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Applying for a Schengen Visa in Australia

The residents of the Australian country and continent remain some of the world’s top travelers, with Europe as one of their favorite destinations, among others. Recent statistics show that, Aussies are very likely to remain in Europe for 11-16 days, sightseeing and experiencing the European life.

Despite of the fact that Australian passport holders do not need a visa for short stays in Europe, some foreign residents residing in Australia depending on their citizenship, need a Schengen visa in order to be permitted to enter the 26 countries in Europe, 22 of which are part of the EU block. To determine whether you need a visa, please check the list of nationals who are required to have a Schengen Visa.


In addition, Australian nationals found ineligible to enter Europe under the visa free regime, will need to apply and obtain a regular visa to enter this territory.

Note: (Starting January 1, 2021, Australian citizens will have to apply for an ETIAS prior to their travel towards Europe, in order to be allowed to enter the territory.)

What documents do Australians need to enter the Schengen area?

In spite of the fact that Australian passport holders do not need a Schengen visa in order to enter any of the countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement, they still need to present a few documents when they show up at the border. These documents are as following:

  • Australian passport, which is valid for at least three more months beyond your intended stay in the Schengen Area.
  • Proof on your purpose of travel
  • Evidence that you have the necessary financial means to support yourself throughout your stay in the Schengen countries
  • As well as other documents as required specifically by each country in this zone, that you intend to visit

Please remember that, through Aussies are subject to the visa-free regime, the border guard is the one that gives the final decision whether you should be permitted to enter or not. In case you are rejected from entering Europe, you will have to return to Australia and obtain a regular short stay Schengen visa.

Australian citizens can travel without a Schengen visa in these Euopean countries listed below:

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Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Liechtenstein

Further in this article, we will give a step-by-step guideline on how to obtain a Schengen visa in Australia.

Who can apply for a Schengen Visa in Australia?

You can apply for a Schengen Visa in Australia if you belong to one of the following categories:

  • Australian passport holders that have been rejected from entering Schengen Zone without a visa
  • Nationals of third-world countries, which are required to obtain a visa to Europe, living in Australia under a permanent residency or under a temporary residence with a validity of 6 months and longer

Take notice that you will have to fulfill a few requirements and apply in person at the embassy, consulate or visa center, depending on the Schengen member state(s) that you are planning to visit.  On the other hand, if you don’t belong to any of the categories give above, you will have to apply at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.

Where to apply for a Schengen visa in Australia

Where you need to apply for a Schengen visa, all depends on the member state(s) you will be visiting, as well as the number of days you are planning to spend in each, if you are visiting more than one country.

Below, find a clear explanation where to apply for a short-stay Europe visa in Australia:

If you are visiting only one country – you will have to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country you are intending to visit under the jurisdiction of which, the area where you live falls.

If you are visiting more than one country – in this case, where you need to apply depends on the number of days you will be spending in each country, as following:

  • When spending the equal amount of days in each country – you will have to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country where you will step first, under the jurisdiction of which, the area where you live falls.
  • When spending unequal amount of days at each country – you will have to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country where you will be spending more days, under the jurisdiction of which, the area where you live falls. In case you will spend equal days at two or more countries, and less at one or more others, apply at the embassy of the one of those countries where you’ll stay more, in which you step first.

Please keep in mind that some of the embassies have outsourced visa application submission to the embassies or consulates of other Schengen countries, or visa application centers. Check this with the embassy of the country where you need to apply, prior to your application.

