Embassy, Consulate-General and Consulates, Australia

AU passport holders traveling in Europe/Schengen zone

Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement

Australia has Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreements with the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

This means that Australian passport holders can visit these countries without a visa, some of them up till 90 days, but you will need to check with the authorities of these countries personally. These countries are all signatories of the Schengen Treaty following which they have open borders among them. So there are no over land border controls between them, unless you cross a no non-member country on your way from the one to the other. If you fly directly between them there will be no immigration formalities, although the airline or security services may have reasons to check your passport.

Persons of Australian nationality are, according to the Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement, entitled to stay in the Netherlands for 90 days and consecutively go to one of the other countries (length of stay depending on the agreement of Australia with that country!). Or the other way around, first visit one of those countries and then the Netherlands afterwards.

As stated before there is no border control between these countries, but there will be when you leave the Schengen area. You might be questioned about the length of your stay if it is more than 90 days. You are strongly advised to gather evidence (e.g. airline tickets, hotel bills, receipts, etc.) that show the duration of your stay in each different Schengen/EU country. That way you have the best option to prove that your stay in the entire Schengen area was legal. Not every border official is aware of the agreements so please consider the following:

Information on these bilateral visa waiver agreements can be found on the website of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:  www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1951/4.html

You are advised to print out relevant information from this site and take it along with you, so you can show the border official/customs the information on the Bilateral agreements.