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Australia ETA Subclass 601 Explained

An Australian Electronic Travel Authorization is a legal permission granted to citizens of eligible foreign nations to visit the country for tourism and business-related activities.  

The application for this visa is an easy, straightforward and completely online process. Here’s what everyone who is interested in applying for an Australia ETA needs to know.  

What is the Australia ETA? 

The visa is an electronically-generated travel authorization issued to foreigners from eligible countries for short-term visits.  

The visa allows travelers to visit the country as a tourist, go on a cruise holiday and attend business meetings, seminars and conferences.

In most cases, the visitors can stay in the country for three months at a time. The Australian foreign ministry also grants permission to stay in the country with this visa for six and 12 months in special circumstances.  

The officers at the consulates and embassies will take the final decision in this regard based on the purpose of the trip and the nationality of the applicants.  

Who is Eligible?  

At present, passport holders of 34 countries can apply for the ETA to Australia. Citizens of the following countries can apply for it through the official visa app of the Australian government.   

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China)
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (excluding official or diplomatic passports)
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom—British Citizen
  • United Kingdom—British National (Overseas)
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

What is It Good for? 

An Australia ETA is the easiest way for foreigners from eligible countries to travel to the country as a tourist. They can also visit their family and friends there.  

Travelers with this visa can take up courses in various Australian universities. The training should not exceed three months.  

Note that those who wish to get training in childcare centers, medicine, healthcare or hospital environment cannot come on this visa. 

They have to apply for an Australian Visitor Visa (600) and complete all the medical checks required for it.   

Foreigners who come to Australia on a cruise can get this visa. 

If the cruise is a round trip cruise, the time they spent onboard the ship will also be included in the visa period. Make sure that the visa validity period covers the entire cruise trip.  

An Australian ETA also permits nationals of the entitled countries to travel to the country on a business trip.  

They can take part in business meetings, conferences, seminars; conduct employment enquiries and enter into a business contract. 

However, the organizers of the business meetings cannot make payments for the visitors’ stay. 

Foreigners also cannot engage in paid employment and provide services to a venture registered in Australia. They cannot sell services or products to Australian citizens when they are in the country on an ETA.  

Australian ETA VS eVisitor   

The main difference between the ETA and the Australia eVisitor is the place where travelers can apply for them, how much it cost, and who is eligible.   

At present, the Australian ETA can be applied through the Australian government’s mobile application only and travel agents across the eligible countries can help the applicants with the process. They may charge a small fee.   

The Australian eVisitor application can be made through by creating an ImmiAccount in the official website of the Australian government.   

Both visa types allow citizens of eligible nations to visit the country for up to three months.   

How to Apply for an Australia ETA?  

International travelers eligible for an ETA can apply through the official app of the Australian government. At present, the application can be made only through this app.   

Foreigners can apply for this visa from outside Australia. They have to be on a foreign land when the visa is issued.  

They can also apply from the immigration counter and have to remain in the counter until the visa is delivered.  

Before Applying  

Applicants need to download the app.  

They have to ensure that the passport has enough validity. They also need to take a photograph of themselves. They are also required to scan the passport chip using the device, and scan and upload all the documents to the app.  

After Applying  

Usually, the visa is granted within minutes. If the visa application is delayed, the applicant will be informed. 

Generally, the delay will be a result of incorrect information in the application or the immigration officials need more information. 

The Australia ETA visa will be electronically attached to the passport. If the passport validity expired before the visa validity, it is advised to get a new passport before applying for an Australian ETA.  

If the visa is approved, the Australian immigration will send a written advice to the registered email within minutes of receiving the visa application. The email will have the visa grant number, the date from which the visa is valid and visa conditions.  

The visa will not be approved if it does not suit the purpose of the trip. In some cases, the applicant may be asked to submit additional information.  

In case the visa is refused, the embassy will let the applicant know the reasons for the refusal and if he/she can seek a review.  

How Long Can I Stay in Australia with the ETA? 

This visa is issued for a maximum period of 12 months. Travelers with the visa can visit the country multiple times during the validity period. However, for one visit, they can remain in Australia for up to three months only.   

International travelers who wish to stay in the country for more than three months at a stretch have to apply for other visas. The Australia ETA does not serve their purpose.   

Frequent travelers may have to face additional enquiries from the immigration officers or the embassy staff. 

This is to ascertain the purpose of their visit. If they are found to be not a genuine visitor, their ETA may be cancelled.  

How to Extend the Australian ETA Validity? 

The validity period of an Australia ETA cannot be extended. Foreigners have to leave the country when the permitted stay is over. If they want to visit Australia again, they can apply for the visa again.  

The visa validity period starts on the day it was issued.   

Members of a maritime crew who have a maritime crew visa can also apply for the Australian ETA. 

Their electronic visa will be valid from the date on which it was issued. They can hold both the visas at the same time and can stay in Australia till the validity of both the visas expire.  

If a foreigner has both the ETA and one of the other Australian visas, the ETA will come into effect when the other visa validity ends. He/she will be allowed to enter with the substantive visa, not the ETA.  

Health Requirements 

Travelers coming on an Australia ETA are completely liable for their medical expenses in the country. They are encouraged to get health insurance before traveling to Australia.   They have to undergo medical checks in approved to hospitals to prove that they do not have any active communicable diseases.

Character Requirements 

Foreigners with criminal inadmissibility cannot apply for the ETA. They have to apply for visitor visa subclass 600 and show proof of their convictions.     

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