Attention Aussies: ETIAS is Shaking Up European Travel in 2025!

Are you planning to take your family, friends, or a special someone to explore the breathtaking European landscape? You may want to pay attention, because there are upcoming changes that will affect your dreams of travelling abroad!

Due to the introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), Australians will soon need to go through an online visa waiver process when travelling to the 30 countries within Europe’s Schengen Areas.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant disruption it has caused in all areas of life, from social activity to employment, many governments have decided to push back certain scheduled changes – including the launch of the ETIAS. The new system, which was supposed to be implemented in 2024, will now take effect in 2025.

These 30 countries in Europe’s Schengen Area will require ETIAS in 2025. Image: European Union.

The purpose of the ETIAS is to modernise the immigration system, decrease illegal entries to Europe, and properly oversee the movements of individuals from specific visa-exempt countries that, like Australia, will be subject to the new entry-exit system.

Australians who are planning to visit European nations for a maximum period of 90 days within a 180-day period will get their ETIAS from an online portal. The permission to enter will be valid for three years or until the traveller’s passport expires, whichever occurs sooner.

However, a successful grant from the ETIAS does not guarantee entry into all European countries. According to the official European Union website: ‘When you arrive, a border guard will ask to see your passport and other documents and verify that you meet the entry conditions’.

The application process online will require the same details as your usual visa waiver, such as personal information, your criminal history, and where you plan to visit during your stay. It is then that the authorities will grant you the desired travel authorisation.

Before the ETIAS system was implemented, Australians did not previously need any such documents for a short stay in the European countries affected by the change. But the ETIAS will allow travellers from visa-exempt countries, including Australia and the UK to enter the 30 Schengen Area countries in Europe.

After implementation, 60 countries will be required to have a valid ETIAS before visiting Europe. Image: European Union.

The ETIAS system is encoded in Europe's resolution and it’s a new digital way for pre-approval systems that eliminates paperwork and expedites the approval process, so you can relax on that long-haul flight knowing you've got it all sorted!

This is where ETIAS truly sets itself apart: Once granted, your ETIAS authorisation is valid for three years, or until the expiry of your passport, whichever comes first. Think of it as a golden ticket that takes you to more than 30 beautiful European countries, dazzling in history and culture, without the need for a separate application each time travel beckons!

Key Takeaways
  • The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) launch has been pushed back to 2025.
  • The ETIAS is a kind of visa waiver process aiming to modernise the immigration system and combat illegal entry into Europe.
  • Once introduced, Australians will need to apply through the ETIAS to enter the 30 European countries within the Schengen Area for short stays.
  • A successful grant through ETIAS does not guarantee entry into a European country, as border guards will verify entry conditions upon arrival.

Changes can be confusing and somewhat overwhelming, so we highly recommend that you keep an eye out for further updates from the official government channels, like Smartraveller. This way, you can be as up-to-date as possible when the time comes to reapply in order to enjoy a stress-free holiday in the European Schengen Area! What do you think of this new system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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