The EU has announced the launch of its visa waiver scheme, which is set to begin in May 2023.
Unfortunately for Australians, the implementation for the new travel scheme means no more fee-free travel around Europe.
Over 60 countries including Australia, the US and the UK would be affected by the scheme. However, Travellers within the EU are exempt and have freedom of movement.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), would gradually start replacing the visa system. It is quicker, done online and requires no biometric information. However, this procedure is an out-of-pocket expense, costing $A11 per form for applicants between ages 18 and 70.
According to an update issued by the EU this week, the application process will be via a “largely automated IT system”, with approval “granted within minutes” for roughly 95 per cent of applicants.
What would happen to travel restrictions?
A successful ETIAS authorisation is valid for an unlimited number of visits over a three year span provided holders abide by current immigration laws. At the time of writing, visitors cannot stay more than 90 days in any country in the bloc for every 180-day period.