How to Apply for an Australian ETA: A Guide for U.S. Citizens

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[ November 23, 2019 ]

What do you need to visit Australia?

Always dreamed of visiting Australia? Our buzzing cities, beautiful beaches and pristine wilderness offer a wonderful travel experience. And the great news is US citizens don’t need a complicated visa to visit Australia. US citizens can very easily tick a trip to Australia off their bucket list by applying for a quick and simple Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before they arrive in Australia. What exactly is an Australian ETA? How can you apply for an Australian ETA for US citizens? Let’s find out more…

What is an Australian ETA?

An ETA or Electronic Travel Authorisation gives holders authorisation to travel to and enter Australia and it’s electronically linked to your passport. It was first introduced in 1996 and is intended for short term stays in Australia for tourism or business purposes. It replaces the stamp or visa label in your passport and those eligible for an ETA don’t need to spend time visiting an Australian Embassy.

The United States is one of 8 countries permitted to allow citizens to visit Australia using an online ETA. In order to qualify for an Australian ETA applicants must ensure that they:

  • Are living outside Australia and hold a valid passport with an expiration date that is more than 3 months beyond the date of their arrival in Australia,
  • Don’t require expensive medical or community services or need medical care/services that would deny Australian citizens and permanent residents access to the same services,
  • Are free from any disease that may become a public health risk for Australian citizens,
  • Meet character requirements including not having a prior serious criminal record,
  • Applicants must not have been sentenced to a cumulative prison time of 12 months or more.

Applicants may also need to organise medical examinations to ensure that they comply with health requirements needed for entry into Australia. Additionally, you may be asked to provide documentation as proof of your good conduct - this can include a police certificate (also called a penal clearance certificate) or a letter from your employer.

You are not allowed to work in Australia with an ETA, but volunteer work is permitted. If you would like to work in Australia.

You must also let the Australian Department of Home Affairs know if your telephone number and email address change during your stay in Australia.

ETA for US citizens to Australia

US citizens visiting for tourism or business purposes can apply online for an ETA to be granted entry into Australia. The application process can be completed online through AustraliaOnlineVisa website or Australia's homeaffairs website.

An Australian ETA is valid for 12 months after it is issued. US citizens can stay for a maximum of 90 days in Australia per entry and you can use your ETA for multiple entries into Australia, providing your ETA and passport are still valid during each entry.

US citizens will need the following to apply for an ETA to Australia:

  • A valid passport: Your passport must remain valid when you board your flight and when you enter Australia. It’s sensible to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months as some countries and airlines have a 6 month rule.
  • A credit or debit card, and:
  • An email address for your ETA confirmation.

How to apply for an ETA

Applying for an ETA with AustraliaOnlineVisa is really straightforward and should only take 10-15 minutes. You’ll need to include the following details in your application together with personal and passport information:

  • Country of citizenship
  • First name(s)
  • Family name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Country of birth
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Passport number
  • Passport country, and;
  • Passport date of Issue and expiry.

It’s important to ensure that all your information is correct as the ETA cannot be changed after it’s been issued. Check carefully to make sure that the details you provide on your Australian ETA application exactly match the information on your passport. A mistake could invalidate your ETA and prevent you from entering Australia.

You’ll then be asked to complete a short questionnaire. You may also need some other documents to support your application, but this depends on your individual case.

You must apply for your ETA with the passport and passport number that you’ll be travelling to Australia with, as the ETA visa is linked to this number. If your passport is lost, stolen or replaced before you travel to Australia, you will need to re-apply for an ETA.

How much is an ETA and how long will I need to wait?

Costs vary according to your requested ETA processing time.

It’s important to check your payment details carefully before you submit your application to help avoid delays or setbacks in your application.

When you’ve submitted your application, you should receive a message within 24 hours to let you know that your visa has been granted, or asking you to submit a new application.

Some applications may be referred for further assessment and, in this case, applicants can continue to track their status via the online ETA application system.

If your application is accepted, you’ll need to wait for your ETA to arrive by email within your chosen timeframe. When you receive your ETA, you can keep a copy of it stored on your mobile device and it’s also a good idea to present a printed version of your ETA along with your valid passport when you enter Australia.

AustraliaOnlineVisa can help you with every aspect of your ETA for US citizens to Australia application and we can also offer professional advice on other suitable Australian visas for US citizens.

You can rest assured that our secure database safely stores and protects your personal details and our expert team is always on standby to answer any queries you may have.

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