Travel alert
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Australian travellers planning a holiday  to Europe will need to check if they need a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) travel permit before they go.  This will be new to many Australians who have enjoyed visa free travel to Europe for some time.

The ETIAS travel authorisation system was meant to launch in 2024 but it has been postponed to May 2025. 

What is the ETIAS and how does it work?

ETIAS is a fully electronic process that allows and keeps track of visitors from those countries who aren’t required to have a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. ETIAS holders can enjoy up to 90 days in 30 European countries in any 180-day period. It is valid for tourism, business, and transit in all Schengen Area countries.

Once it is launched in 2025, travellers from more than 60 visa-exempt countries, including Australia, will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation.

The system is much like the one used in the United States, ESTA. If given, it will be valid for three years, although a new document will be required if your passport expires or is replaced before the three years is up.

Travellers will be asked to apply online for ETIAS, and each applicant will undergo a detailed security check to determine their status for entry into any of the Schengen Zone countries.  

Why has the ETIAS been introduced?

The ETIAS visa was introduced to address increased terrorism by increasing border security and checks, with the aim of making travelling through these countries safer.  It is also expected the new ETIAS will help:

  • ​​Reduce procedures and application times
  • Improve the management of EU country borders
  • Assist in detecting and decreasing crime and terrorism
  • Impede irregular migration
  • Reinforce the visa liberalisation policy of the EU

Countries requiring a valid ETIAS

The European countries that will require travellers to hold a valid ETIAS upon arrival at their borders are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

What you need to apply for ETIAS

The documents required to apply for ETIAS are:

  • Passport—valid for at least 3 months after you leave the Schengen Area
  • Email address—you’ll be notified by email when your ETIAS is approved
  • Debit or credit card—to pay the ETIAS fees online

For the latest information on the ETIAS requirements for Australians travelling to Europe in 2025 visit the smartraveller website.

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