Obtaining an Australian Visa

For my upcoming travels, I needed to obtain a visa to visit Australia.  This is the first time I’ll be traveling to a country that requires anything more than my passport.  I started my research at the US State Department’s website.  I located the specific entry/exit requirements for Australia, but the site makes it easy to search by any country.

The details provided on the US State Departments website directed me to Australia’s Electronic Travel Authority.  I clicked on the link “applying online” which lists all the countries that are eligible for the Electronic Visa (Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea Rep of (South), and the United Sates).

I then clicked on “Apply for an ETA”.  After answering some questions, a few more clicks, and $20 I received an email stating that my application was successful.  The email had a reference number and indicated that the visa was already linked to my passport.

An ETA visa is good for 12 months and there are no limits on the number of entries.  Each visit can be three months in length.  The visa does not allow the carrier to work or go to school.  Additionally, the carrier must be free of tuberculosis and have not had any criminal convictions  for which sentences (combined) were 12 months or longer.

In talking to a friend who traveled to Australia, visas can be obtained upon arrival.  I can’t confirm that 100%, so I recommend planning ahead and getting a visa online.

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