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The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) explained

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

The ETIAS is a travel authorisation required for residents of more than 60 countries including Australia to visit most Schengen area countries. 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.

How does it work?

The ETIAS is a fully electronic process that allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who aren’t required to have a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. It will allow travellers free movement through 30 countries in the Schengen Area in Europe.

According to the EU, the ETIAS is not a visa, but a pre-travel authorisation system similar to the ESTA system for the USA. If given, the ETIAS travel authorisation 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.

What you need to apply for ETIAS

The documents required to apply online 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. 

EU countries where you will need an ETIAS permit to enter

The European countries that will require travellers to hold a valid ETIAS upon arrival at their border 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.

Other benefits of the system?

Along with decreasing security concerns and detecting potential threats, it is expected that the new ETIAS will also 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. 

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

Last updated: 12 October 2023

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