This page provides information on bilateral visa waivers and other visa agreements with European countries.
Read this page to learn about:
- The Schengen Area
- Entry and exit to the Schengen Area
- Non-Schengen European countries
- Bilateral visa waiver and other reciprocal agreements
- Other European countries with visa waivers
- COVID-19 and travel in Europe, including digital COVID-19 certificates
The Australian Government doesn't issue visas for other countries. We can't provide definitive information about entry and exit requirements. Only the countries you plan to visit can provide authoritative information about their requirements.
Contact the nearest foreign high commission, embassy or consulate of the countries you plan to visit well before you travel.
The Schengen Area
From 1 January, Croatia will be the 27th Schengen area country. Border and customs checks will be removed at the borders between Croatia and other Schengen member states for people crossing the borders by road, rail or water. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted from 26 March due to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) summer/winter schedule.
From 1 January, Croatia will start to issue Schengen visas and will be able to make full use of the Schengen Information System.
The Schengen Area is 27 European countries with common entry and exit requirements. It allows travellers to move freely between member countries without going through border controls or getting a visa for each country.
The members of the Schengen Area are:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
Entry and exit in the Schengen Area
Australians don't need a visa to travel to countries in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Your reason for travel must be for one or more of the reasons below:
- business purposes
- visiting friends and family
- tourism and holidays
- cultural and sports events
- airport transit and transit for seafarers
- official visit
- medical reasons
- short-term study and research purposes.
If you're planning to study, work, or live in one of the Schengen member countries for more than 90 days, you must apply for a national visa for that country while you're in Australia. If your reason for travel changes while you're in the Schengen Area, you must leave and apply for a different visa.
Apply at the embassy, high commission or consulate of the Schengen country where you intend to stay the longest. If you're staying in more than one Schengen country for an equal length of time, apply at the embassy of the country you will visit first.
Calculating your 90/180 days
Calculating your visa-free days can be complicated. The European Commission provides a calculator to help you track your visa-free days.
- The 180 days isn't fixed in time. It's always calculated backwards from today.
- Your 90 days are calculated from your first day in the Schengen Area within the 180 days.
If you leave the Schengen Area and return within the same 180-day period, the previous stay will count towards the 90-day maximum.
If you use up your visa-free days within a 180-day period, you must leave the Schengen Area until you accumulate more.
You arrive in Spain on 18 March. You fly to the UK on 21 April and stay there until the 29th. On 30 April, you travel to Greece and stay until 23 June. The duration of your trip was 97 days, but only 90 of those were in the Schengen Area.
You can't re-enter the Schengen Area until at least 14 September, when the Spanish leg of your trip falls outside your 180-day period. If you re-enter on 14 September, you can only stay another 35 days as your time in Greece is still counted towards your current 90 days.
If you re-enter on 22 September, you can stay another 90 days, as you haven't been in the Schengen Area in the past 180 days.
If you stay more than 90 days in a 180-day period in the Schengen Area without a valid visa, you may be fined or banned from entering the Schengen Area.
Entering and exiting the Schengen Area
When entering the Schengen Area, you must present a valid passport.
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the Schengen Area.
Make sure you get a clear entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen Area for the first time. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained.
Some countries need you to register with local authorities within 3 days of arrival.
See our destination-specific travel advice for entry and exit details for each country. Check the European Commission for information on temporary internal border controls.
The visa requirements described here only apply when travelling on your Australian passport. If you're a dual national and choose to travel on your other passport, you'll need to check the visa requirements for that nationality.
From 2024, Australians will need to apply through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to enter 30 European countries.
ETIAS is an electronic system that completes a security check of visitors before they can enter any Schengen Area country. It will also be used by some EU countries outside the Schengen Area.
You won’t need an ETIAS for EU countries who aren’t taking part in the program.
Non-Schengen European countries
Many European countries are not part of the Schengen Area. Non-Schengen countries have their own entry and exit requirements. These countries include:
- United Kingdom
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- North Macedonia (Republic of North Macedonia)
Consult the nearest high commission, embassy or consulate of these countries for visa information.
Bilateral visa waiver and other reciprocal agreements
Australia has bilateral visa waivers and reciprocal agreements with several countries in the Schengen Area. These agreements may allow you to spend up to 60 or 90 days in the country for tourism, regardless of stays in other Schengen countries.
Bilateral visa waiver and other reciprocal agreement countries include:
Using bilateral visa waiver agreements in combination with Schengen visa-free arrangements is complex. Each country operates the visa waiver agreements in its own way. Most countries require you to use the visa waiver agreement at the end of your Schengen Area travel.
Countries can change their entry or exit requirements at short notice. Before you travel, consult the nearest embassy or consulate of these countries for the latest details on how they operate bilateral visa waivers and other reciprocal agreements.
Other European countries with visa waivers
Some European countries outside the Schengen Area allow you to enter visa-free for tourism. Travel to these countries does not count towards the 90-day maximum for Schengen Area travel. Most are up to 90 days, some are for longer. See individual country advisories for details of entry and exit arrangements.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- North Macedonia (Republic of North Macedonia)
- United Kingdom
Countries can change their entry or exit requirements at short notice. Before you travel, consult the nearest high commission, embassy or consulate of your destination for the latest visa information.
COVID-19 and travel in Europe
While COVID-19 restrictions have largely eased across Europe, some countries may still have some COVID-19-related restrictions in place, such as mask wearing on public transport and at certain health facilities or COVID-19 testing centres.
COVID-19-related restrictions are subject to certain conditions and can vary between each country. The unpredictability of COVID-19 also means these restrictions can change at short notice.
Check the entry requirements for your destination on the European Union website.
Schengen Area COVID-19 measures
As well as meeting visa and entry requirements, you may still need to:
- wear a mask throughout your journey
- provide proof of a COVID-19 negative test result
- provide proof of vaccination (including details of the vaccine type)
- if you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling, you may need to complete a period of quarantine or self-isolation, some in designated facilities, some at your own cost
- carry proof of adequate travel health insurance
- obtain travel authorisation documents before you travel.
Before you travel
- Read the travel advice for your destination carefully before travelling. Subscribe to receive updates.
- Contact your airline or travel agent for any questions about your travel plans.
- Contact the nearest foreign embassy or consulate of the country you're travelling to for the latest on their restrictions.
- Follow the social media for the Australian embassy or high commission of the country you're in.
EU COVID-19 certificates
EU citizens and residents are being issued 'Digital COVID Certificates' (EU digital certificates). These are QR-coded certificates.
For more information about travel requirements, visit the EU Digital COVID Certificate website.
If you're in the EU and were vaccinated or tested there, you may be eligible to receive an EU digital certificate. Apply through the local authorities.
Some member states may issue you an EU digital certificate if you've been vaccinated or tested outside the EU. You must be able to provide sufficient proof. Issuing certificates is at the discretion of the local authorities. Don't assume you'll be issued a certificate or be exempt from COVID-19-related requirements. Check the local requirements before travelling.
- See our general advice about visas.
- Before you go, get the right travel insurance.
- Read about Australia's 11 reciprocal health care agreements.
- Subscribe to updates for your destinations.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Re-open EU (European Union – measures in place and travel plan)
- For country-specific visa information, contact the high commission, embassy or consulate of these countries (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
- The Schengen Area explained (Council of the European Union)