The 2023 Women’s World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries have their own visa and vaccination requirements.
Two host countries – a first
For the first time in history, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be hosted by two countries instead of just one: Australia and New Zealand. A total of 32 teams will compete for the biggest prize in women’s football. The Football Federation of Australia is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), while the Football Federation of New Zealand is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). As both countries automatically qualify, their places will be taken by the allocated quota and the remaining three places will be decided in a knockout tournament with ten teams, split as follows:
2 play-off places for AFC (Asia), 2 play-off places for CAF (Africa), 2 play-off places for CONCACAF (Caribbean, Central and North America), 2 play-off places for CONMEBOL (South America) South), 1 play-off place for OFC (Oceania) and 1 play-off place for UEFA (Europe).
Traveling to Australia and New Zealand: vaccines and visa
Naturally, the tournament will welcome football fans from all over the world. All foreign visitors should consider the visa and vaccination requirements of both countries. It is important to check which visa you are entitled to well before booking your plane tickets. Many travelers have already booked their flights, only to discover that they had to go through a lengthy visa process that caused them to miss their flights. Also, even the fastest visa applications can have delays, so better safe than sorry.
European nationals are advised to apply for the 651 eVisitor visa for Australia. This visa is applied for online and is usually approved within a few days. It is also the cheapest option when it comes to visas for Australia. Travelers from the United States must apply for the 601 ETA for Australia. This visa is almost identical to the 651 visa, the main differences being the price (it is more expensive) and the fact that it is available for more nationalities. For travelers from African countries, a trip to the embassy is usually required to obtain a visa for Australia.
Australia no longer has mandatory vaccination requirements. Travelers also do not need to be tested for COVID before or after traveling to Australia.
Like Australia, New Zealand has an electronic travel visa which can be applied for entirely online. This NZeTA visa is available for both EU nationals and US nationals. It requires a photograph of the person to upload, which must meet a number of strict requirements. Nationals of African countries will in most cases have to obtain an embassy visa again, which takes longer and costs more.
Unlike Australia, however, New Zealand has a mandatory vaccination requirement. You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an official vaccination certificate from your country. These proofs must be uploaded with your visa application. Additionally, upon arrival in New Zealand, you will receive two self-tests, which you will need to take during your stay. The dates on which you must take them are communicated to you by e-mail.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is already billed as a unique event.
“It will be one of the biggest events these countries have ever staged,” said Dave Beeche, CEO of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
Many stadiums will be renovated, as will training facilities. Notably, Sydney Football Stadium is being completely rebuilt and in September the Matildas will have the honor of hosting Olympic champions Canada in the first football game to be played at the new stadium.
Meanwhile, Grant Roberson, New Zealand’s minister for sport and recreation, said New Zealand fans were delighted to host 24 matches and five knockout games at home.
“It is very exciting for Aotearoa to share the group stage matches equally with Australia, which will allow this sports-mad nation to enjoy a unique event across the country, Kiwi fans having the chance to see the Football Ferns compete on a global stage,” he said.