No, according to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), nationals of some specific countries, such as Australia, can travel to the USA without a visa - if certain requirements are met! That being said, all Australian citizens are required to have travel authorization to enter the USA. There are different travel documents that Australians can get to visit the USA.
Australian Citizens can apply for an e-visa ESTA or a traditional "sticker" or "stamp" visa, depending on their purpose of visit. To give you a better perspective, below, we have mentioned everything you need to know about traveling to the United States of America.
USA Visa for Australian
Even though the US government allows Australians to visit the country without a visa, they are still required to have some travel authorization. To Australian nationals, the USA offers two types of travel documents, including:
US e-Visa ESTA
For tourism and business meetings, the USA has started the ESTA program for Australian citizens. The ESTA allows you to stay in the country for 90 days, and it is valid for 2 years. So, if an Australian citizen obtains an ESTA, he/she can travel to the United States of America as a tourist or business person.
ESTA is an electronic system of travel authorization. You can consider it as the USA e-visa for Australians. The best thing about ESTA is that you don’t have to visit the USA embassy. You can apply for this document online all by yourself!
US Traditional Visa
If for some reason, you are not eligible for an ESTA, you have to apply for a traditional "stamp" or sticker" visa. Unlike the ESTA, you have to visit the US embassy to submit your visa application form.
In addition, if you are a travel document holder, you also need to visit the US embassy to get your visa. The United States government offer traditional visa for different purposes. So, you'll have to visit the US embassy for an interview as well!
Applying for USA e-Visa ESTA in Australia
For Australian citizens, ESTA is an excellent program. With this program, you don’t have to apply for a visa to enter the USA. In addition, the best thing about ESTA is that you don’t have to visit the USA embassy. As ESTA is a streamlined process, it is extremely fast and requires no embassy interview.
Furthermore, applying for ESTA is quite simple. All you need to do is:
Fill out the ESTA application form
Pay the MRV fee using a secure online payment option
Submit your application
When you submit your application, you'll get an ESTA application number. You can use this number to check the status of the application.
While applying for ESTA, you have to provide some important documents, also known as the visa requirements. Here are some of the documents you need to apply for ESTA:
A valid electronic passport from visa waiver countries
An active e-mail address
Emergency point of contact email and phone
A credit or debit card
To fill out the ESTA application, you are required to provide the following information:
Name and surname
National ID number
Global Entry ID Number (If Applicable)
A valid passport number
For an ESTA, you don’t have to visit the US embassy. You can submit the required documents online. Usually, applicants get their US e-Visa ESTA in 3 business days.
Extending the e-VISA ESTA
The US e-visa ESTA is a multiple-entry document that is valid for 2 years. It allows travelers to stay in the country for 90 days. If a visitor wants to stay in the country for more than 90 days, he/she is required to extend it by getting a B1 or B2 nonimmigrant visas.
The B-1 visitor visa is for business travelers. So, if you are a tourist, you are required to get a B-2 visa.
Applying for US Traditional Visa from Australia
If for some reason, you are not eligible for US ESTA, you are required to get the traditional visa. To apply for a traditional visa, you need to visit the US embassy. To apply for a US visa, you need to follow these steps:
Determine which US visa you need
Go to the US embassy
Fill out the visa application form
Pay the visa application fee
Submit the required documents
Schedule a visa appointment in Australia
Attend US embassy interview
The processing time is different for different applicants. On average, you'll be able to get your traditional visa within 15 working days.
USA Embassy in Australia
To get an ESTA, Australians don't need to visit the US embassy. However, if you are applying for a traditional visa, you have to contact the nearest US mission.
US Embassy Address
Moonah PI, Yarralumla ACT 2600