Documents Required to Obtain ETIAS for Australian Citizens
Beginning in 2021, travel to Europe for Australian citizens will require an extra step. European authorities have announced that the European Travel Information and Authority System (ETIAS) will be implemented.
The ETIAS is a visa-free waiver system that will allow travelers from Australia, as well as 60 other countries from all over the world, to travel to the Schengen Area of the European Union visa-free. Australian travelers should remember that although they will not be required to obtain a visa, they will still need to notify European authorities of their intention to travel to the Schengen Area and make arrangements prior to arrival.
Once approved, ETIAS holders from Australia will have unrestricted access to countries within the Schengen Area for 90 days within a period of 180 days. It’s important to remember that ETIAS waivers are valid for multiple entries as long as 90 days of stay within the Schengen Area has not been exceeded within 180 days. In other words, if a traveler from Australia holding a valid ETIAS exited the Schengen Area for, say, the United Kingdom, they will not be required to obtain a second ETIAS should they wish to re-enter Europe within those parameters.
Unlike traditional visas, which are often applied for in person at a consulate or embassy, the ETIAS application process will be completed online. This means that an Australian citizen wishing to apply for a visa-waiver would not need to be in Australia, allowing for an application to be submitted from anywhere in the world.
ETIAS Application Requirements for Australian Citizens
The ETIAS application was designed to be as straightforward as possible. Applicants should be able to complete the entire process in around ten minutes. Still, it is important to pay close attention to each step, answering each question as accurately as possible.
Below, Applicants can find a list of requirements for the ETIAS application for Australian citizens:
- A valid Australian (or other ETIAS approved country) passport. It is required that the passport has at least 90 days of validity from the date of arrival
- A valid email address so that the authority’s decision regarding the waiver can be communicated
- A credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS application fee
ETIAS Application Process for Australian Citizens
In addition to holding the above requirements, Australian citizens applying for the ETIAS need to be prepared to provide further personal information.
- Personal information such as the traveler’s full name, date of birth, and gender
- Contact details such as their current address, a valid phone number, and a valid email address
- Passport details including the date of issue, the date of expiration, and the country of issue
- Travel plans such as their intended port of entry and which other countries they intend on visiting. Note: It will not be required to provide a complete itinerary as the Schengen Area allows for borderless travel between member states
In addition, travelers will be asked to provide information concerning health and security as part of their application.
Authorities anticipate a 95% acceptance rate for Australian applicants of the ETIAS. In such cases, the applicant will receive an email notifying them of their decision. Once the traveler has received their ETIAS, they are required to print out a hard copy as they will be asked to show it to transport authorities in their departing country, as well as to Schengen border authorities upon arrival in Europe.
If the ETIAS is declined, the email will detail the reasons for the denial. Applicants will have the option of appealing the decision directly to the country where they initially intend to enter.
Ex: If a traveler intends on arriving in Paris for one night before spending six weeks in Berlin, the appeal would be made to France, not Germany.
Why the Need for ETIAS?
Australian travelers may wonder why European authorities will be implementing a new system in 2021. In November 2016, the European Commission voted in favor of the ETIAS program after the number of terrorist attacks rose across the continent. Although the system may seem like an inconvenience, the added layer of screening of travelers entering the Schengen Area will be efficient and secure and will ultimately lead to a safer Europe for both its citizens as well as the tourists intent on visiting.