Australians are some of the most traveled citizens in the world and while many of those trips take place within Australia, there are also a huge number of international vacations every year.
For many Australians, Europe is the ultimate destination. Not only is it home to countries like the United Kingdom, with which Australians share a queen and a bond, but it’s also home to a wealth of history and culture.
After the end of 2022, Australians who wish to travel to Europe and experience this culture and history must apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. On the surface, it’s another checklist, another requirement, and another headache in a long list of travel requirements. But in reality, it’s actually very quick, easy, and straightforward.
If you’re an Aussie looking to visit the Schengen Area from late-2022 onward, take a look at this guide to learn about ETIAS requirements for Australian citizens.
The ETIAS Visa Waiver Program for Australian Citizens
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is valid for all countries within the Schengen Area, including Spain, France, Germany, Greece, and Norway. It does not apply to the United Kingdom, which is not in the European Union and it’s also not valid for Ireland, which is in the European Union but not yet part of the Schengen Zone.
All Australian citizens visiting the Schengen Area must complete an ETIAS application before they travel. It’s not like a traditional visa and simply means that they are visa-exempt, allowing them safe and hassle-free passage throughout the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within any 180 day period.
ETIAS Requirements for Australian Citizens
The ETIAS application can be completed online by anyone with a valid passport. It’s a fully automated and streamlined process and it usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You don’t need to provide a lot of information and while criminal records and travel history will be checked, these checks are performed automatically.
Once you have completed the ETIAS application, you will be asked to pay a small fee by credit or debit card and your travel authorization will be sent electronically. If there are any issues with the application, a manual review will be triggered.
The ETIAS is valid for 3 years from the moment that it is approved but it is tied to the passport using during the application. If the passport expires within the 3-year period, the ETIAS will expire as well.
Can I Apply for ETIAS Now?
The ETIAS comes into effect toward the end of 2022, at which point all Australians traveling to Europe can apply. It is never too early to apply, and if you are planning a trip later in the year and have already booked the tickets, you can apply immediately, if you want.
However, it’s worth noting that the ETIAS application process is not like applying for a traditional visa or passport. It takes several minutes to complete and travel authorization is usually delivered within a matter of hours.
It helps to have a little more time on your side if you encounter problems, as is the case for anyone with an extensive criminal record, but most people won’t need to apply weeks or months in advance.
The ETIAS is also valid for 3 years from the moment it’s approved, so you have plenty of time!
Can Australian Citizens Work in Europe?
You cannot work under an ETIAS visa waiver. You are allowed to travel for tourism, business, and transit, which means that you can see the sights, sign some business deals, and pass from one country to the next, but you are not allowed to work.
Australian citizens found to be working will be in breach of the ETIAS visa waiver program and their permit may be revoked as a result. If you want to visit Europe to work, you will need to apply for a work permit or visa. This is true even if you will be working for less than 90 days.
Can I Study with an ETIAS?
The ETIAS cannot be used to study long-term in Europe. You’re only allowed to remain in the country for up to 90 days in a 180 day period, so it wouldn’t be enough time to complete full-time study. If you’re able to complete some part-time study in that time, however, then it’s a different story.