Did you know that Australia and the US have the same traveling system? While both countries offer traditional visas, some international travelers can also enjoy visa exemptions. This means the citizens of a few eligible countries can visit Australia without a paper or stamp visa.
While the United States of America offers an ESTA, the Australian government provides an ETA under the visa waiver program. In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about Australian ETA, including how to apply for it from the US!
What is an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)?
Let's start with a little introduction: what is actually an ETA?
An Electronic Travel Authority or ETA is like an e-visitor visa that permits holders to enter Australia without a traditional paper or stamp visa. The ETA system is designed to make the visa application process simple and convenient. You don’t need to visit the Australian embassy or consulate office. You can apply for an ETA from the comfort of your home!
The US is one of the 8 countries whose nationals are eligible for an Australia ETA. It is valid for multiple entries for short-term trips. United States citizens can obtain an ETA to stay in the country for 90 consecutive days within a 1-year period. This travel document can be used for the following purposes:
Although an ETA can be obtained online, a holder of this travel visa enjoys all the rights of a regular visa!
Before you apply for an Australian ETA, you must fulfill some character, health, and passport requirements. The Australian Department of Home Affairs has set and enforced these requirements to protect the residents of Australia as well as to make the visa application process smooth.
The eligibility criteria for an ETA are as follows:
The US applicants must have a valid passport with at least 3 months of remaining validity.
They should not require costly community and health care services.
They should not use community and health care services at the expense of Australian citizens.
They must have good character.
They must not have a criminal record.
They should not be traveling to Australia to harass someone else.
They must not have a disease that can affect the general public.
If you fulfill all of these requirements, you can apply for an ETA online!
Australian ETA Requirements
If you are eligible for an ETA, you'll need a handful of documents to apply for your e-visa, also known as visa requirements. As this entire process is online, you don’t need too many documents. Three of the most basic documents that you need to provide include:
Valid Passport - The applicant's passport must have at least 3 months of remaining validity with 2 blank pages for stamps.
E-mail Address - To start your ETA application process, you'll need an email. Your email will be electronically linked to your passport. Upon approval, you'll receive your ETA via email!
Means of Payment - Applicants are required to pay the embassy fee as well as the service fee for an ETA. To do so, you'll need online payment methods, such as a debit card, credit card, or PayPal account.
Besides these, you may have to provide some additional documents, depending on your purpose of visit. So, make sure to check out all the ETA requirements for the US citizen prior to submitting your application!
How to Apply for an Australia ETA Online?
Applying for an ETA as a US citizen is a straightforward process. Unlike a traditional visa, you don’t have to visit the Australian embassy, follow complicated steps, and schedule an appointment for a visa interview. The Electronic Travel Authority system was launched to make the visa application process streamlined. So, all you need is a mobile device and a stable internet connection to apply for an Australian ETA.
To get your Australian visa online, you need to follow the following step-by-step guide:
Download the "Australian ETA" app on your smartphone
Log in with your credentials
Fill out the ETA application form
Pay the visa processing fees
Submit your online form with supporting documents
You can complete this entire process within 10 minutes. Afterward, the Australian authorities will process your application. Once approved, the citizens of the US will get their ETA via email!
The processing time for an Australian ETA varies from applicant to applicant. On average, US passport holders will receive their ETA within 3-5 business days. However, due to secondary checks and high demands, you may have to wait for a little longer. Therefore, it's recommended to apply for an Australia visa at least 2-3 weeks prior to the intended departure date!