Schengen Visa Application Requirements for Australian residents

As per every other visa to anywhere else in the world, you will have to submit some required documents when you apply for a Schengen Visa in Australia. These documents are required to prove that you have no intention of remaining or illegally working in the territory upon the expiration of your visa, as well as to show the real reason for your trip and if you have the financial capacity to maintain yourself during your stay there.
Following, find the documents required to apply for a Schengen Visa in Australia:

  • Schengen Visa Application form – fully completed, printed twice and signed at the end. Answer all questions honestly and correctly, in compliance with the information in the other required documents.
  • Valid passport – no older than 10 years, with a validity of at least three more months beyond the date you have planned to exit the Schengen Zone. It must have two blank pages in order to be able to affix visa, as well.
  • Australian Residence Card – whether temporary or permanent, you will need to present this document in order to prove that you are legally remaining in Australia. Remember that the validity of your residency must be at least for three more months beyond the date you have planned to exit the Schengen Zone.
  • One photo – taken within the three last months, according to the Schengen photo requirements.
  • A Cover Letter – that explains why you wish to visit Europe, specifying the Schengen states you wish to visit, and giving the reason per each and the number of days you wish to spend there.
  • Travel Itinerary – through which you show what you will be doing in the Schengen countries, where you will be accommodated, the places you will visit, which also includes:
    • Flight Itinerary – that is a booked flight ticket from and to the Schengen zone, as well as booked inner flight tickets if applicable.
  • Proof of Accommodation – which shows here you will be staying throughout your visit. This can be one of the following:
    • Proof of Hotel Booking – which includes the name of the hotel where you will be staying, contact details and the number of days you will be there.
    • Letter of Invitation – by a host who is a family member or a friend of yours, that is willing to take you in during your stay in the Schengen territory. The letter must include details about the host, and their house / apartment. Documents supporting the letter must be attached to it.
    • Rent agreement – if you have rented a place you will need to present an agreement / contract with details about this place and its owner.
  • Means of Subsistence – which is a document that proves you have the necessary means to remain in the Schengen Zone throughout the period you have required a visa for. This document can be:
    • Bank Statement – no older than three months, which proves you have enough money in your bank account to fund your stay
    • Letter of Sponsorship – either by your host or another person, in which they confirm they will be covering all the expenses of the applicant throughout their trip in Europe.  A bank statement of the sponsor must be attached to the letter.
  • Europe Travel Insurance – which is crucial for your application. This insurance must cover the whole territory of Schengen, in cases of medical emergencies as accidents and illnesses, as well as repatriation in case of death, with a minimum coverage of €30.000.

* Please note that the embassy has the right to require from you extra documents, depending on your case. Take care to submit those documents as soon as possible.

Visa application and processing time

As a rule, visa candidates are permitted to apply three months prior to their intended trip the earliest, and two weeks prior to their trip the latest. You are highly recommended to apply as soon as you can.

Check where you need to apply, as advised above in this article, and schedule an appointment. On the day of the appointment show up on time at the embassy / consulate / visa center, with all the required documents.

Upon the completion of you visa interview, you will need to wait for another 15 days for a response on your application, because this is the amount of time that embassies take to process Schengen visas.

Schengen visa fees for Australian residents

Schengen visa fees are the same for all nationals all around the world. Depending on the age of the applicant, Schengen visa fees in Australia are as following:

  • Adult – €60
  • Child from 6 to 12 years old – €35
  • Children under 6- free

What should I do if my visa application is rejected?

All visa candidates who have had their applications rejected have the right of appeal. Every member state is obliged to give a reason on the rejection based on their exact national laws and the specific procedure that is related to the right of appeal, as well as the authorities with which you should appeal and the time limit for delivering the appeal.

If their appeal is rejected too, the applicant may again apply for a regular visa by fixing the ‘mistakes’ done in the previous application. However, it is always better to try to file a perfect visa application in the first time. There are some top reasons why a Schengen Visa application is rejected. If you avoid these mistakes in your application, the chances are higher for your application to be successful .

On the other hand, many candidates fail to get a Schengen visa, because of something they do or don’t do, when they attend the visa interview. The visa interview is a very important part of your application. Therefore, you should try hard not to make any mistakes. Here you can find a guide on how to avoid top mistakes that are usually done in a visa interview!

Australians to apply for EU Travel Authorization starting 2021

As of January 1, 2021, Australians will be subject to the European Travel information and Authorization System. Which means that Australians, alongside with the nationals of countries under the visa-free regime with Schengen member states will have to apply for an ETIAS prior to their trip to Schengen Area.

An ETIAS can be obtained online, by fulfilling the application form and paying a fee of €7.

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