Big new people, the EU has been busy cooking up a fresh visa known as the ETIAS—so pay close attention.
What Is The ETIAS Visa?
This guy can be broken down into the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (or ETIAS, make sense?) and will basically apply to all of the EU’s visa-waiver countries including Australia and New Zealand. The European Commission says the new visa is a largely automated IT system created to identify any major security risks like “irregular migration”. It’s pretty much the EU equivalent of the ESTA system that determines the eligibility of travellers heading into the US.
The ETIAS will be required when visiting any European countries part of the Schengen Area for short-term stays and will act as a pre-travel screening to then allow you to enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.
What Is The Schengen Area?
Yes, more importantly—the Schengen Area is made up of 26 European countries who have all teamed up and signed a little thing called the Schengen Agreement. Countries that have signed have agreed to wipe their borders for the sake of simpler trading schemes and of course, speed up border crossings for visitors.
The 27 countries which will now require an ETIAS upon entry are:
When Will The ETIAS Start?
For now, the start date of the ETIAS has been said to kick off in 2024 so until then, you can enjoy visa-free travel to the EU without an ETIAS.
How To Apply For An ETIAS
You can only apply for an ETIAS online, which should take you roughly no more than 10 minutes. Your application will be processed instantly and most will be approved within four days. In terms of how much the application will cost, for those between the ages of 18-70 years of age, you’re looking at $10.76 AUD and $11.74 NZD. Those around these ages won’t be charged.
Anyone travelling to the Schengen Area for travel, tourism, business, transit or medical treatment will need to apply for one before visiting.
How Long Is The ETIAS Valid For?
The validity of these visas goes up to three years or until the date your passport expires (whichever comes first). You’ll get to use it for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
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Image credit: Urban List