Most Australians looking to head to Europe in 2022 and beyond will need to apply to travel under the 'visa waiver' program, as European nations tighten their border checks on foreign visitors.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System or ETIAS platform will work along the same lines as the United States’ ESTA.
Costing €7 (A$11), the ETIAS will be applied for and issued online, be valid for three years, and cover an unlimited number of business and leisure visits.
Obtaining approval to travel via the ETIAS system will be mandatory for all visa-free travellers, including those from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, and all other visa-waiver countries.
Visits to Europe under the visa waiver scheme will continue to be capped at 90 days in any rolling 180-day period: anything longer requires a full visa.
(Travellers holding a formal Schengen visa won't require the ETIAS visa waiver, nor will European passport holders.)
The ETIAS will apply to all countries within Europe's 'Schengen Area'. This includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
However, the ETIAS won't be needed for travel to other nations that are part of the European Union but that don't participate in the Schengen Area, such as Ireland; or the UK, which is of course no longer a member of the European Union.