ETA, or Electronic Travel Authority, for Australia is a document that gives travelers from certain countries permission to enter Australia.
It is electronically linked to the visitor’s passport, and is designed for short-term stays in the country.
The ETA allows the Australian government to track who is in the country at any time. This allows them to do their best to ensure that the country is safe, that people in the country at any time are responsible, and may help them contact travelers in the event of an emergency.
See also the explanation of Australian visa types.
Who is Eligible for an ETA for Australia?
People seeking to enter Australia via an ETA must come with one of two purposes:
- Tourism, including sightseeing, short visits to family and friends, and similar activities
- Activities of business visitors, including negotiating a contract, going to a conference, or making business inquiries
This visa does not allow the holder to obtain employment of any kind, including self-employment. It is also not suitable for people who wish to attend a long-term academic program or who are looking to immigrate to Australia.
Additionally, people applying online for an ETA for Australia need to hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Republic of South Korea
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- United States of America
Travelers from countries not on this list will need to apply for an ETA in person at the Australian visa office, airline or travel agent. Visitors from countries not eligible for an ETA will need to apply for another way to enter Australia.
How to get an ETA for Australia
The easiest way to get an ETA for Australia is to apply for it online at natvisa.com. Most travelers from the above countries will be eligible for this application process, although some may need to go to a visa office, travel agent or airline to obtain an ETA.
Travelers must create an account, then start filling out their ETA application. They will need to make absolutely sure that every detail they enter into the application exactly matches the data in their passport. If they make a mistake, they may not be granted an ETA or they may need to reapply with accurate information.
Visitors who wish to obtain an ETA must be physically located outside Australia. In-state people cannot apply for this type of travel permit, although under certain circumstances they may be able to apply to extend an existing ETA.
What travelers need to get an Australian ETA
Before travelers can apply for an ETA, they will need to ensure that they have:
- A valid email address. This is where they will receive notification of an approved ETA, as well as receive other correspondence from the Australian Government about their travels, etc.
- A valid credit card. This will only be used to pay the Australian ETA application fee. The website accepts Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, or JCB cards.
- A valid passport, with a validity that extends at least six months beyond the date the person plans to arrive in Australia.
What ETA Requests
Passengers will be asked to complete a number of questions. They will need to obtain the following information from their passport:
- Passport number
- The country in which the passport was issued
- Their family name and all given names
- their nationality
- their date of birth
- Date of issue of their passport
- Their passport expiration date
- The authority to issue their passports
The app will also ask them when they plan to enter Australia, how long they plan to stay in, what they want to do in the country, and some additional details.
If the applicant is planning to enter the country for a business inquiry, they will need to provide information about who they will meet, what conference they will attend, etc.
Travelers who need to apply for an ETA in person should bring the above information with them, and be prepared to fill out the application data itself.
*Note that due to COVID-19, Australia is no longer allowing travelers to apply for an ETA via their online process. Alternatively, they can apply through an airline, Australian visa office or travel agent. Some travelers may be able to apply for an ETA via the Australian Travel App, which is in beta stages.
Australian ETA Terms
Travelers who wish to enter Australia via an ETA will need to be aware of the terms under which the authorization is provided.
Visitors are responsible for knowing that:
- The Australian ETA is valid for 12 months. Travelers can enter and leave Australia as many times as they need to during that time. If the visitor’s passport expires 12 months ago, the ETA will only be valid for as long as the passport is valid.
- And their Australian ETA is valid for stays of up to three months. Visitors who need to stay in the country for more than three months can leave and return to the country, as long as the estimated time of arrival for them is still valid.
- Visitors entering Australia via ETA must not participate in academic programs lasting more than three months. If they want to study longer than that, they can apply for another type of travel permission.
- Not everyone entering Australia must have tuberculosis.
- Travelers applying for an ETA for Australia must not have a criminal conviction that has served them more than 12 months in prison. These 12 months can be combined into more than one provision. Note that the Australian government cares about the length of the sentence, not whether it has actually been carried out.
- It is the responsibility of each visitor to know what is and is not allowed to do in Australia on an ETA.
Visit Australia now
If visiting Australia is on your wish list, you can start the process by applying for an ETA now.
Before you know it, you will have travel permission in hand and you will be able to visit Australia and fulfill your dreams.
Check out the posts below for some Australian travel inspiration: