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ETA Travel Visa Frequently Asked Questions

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To help you understand the process of applying for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) visa better, we have put together this list of commonly asked questions and their answers. If these still do not answer your question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Why Do I need an ETA to visit Australia?

If you are a citizen of any of the 33 eligible countries, an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) replaces the need to apply for a visa label or stamp.

How do I apply for an ETA?

Simply apply here with your passport details, the passport details of any person traveling with you (they may apply separately), and a current Mastercard, Visa Credit / Debit / Electron card, UK Maestro, or American Express card.

To apply for an ETA (Visitor), you must be outside Australia and hold a passport issued by an ETA-eligible country or region.

You must apply for your ETA with the passport and passport number you will be travelling to Australia with; the visa is linked to this number.

How long will I wait for my ETA visa to be granted?

In 90% of cases your ETA visa will be granted automatically. Once you submit your details, processing begins immediately and a visa grant notification is returned within seconds.

Processing times may be extended if:

Referrals are rare and generally only occur if a person is of interest to the Australian immigration authorities. For more information on referrals, click here.

How soon or late can I use this visa?

Your ETA visa allows you to make your initial entry into Australia no later than one year from the date of grant. An ETA visa is valid for one year only.

When do I get a stamp in my passport?

Your ETA visa is electronically linked to your passport number, you will not require a stamp, nor will one be issued.

Once in Australia, how long can I visit for?

You are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 3 months at a time. It is possible to leave the country and re-enter for a further 3 months within the life time of the visa (12 months).

Do I need an ETA for all my children, and if so, how do I apply.

Yes, unless your children hold Australian passports, they will require ETAs to visit Australia. All travellers to Australia, regardless of age, require an ETA.

If the children have their own passport, you should apply for a separate ETA for the child, entering all the details from your child's passport.

If the child is on a parent's passport, you still need a separate ETA; just apply using the parent's passport details, but use the child's name, date of birth, sex, country of birth as they appear on the passport.

I am flying to Australia tonight, will my visa be ready?

In most cases ETA visas are processed instantaneously but, as stated in the Visa Bureau Terms of Service, processing of your ETA could be delayed for up to 2 business days if you have supplied incorrect details or if your application is referred to the Australian High Commission.

How do I know if my ETA is still valid for travel to Australia?

If you have applied for an ETA through the Visa Bureau, you can easily view the current status of your ETA on the website. You will need the email address and password you gave when registering for our website to check your ETA. Simply click here to go straight to the ETA checking page and log in.

If for some reason you cannot use, you can contact your travel agent or airline office and they can make the enquiry for you; you will need your passport number and Reference Number if you do not go through the secure Login area of the Visa Bureau website.

Can I cancel my ETA?

No, once you have paid for the service, the fees and processing are already underway. You agreed to the Terms of Service at the point of purchase. As per our Terms of Service, the service is non-refundable.

I have made a mistake entering my name, how can I correct the error?

There is no way to go back and correct errors. Once you have entered your details, your ETA processing is already underway.

Your ETA must be linked to your name as it appears on your passport. If your name was entered incorrectly, you must let Visa Bureau know as soon as possible. Your ETA will need to be processed again, and you will incur another charge for the new ETA.

Please use the Feedback form on the Contact Us page of the Visa Bureau website to alert us of the error.

I have made a mistake entering my passport number, how can I correct the error?

There is no way to go back and correct errors. Once you have entered your details, your ETA processing is already underway.

Your ETA is linked to your passport number. If your passport number was entered incorrectly, you must let Visa Bureau know as soon as possible. Your ETA will need to be processed again, and you will incur another charge for the new ETA.

Please use the Feedback form on the Contact Us page of the Visa Bureau website to alert us of the error.

Why can’t you fix the error for free?

If an error occurs with either your name or passport number, the ETA has to be re-issued. The re-issued ETA is charged at full price.

My visa will expire before my return flight is scheduled to depart Australia! Help!

To prevent yourself from being in Australia illegally, you will need to apply for another visa before your current one expires. It may be possible to acquire a Bridging Visa to prevent this.

If you stay in Australia once your visa expires you will become an"unlawful non-citizen" and may be detained and later removed from Australia. If you become unlawful it could impact on your application for another visa.

Anyone who overstays their visa by more than 28 days will become subject to an exclusion period that prevents them from being granted a temporary visa to travel to Australia for three years.

