The ETA and the eVisitor: Australia’s electronic visa systems.

Many people, from all around the world, visit Australia each year for holidays, visiting family, or for business related activities such as conferences, meetings, etc. For many, this means paying a fee, applying for a visa & waiting for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to (hopefully) approve the visa’s grant.

However, for people from a number of countries, there may be an easier way. The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and the eVisitor each allow visits for up to 3 months at a time & are valid for a 12 month period. With these travel authorities, during the 12 months you can come and go as often as you like, so long as each time you enter Australia, you do not stay longer than 3 months. You must be outside Australia when you apply for one of these electronic authorities.

There is no application charge for the ETA, but there will be a $20 service fee. The eVisitor has no application charge and no service fee. Records of each of these authorities are stored electronically and you will not need a visa stamp or label to be placed in your passport, but you MUST keep a record of your ETA or eVistor’s details. In many instances, the ETA or eVisitor will be issued instantly or else within a day or two, but you should be sure to apply well in advance of when you need to travel (at least a couple of weeks), in case there is any delay with your particular application.

Whilst you are in Australia on a visitor ETA, you cannot work at all. Nor can you work on a business ETA, except for very short periods when doing work related to your business, that an Australian citizen or permanent resident could not do instead. Similar conditions apply to the eVisitor, although it may be possible to undertake some voluntary work. If you intend to undertake such voluntary activities, you should make sure to inquire before you make your travel arrangements, as to whether your plans will be allowed.

To obtain an ETA, passport holders from the following countries can apply through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia:

Andorra
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong (SAR)*
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta
Monaco
The Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
Republic of San Marino
Singapore
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan**
United Kingdom – British Citizen
United Kingdom – British National (Overseas)
United States of America
Vatican City
* Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. Residents of Hong Kong require a citizen passport to apply for this visa.** Holders of Taiwan passports can only be processed for an ETA if residing and applying in Taiwan. Applications can be lodged with an approved ETA Travel Agent in Taiwan or Australian Visa Services office in Taipei. (Source DIAC page http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976/eligibility.htm )

 

Or, passport holders from the following countries can apply for an ETA themselves, online:

Brunei
Canada
Hong Kong (SAR)
Japan
Malaysia
Singapore
South Korea
United States of America (Source DIAC page http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976/eligibility.htm )
 

Whereas European passport holders who are eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, an airline or some other specialist service provider, but who want to apply online, should apply for the eVisitor.  As well, the holders of passports from some countries that are not ETA eligible even through an agent or airline, may be eligible for the online eVisitor:

Passport holders of these countries are eligible to apply for the eVisitor

Andorra
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Republic of San Marino
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom – British Citizen
Vatican City

(Source DIAC page http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/evisitor/eligibility.htm )

 

We hope this information is useful to you. If you have any questions about the ETA or eVisitor or about other types of  Australian visitor visas or other visas,  please feel free to contact us:

Diverse Immigration Australia

michele.clayton@hotmail.com

24 Evan Street Penrith

NSW 2750 Australia

(612) 4721-0873

UPDATE 21 November 2009: Electronic visas are now available for Citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Please follow the link below for information from Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship, about the newly available electronic visa for citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If you have any questions about this or any other Australian visa or migration matter, please contact us.

http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/_pdf/e676-saudi-arabia.pdf

Michele.

6 thoughts on “The ETA and the eVisitor: Australia’s electronic visa systems.

    1. Yes, I like to respond to what people are asking me about more fully than I can in just a tweet or 2. Also, I figure if someone wants to know, someone else will too. I’m a solicitor & a registered migration agent and I’m starting up my own business. I’m also running a free voluntary support network for immigrants & refugees. So I both need to earn a living & genuinely like helping people. I’m hoping these aims will go hand in hand & that if I offer people free advice & help without any catch, they’ll recognise I’m not just money motivated & hopefully as well as finding the advice useful, they’ll recommend me to other people, and so on. Also, I just like doing it 🙂

  1. Well in about three years, ~2012, we plan on visiting AUS for 6+ months. The idea is to apply for the working holiday visa so we can sustain our travel and get a sense of the work place too. I’ll have to keep you in mind!

    1. The work and holiday idea can be a wonderful adventure. I’m sure it’ll be something you’ll carry with you all your lives afterwards. Good luck with everything & again, contact me if you need any help or questions answered.

  2. Hi,

    I’m Malaysian and just applied for a Visitor ETA. I received approval after 1 day. Is that all is required for my entry visa to Australia ? Do I need to prepare any other documentation or follow up with Australian High-Comm in Kuala Lumpur ?

    Cause the approved ETA looks blank, nothing to print, or any reference number. Except the reference number when I applied for ETA.

    Thank you.

    1. Hello,
      Your situation re the ETA sounds fine. So long as you have printed and kept the reference number from when you applied and the approval. However, if you would like to check to feel more reassured that the ETA is in place, you can do so by either going through the site this links to: http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ (contact me if you have any problems with the link) or by asking your airline or travel agent to check for you (they have access to ETA records; you will just need to give them your passport details and/or the ETA application reference number).

      You do not need any documentation other than your passport. If you have more than one passport because, eg you are a dual national, you must of course use the same passport that you used to apply for the ETA, as the ETA is linked to that passport only. There is no need to contact the Australian High Commission.
      I hope that answers your question; enjoy your trip to Australia.

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