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I am American. My Italian girlfriend who lives in Vienna says that I may have to apply for an ESTA visa to visit her. Is this correct? The last time I went to Europe (not Austria) I did not have to fill out a visa...

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    As an American, you need an ETA (like an ESTA) for Australia, but hopefully your girlfriend didn't confuse Austria and Australia when living there! – Gagravarr Dec 18 '12 at 0:51
  • haha, thanks for the tip. i'll double check that before i embark.. – 1252748 Dec 18 '12 at 16:07
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The answer is indeed no; no visa or ESTA of any kind needed for a visit of 90 days or less.

Here's what the US State Department (Bureau of Consular Affairs) has to say:

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS:
Austria is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter Austria for up to 90 days in any 180-day period for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport used should be valid at least for the period of the intended stay (usually the date of the return flight).

Anyone intending to stay longer than 90 days must obtain the appropriate visa issued by the Austrian Embassy in the United States. Specifically students attending a college/university in Austria should consult with the Austrian Embassy/Consulate before coming to Austria. Information for students is available from the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research (OeAD).

Also, technically one can only need an ESTA for the United States, as it's related to the US visa waiver program. Similar systems in other counties are called something else than "ESTA".

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    I^m not so sure if the US bureau of consular affairs is more reliable as its Austrian counterpart. Normally, you should check visa requirements, in the destination country. – RoflcoptrException Dec 17 '12 at 20:24
  • I was merely referring to the wrong source you initially used. (Will edit my answer.) – Jonik Dec 17 '12 at 20:29
  • In any case, I think Americans might find it reassuring to read the (same) information in English from US authorities. – Jonik Dec 17 '12 at 20:30
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Check this page of the Austrian foreign affairs office. As a US citizen, you don't need a visa.

There is also a list of all countries and their entry regulations. Unfortunately it is only available in German.

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