How to Visit Australia from USA

The backpacker’s paradise, Australia, is known for its golden beaches, scenic landscapes, coastal drives, road trips, adventure sports and much more! My friends and I have been planning a trip to Australia for quite some time now. And, while it might be a long journey from the United States, it certainly is well worth it. Australia is a perfect destination for everyone, solo travelers, couples or a family trip.

Although US citizens can get an Australian visa for up to 90 days, there are some important things you must know before applying for the Australian ETA Visa.

What is an ETA?

Electronic Travel Authority or ETA is an Australian Tourist Visa that authorizes the holder to enter and travel within the country. It is electronically linked to your passport and allows you to stay in Australia for up to 90 days over a period of 12 months.

With an ETA, you don’t need a visa label or stamp on your passport. It can used if you want to travel as a tourist or need to visit on business. However, it is not a work visa. So, if you wish to find work in Australia, you will need to apply for a suitable work permit.

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Eligibility Criteria for ETA

  • When applying for Tourist ETA, you need to be traveling to Australia for tourism purposes. The same holds true for a Business ETA.
  • Tourist activities may include vacation or recreational activities or visiting family members, while business activities may include meetings, conferences, negotiations or employment inquiries.
  • You must have USA passport.
  • You can visit for up to 3 months over a period of one year.
  • You must not enroll in any academic course or work while you are in Australia with an ETA.
  • You must be in good health and must be free of tuberculosis.
  • You must have good character.

Applying for an ETA

Applying for an Australian ETA visa is a simple and convenient process. You simply need to visit the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection website and apply for an ETA. The steps to apply include:

  • Enter your personal and passport details. This will include your name, date of birth, country from where passport is issued, passport details and so on.
  • You will have to enter your criminal record, if any. If you have ever been convicted and sent to prison for 12 months or more, you are not eligible to apply for an ETA.
  • Pay the processing fees. Some credit cards are accepted for fee payment, including American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

When you apply online, the application for your ETA is processed automatically. Generally, you will get a response immediately. If you are not comfortable applying online, you can contact the nearest Australian visa office.

If you are applying for an Australian ETA for the first time, you should take help from a trusted visa consultant. Make sure you buy travel insurance before traveling to Australia, to protect yourself against the cost of unexpected injuries, illnesses, or travel risks while you are traveling abroad..

So, what are you waiting for? Apply for the Australia ETA visa today and explore the country’s diverse beauty for yourself.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.