Australians are some of the world’s top travellers. When they visit Europe they are likely to stay between 11 and 16 days travelling in the countries. If you are an Australian citizen you are not required to get a visa for short trips to the Schengen countries in Europe. You can just arrive at the border by plane or train and get a 3-month stamp in your passport. This is issued instantly, as your passport number provides the immigration authorities with all the information they need to know about you.
However, from 1st January 2021, all Australian citizens will need to go online to get an ETIAS visa waiver before travel to a Schengen country takes place. Not all people who consider Australia as their home have reached the stage of applying for and receiving an Australian passport, but have permanent residence status. Depending on your nationality you may or may not be required to get a Schengen visa.
The Documents Australians Need when Entering a Schengen Area
Even though Australian passport holders are not required to get a Schengen visa to enter any of the Schengen countries when they reach the border, there may be some documents they will be asked to provide as follows:
- The Australian passport must have three more months validity after the intended length of stay in the Schengen area
- Proof showing reason for travel
- Proof that there are funds available to support yourself during your stay in Schengen visa countries
All Australians need to be aware that despite having the privilege of visa-free travel it is the immigration authorities at the border who have the final say on whether you can enter their country.
Australian citizens are permitted to travel without a Schengen visa to the following European countries:
Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Estonia, France, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Italy, Austria, Iceland, Malta, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden and Poland.
Apply for a Schengen Visa
There are certain countries whose citizens are required to get a Schengen visa before entering a Schengen country. These are those that hold Australian passports who have been disallowed from entering a Schengen country, nationals of countries who now live in Australia as permanent residents or who are on temporary visas valid for more than six months but are required to get a Schengen visa.
If you intend to visit one country only you are required to apply at the consulate or embassy of that country you wish to visit. Wish to visit more than a single country your application needs to be submitted to the consulate or embassy of the country you wish to enter first.
If you are visiting several countries and you intend to spend a longer time in one you will need to apply for your Schengen visa at the consulate or embassy in Australia of the country you will be staying the longest time.
Schengen Visa Requirements
These are for Australian residents who wish to submit a Schengen visa application.
Schengen Visa Application Form
When you are getting ready to apply for your Schengen visa you may be asked to provide certain documents with your Schengen visa application.
The Process for Applying for a Schengen Visa
The Schengen Visa Requirements State that you will Need to Provide the Following:
- Two copies of a fully completed signed Schengen visa application form.
- Valid passport less than 10 years old showing it is valid for 3 months after you leave the Schengen zone and which has 2 blank pages for your Schengen visa stamp.
- Australian residency card which can be either permanent or temporary but has 3 months validity after the date you will leave the Schengen area. This proves you are permitted to return to Australia.
- A photo that has been taken within the past 3 months and fits the Schengen requirements
- A cover letter explaining why you are visiting the Schengen country(ies) and how long you are staying in each one
- Your travel Itinerary showing where you are going and proof of the accommodation you will stay at including the name of the hotel or other accommodation. If it is a friend or relative you will need to show a letter signed by the person or people.
- A document showing you have sufficient funds for your stay such as a recent bank statement, a sponsorship letter if someone else is supporting you throughout all or part of your stay
- European travel insurance covering whole of Schengen with a minimum cover of €30.000.
German Schengen Visa Application Form
If you are a German, but you are now an Australian citizen and not a German citizen, you will have to complete a German Schengen visa application form before visiting Schengen countries.
Schengen Visa Processing Time
You can apply up to 3 months before your intended date of travel but no less than 2 weeks to ensure you get the Schengen visa on time. You will need to make a Schengen visa appointment at the consulate, embassy or visa centre responsible for processing Schengen visa applications.
Required to bring all documents with you to the appointment. The Schengen visa processing time could take up to 15 days.
Schengen Visa Fees
Schengen visa fees are as follows:
- An adult is €60
- Children from 6 to 12 years old are €35
- Children who are under 6 years are free
Any visa applicants may appeal if their application was not successful. The country which rejects the application has to provide a reason.
Failing to get a Schengen visa is often due to something the applicant has said at the interview so applicants need to be sure that they fit the requirements to get a Schengen visa in the first place.
From 1st January 2021, Australians will need to follow the European Travel information and Authorization System so they will have to apply for an ETIAS before arriving in a Schengen country.