Australia has sandy white beaches, A relaxed surf culture, and friendly locals. Its shimmering cities like Sydney or Melbourne are buzzing with adventure. It’s no wonder why you are considering traveling to Australia soon. Those with a U.S. passport can travel to Australia, but they will also need to have a travel visa. How long does it take to get an Australian visa? Although it sounds like it, the process is simple. It can be done through an app on your electronic device and can be approved immediately!
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs has a travel visa called the Electronic Travel Authority. If you plan to travel to Australia for less than three months, you can apply for a free-of-charge, 3-month travel visa. But what kind of travel does the ETA count for? With this Visa, you can travel to Australia if you are a genuine visitor.
You can be a tourist and go on a cruise or tour. You can have an extended visit with your family and friends. You can conduct certain business practices for business visitors to expand your business internationally. There are significant benefits to applying for this visa, but it is the only way to get in.
Those entering Australia to study should not apply using the ETA but instead should apply for a student visa. Here are some examples of when you would need to apply for this visa.
Traveling by Cruise
All guests visiting an Australian port require a visa. You will be allowed entry at the beginning of your cruise if you have an approved Australian visa.
Being a Business Visitor
As a business visitor in Australia, you can make general business inquiries. They can attend an unpaid conference, trade, or seminar. They may negotiate or investigate business contracts. A business visitor may even conduct activities as part of a government visit.
However, a business visitor is not considered and cannot sell goods or services to the public of Australia. They also may not provide services to a business or organization based in Australia.
Of course, to apply for a visa, you must be eligible. Here are the requirements for the Australian Visa:
- You must have a valid passport.
- Be a genuine visitor. In short, this means you must be traveling for business, tourist, or visiting purposes. It would be best if you were open to your visa conditions.
- You must meet Australia’s health requirements.
- Meet their character requirement. If you have a criminal conviction in any country, you may have to provide more information, or your application will be canceled.
- You must have no debts to the Australian Government.
Applying For The Visa
Make sure you have a valid passport
Your passport must be valid at the time of entry to Australia but should be valid for the duration of your stay. You must have at least six months of validity on your passport before traveling to another country. At least one page of your passport must have space for a stamp for entry.
Download the app
You can download the app, Australia ETA for free on either the Apple Store or Google Play.
When you download the app, it will ask you to do some things like, take a photo of yourself, and scan your passport.
Setting up the app
Once you’ve downloaded the app, it will ask you to take a photo of yourself.
The photo has almost all of the same requirements as a passport photo, and will be denied if the picture has any of the following:
- The photo is not square to the camera
- There is more than one person in the photo
- You have a non-plain background
- There are background shadows
- Glares or shadows appear in the photo
- Heavy makeup on your face and body
Next, you will have to scan your passport data page.
You’ll need to enable the NFC function on your device. If you have a passport cover on your passport book, also remove it. Your passport data page is just that part of your airport with all your information and pictures. You will be taking a picture of each page horizontally. You must include the entire page, including the two lines of numbers at the bottom of the data page. If the app approves your photo, the outline around the screen will turn green and automatically take the scan/photo. It is essential to maintain the view of the data page. It would be best if you avoided shadows or glares in the photo.
Then, you will have to scan the chip on your U.S. passport.
If you didn’t know, there is a symbol on the front of your passport book that contains a chip in it. To scan it, open your passport up to the passport data page. Remove any passport book or phone case you may have on. Place your phone on the top page, so that it is touching the phone. Then, you must move the device up and down the passport until the app recognizes the chip. Do not move your device until the chip is fully scanned. A page with personal information will appear, and you will review and approve the information.
Receiving Your Visa
In most cases, your Australian visa will be approved almost immediately. If there is a delay, for one reason or another, the delay will last for up to 12 hours. You might experience delays with your application if it was filled out incorrectly, if they need more time to review your information, or if they need more information from you. If you are a convicted felon in your country, your application may also be delayed for investigation.
If you are approved or denied, you will be able to receive it in writing. So, check your email frequently. If approved, you will receive a written statement with your visa conditions, your visa grant number, and the date your visa starts.
Getting a U.S passport
It would be best if you had a passport to travel to Australia. You can apply for one at a post office or courthouse. However, passport processing time can land you in a 6-10 week waiting room.
Maybe you are traveling soon and can’t wait months to receive your new passport. Consider applying for an expedited passport with a private courier. Private couriers, like The Passport Office, can get you an expedited passport in as little as three days!