EU announces new visa waiver scheme that will apply to Australian tourists traveling to Europe

Big setback for Australian travelers planning to visit Europe as EU unveils new visa waiver scheme – and it will cost you

  • Australians planning to travel to Europe from May 2023 will need to complete a form
  • The form will be completed on the ETIAS under the new EU visa waiver regime
  • Traveler requests must be authorized “within minutes” by ETIAS
  • The program applies to 60 countries, including Australia, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Australians traveling to Europe from next year will need to complete an online application under a new visa waiver scheme being rolled out in the EU.

The visa waiver program will be launched from May 2023 and requires visitors from 60 countries to complete a form to obtain approval.

Visitors will need to apply through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) – a “largely automated IT system created to identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks posed by visa-exempt visitors”.

Australians traveling to Europe from May next year will need to complete an application on the European Travel Information and Authorization System under the EU’s new visa regime (pictured, a tourist in Santorini, Greece)

The form is completed online and does not require any biometric system.

Travelers between the ages of 18 and 70 will be charged a fee of €7 – or AU$11 – per request.

It is unclear whether people outside this age range wishing to travel within Europe will be charged a reduced fee or be exempted from paying.

ETIAS will process and authorize a new application “within minutes” for a “vast majority of cases” – around 95% of applicants.

While most travelers will have their form approved within minutes, the EU website says the approval process in some “exceptional cases” could take up to a month at most.

Anyone whose application is denied can easily appeal the decision online.

ETIAS will be promulgated primarily for security purposes in the EU.

The forms provide EU authorities with “vital information needed to assess potential risks with people traveling to the EU”.

A successful ETIAS application offers international travelers unlimited visits to Europe over a three-year period.

Australians can spend up to 90 days in the bloc for each 180 day period.  Those wishing to stay longer will need to apply for a visa (pictured, Catalonia, Spain)

Australians can spend up to 90 days in the bloc for each 180 day period. Those wishing to stay longer will need to apply for a visa (pictured, Catalonia, Spain)

Australians and visitors from other countries will only be allowed to spend 90 days in the block for each 180-day period.

Those staying longer will need to apply for a visa.

The Visa Waiver Program applies to 60 countries around the world, including Australia, United States, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Ukraine, Japan and Hong Kong.

The UK is also included in the list of countries after the nation left the EU in January 2020.

Travelers already residing in the EU are exempt from the scheme.

The European Union’s announcement comes as Qantas launched its first-ever direct flight from Perth to Italy on Saturday.

The EU news comes as Qantas launched its first direct flight from Perth to Italy on Saturday (pictured, Qantas planes at Sydney Airport)

The EU news comes as Qantas launched its first direct flight from Perth to Italy on Saturday (pictured, Qantas planes at Sydney Airport)

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told News.com.au that long-haul flights from Australia to Europe will be more common in the near future.

“We are seeing a growing preference for non-stop flying to and from Australia to make the travel experience as efficient and easy as possible and we expect this to be a permanent change in the way people want to travel. .”

Travelers can already fly direct from Perth to London on Qantas flights.

Qantas will launch direct flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025.

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