The Department of Immigration operates a 24-hour national telephone service inquiry line on 131 881, for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia.

I have been issued a new passport because my other passport was lost/stolen. I have not entered Australia yet, what happens to my ETA? Do I need to re-apply?

Since your ETA visa is attached to your old passport number, you will need to re-apply for an ETA that ties to your new passport number. Electronic visas are not transferable between passports.

Why do your visas cost £20 / so much?

As a UK based company, we charge £20 for ETA visa processing. The £20 we charge covers the manual input cost of your passport and visa details being entered into our processing system.

In the event your ETA is ‘referred’, which essentially means put on hold, you will receive communication from our offices alerting you as to why this happened and how to proceed in order to have your ETA granted.

This is not a service provided by all the visa providers in our market space. In addition, we provide a secure login area for clients to check their ETAs through our site using a secure Login. Again, the infrastructure costs of running these processes are covered by our fees.

Can I work in Australia on an ETA Visa?

Strictly no; this visa is not intended for work purposes. If you take employment while in Australia on an ETA visa, you will be contravening the conditions of the visa.

Australian employers will check that you have the correct visa entitling you to work. Should you wish to work in Australia, perhaps on a Working Holiday Visa (up to two years), or want to emigrate permanently under Australia’s General Skilled Migration program, the Visa Bureau can help. The Visa Bureau website offers no obligation online assessments for both these visa classes. Please visit our website for more information on these visas and how Visa Bureau can help you make Australia your new home.

If you have been offered a job in Australia whilst visiting and decide you want to work, you may apply for permission to work by lodging an application for a Temporary Residence visa.

A Temporary Residence visa allows Australian employers who are unable to fill highly skilled positions from the local labour market to sponsor overseas personnel for up to four years.

You cannot start work until the Department has approved your application. Working without permission is a criminal offence that carries fines of up to AU$10,000, could see your visa revoked and you could be forced to leave the country.

Please consult the Visa Bureau via our website for details on how to obtain a work visa for Australia.

I need to attend a business convention in Australia and attend a few meetings, am I covered by my visa for this?

As long as you do not intend to stay in the country longer than three months, you can take part in conventions and conferences as well as meetings whilst in Australia.

Can I study in Australia on an ETA Visa?

Yes you can, but on an ETA visa you are only allowed to study for a maximum of three months. Students must, before commencing study, pass a chest X-ray examination carried out by a qualified radiologist.

What about unpaid work experience as part of my course of study, can I do that on an ETA visa?

An ETA visa holder will have what is known as an '8201 condition' on their visa which means 'while in Australia the holder must not engage, for more than three months, in any studies or training'. However, the visa holder will also have the 8101 'no work' condition on their visa. Therefore, you cannot do work experience as part of a course.

Is it possible to extend my visa once in Australia?

If you wish to extend your stay in Australia for a holiday or to visit relatives or friends while onshore, you will need to apply for a further stay as a visitor, using the Long-Stay Tourist Visa (subclass 676) option  Full information on the requirements and conditions of the visa on our Long-Stay Tourist Visa page.

Can I change to another visa while in Australia?

No, you cannot change visa types while onshore in Australia, you may only apply to extend your visa. If you are interested in applying for a permanent visa or another temporary visa, such as a Working Holiday Maker Visa, the application must be made offshore.

Please visit our Australian visa pages for information regarding other Australian visa classes. Visa Bureau offers no obligation online visa assessments for both permanent Skilled Visas and Working Holiday Maker Visas.

I already hold another visa on my passport for Australia, what will happen to it?

If you already have a visa attached to your passport, such as a Working Holiday or immigrant visa, your ETA may cancel or cease your existing visa.

If you have been granted a Working Holiday Visa for Australia, you do not need an ETA visa to enter the country.

If you have another visa pending (for example a visa under the General Skilled Migration program) you should be careful not to apply for an ETA around the same time as your application is processed through the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Your application for temporary ETA could affect the status of your permanent visa.

Do I need travel/health insurance?

You are strongly advised to take out private health/travel insurance to cover yourself in Australia as medical treatment can be very expensive. Visa Bureau can recommend our specially selected partner, Columbus Direct who will be able to provide a competitive quotation for comprehensive travel insurance, with a 15% discount available exclusively to Visa Bureau clients.