Australian ETA for American Citizens

If you are an American citizen planning to visit Australia, you will need a travel document to do so, regardless of the intended period of stay or purpose of the trip.

Depending on the expected length of stay and reasons for traveling, this may either be an electronic travel authority (ETA), or a visa obtained from an Australian embassy or consulate in the United States.

What is an Australian ETA for US Citizens and What Does It Do?

An Australian ETA is one of two electronic travel visa authorizations available for foreign citizens to travel to Australia.

ETA stands for Electronic Travel Authority. This online visa waiver program for Australia was first introduced in 1996, making it the first electronic authorization system ever launched.

The other electronic visa for Australia, the eVisitor, is available for citizens of all 27 European Union member states and 9 other European countries. However, citizens of the United States are only eligible to apply for ETA for Australia (subclass 601) online.
An electronic travel authority for Australia from the United States is a multiple entry online visa waiver. This means that US holders of an approved Australian ETA can enter the country an unlimited number of times during its validity, for a total stay of up to 90 days per entry.

Is an ETA Obligatory for American Citizens?

An approved ETA for Australia for US citizens is an obligatory requirement for Americans to visit the country for short stays for purposes of:

  • Visiting friends and family
  • Tourism, including entering Australia on a cruise
  • Business travel, including to negotiate deals or take part in a conference or seminar

However, if a citizen of the United States wishes to stay in Australia for longer consecutive periods, or for other purposes than those permitted with an ETA, they will be required to apply for an Australian visa.

This must be obtained from the nearest Australian government diplomatic office in the United States, by making an embassy appointment well in advance of the intended travel dates.

An embassy visa for Australia for US citizens may be issued for purposes of studying, to work, or for residency, among other options. The type of Australian visa issued depends on the needs of the individual American applicant.

ETA Australia Application for Americans

To apply for an ETA for Australia from the United States, American citizens must complete a simple online form with basic passport and personal data.

It will also be necessary to answer a few security-related questions and to pay a small ETA service charge. The entire process will only take a few minutes to complete.

Before submitting the ETA application, US applicants should double-check that all the information is correct and matches the details of their passport. This is because any small errors in the data provided may result in the rejection of the ETA or a delay in receiving the approved travel authorization.

US citizens visiting Australia with family members should note that a separate ETA application form must be submitted for each individual traveler, whether they are included on a single passport or not.

It is also important to note that US citizens must apply for an ETA from outside of Australia, at least a few business days before the intended date of arrival in the country to allow sufficient processing time.

Documents Required for the ETA for American Citizens Application

All American citizens must first meet the ETA Australia document requirements before they can begin an online authorization application. Applicants must have:

  • A US passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the intended arrival date in Australia
  • A current debit or credit card to pay the Australian ETA processing fee.

For an online authorization for Americans to be approved, the applicant must also comply with the following health and criminal conviction requirements for Australia:

  • Be free from tuberculosis.
  • Not have any criminal convictions with a sentence of more than 1 year (whether the time has been served or not).

How Will I Receive my Australian ETA for United States Citizens?

Once issued, an approved Australian ETA for United States citizens is electronically linked to the applicant’s US passport.

The validity of an approved ETA begins on the date that it is issued. It is valid for 1 year from the date of issue, or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.

Holders of an approved ETA for Americans are able to present the digitally-linked passport to board transportation bound for Australia, and at Australian border control to gain entry to the country.

Nevertheless, applicants are also asked to provide a current email address to which a copy of the approved Australian ETA will be sent. It is advisable to carry a printout of the ETA when traveling to Australia from the USA in the rare case of any problems with the electronic system.

Application Steps

STEP 1
Complete online application
STEP 2
Confirm Payment
STEP 3
Receive approved Visa

Country policy

Australia Visa Policy

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Learn about the visa policy of Australia and find out the travel requirements for visitors of your nationality.

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