doesn’t guarantee you an automatic right of entry to Europe, so you’ll still need to satisfy the entry conditions of the country you’re visiting when you reach the border.
For how long is the ETIAS waiver valid?
The ETIAS travel authorisation is valid for three years, or until the passport you used to apply becomes invalid. As it’s linked to your passport, you’ll need to reapply for an ETIAS authorisation if you receive a new passport.
What information do I need to apply?
You’ll need to have a valid passport, and you’ll also be asked for details such as your name, address, date and place of birth, nationality, contact information, education, occupation, and criminal history. Refer to the ETIAS website for more information about documentation.
How do I apply and how long does it take?
When the approval process is launched, you’ll be able to apply on the official ETIAS website or with an app on your smartphone. Most applications only take minutes to process but some take up to four days. To allow for any delays, travellers should apply for an ETIAS authorisation well in advance. Without this authorisation, you’ll be unable to board a plane, ship, or any other vessel headed to Europe.
How much will it cost?
It will cost €7 (about AUD$11.50) to apply for the ETIAS authorisation, although applicants under 18 or over 70 are exempt from paying the fee. Applicants are being warned to beware of scam websites that promise to manage the ETIAS authorisation for you. These websites usually add additional, unnecessary fees and slow down the approval process.