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How to Get a Visa for Australia

The Australian visa most frequently granted to citizens of the United States is the ETA or Electronic Travel Authority. This document authroizes short term stays for tourism or business activities for a total of up to 90 days within a 12 month period. The ETA is a multiple entry visa.

Americans are required to apply for the ETA before arriving in Australia. This can be done online or through a travel agency, airline or visa expediting courier service.

In order to apply, you must possess a valid passport, email adress and credit card. Note, each individual must apply separately, including children.

At time of publication, the cost of the ETA is AUD $20 if you apply directly through Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This service charge is non-refundable. There may be additional fees if you apply through a third party such as an expedited visa courier service.

Verify that your passport will be valid beyond our visit to Australia. You must enter the country with the same passport you use to apply for the ETA. You should renew your passport if it will expire prior to your trip. If you have to replace your passport before your departure date due to lose, theft or significant damage, then you will need to apply for a new ETA.

The application for an ETA is processed automatically when you apply online so you will get your response immediately unless the application needs further processing. In that case, you are encouraged to check back after a period of at least 12 hours. If your request is not processed, you can contact the nearest Australian visa office for assistance.

You are allowed to study on the ETA up to 90 days but cannot work. Those who want to study for longer periods or work in Australia need to obtain a special study and work visas. Australia has many different type and sub-types of visas. Fees also vary widely from a few hunderd dollars to several thousands of dollars.

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