How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa

Updated August 11, 2020.

In case you haven’t heard yet… I’m headed to Australia and New Zealand this week! I have two long layovers in Sydney, Australia, on my way to and from Christchurch, New Zealand, and I may be making my way back Down Under in the next few months, so I needed to get a Tourist Visa.

Who Needs a Tourist Visa?

Citizens of Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States who want to visit Australia for more than 72 hours all need to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa through the Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) website. If you are transiting between 8 hours and 72 hours, you may need a Transit Visa. If you will be transiting fewer than 8 hours and will be staying in the airport except to board your connecting flight, you may not need a visa.

Tourist Visas cost $20 Australian Dollars (AUD), or approximately $14.85 USD as of August 2018. The travel document is valid for one full year, but visa holders may only stay in Australia for 90 consecutive days at a time. Visas are good for multiple entries into the country!

What Do I Need to Apply for my Tourist Visa?

You will need:

  • Your Passport
  • Your home address (P.O. Box addresses are not accepted)
  • Your e-mail address for confirmation
  • Your credit card for the 20 AUD fee
  • To be located outside of Australia when you apply
More here: Your How-to Guide to Passports

How Do I Apply for My Australian Tourist Visa?

Visit the ETA Website

If you search for “Australian visa for Americans,” the first several websites that come up are all ads for services that will complete the process for you. Do not let someone else do this for you! It’s a very easy, fast process, and you will have to give the service all your personal information, which they will in turn put into the system. You are not saving any time, and you will certainly not save any money. I would never recommend giving your passport number and other personal information to anyone who does not need it.

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ETA Website Home Page

When you are ready to apply, click “Apply for an ETA” in the lower right corner of the passport example.

Step 1: ETA Type and Location

  • Select “Tourist”
  • Select where you are located while you are applying; you may not apply for a tourist visa if you are currently located in Australia
  • Read and agree to terms and conditions
  • Click “Next”
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Select the appropriate options.

Step 2: Personal and Passport Details

  • Good news for O’Haleks, O’Maras, O’Connells, and other “O’” folk… You can and should use apostrophes; your name should appear exactly as it does on your passport
  • “Known by any other names” does not mean your maiden name
  • Issuing Authority for Americans is “United States Department of State”
  • Click “Next”
Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 11.22.53 AM
This is why you should never let an outside service apply for your visa! Only you should have access to this information.

Step 3: Address and Contact Details

  • Home address may not be a post office box
  • The “#” symbol is not recognized; use “Unit” or “Apt” instead
  • For Americans, the country code is “1”
  • Click “Next”
Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 11.28.40 AM
If you do hold multiple passports, make sure you are traveling with the same passport you are using to apply for this visa!

Step 4: Review Your Information

  • Review the information to ensure there are no errors—anyone can make a typo
  • Must check the box labeled “All of the details above are correct”
  • Click “Next”
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Don’t forget to check this box!

Step 5: Payment

  • Fill in your credit card information
  • Click “Next”
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$20 AUD was only $14.85 USD the day I applied!
Also helpful for American citizens: How to Apply for Global Entry

Step 6: Receipt

  • Your receipt will appear on the screen with necessary reference numbers
  • You will also be sent an e-mail with the same information
  • Click “Next”

Step 7: Confirmation

  • You will be approved or disapproved immediately, so there is no waiting time!

Applying for Multiple Visas

Every person traveling to Australia from the United States must have a visa, even children, so you may be applying for several visas. Unfortunately, but understandably, you may not apply for multiple visas at once. However, when you finish one, it’s just a matter of clicking “Apply for another ETA” on the last screen!

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Applying for multiple ETAs

For more information about Transit Visas, Tourist Visas, and whether or not you’ll need one, check out the Australian Department of Home Affairs website!

Still have questions? Check out their FAQ’s Page!

And for everything else you need to know about planning a trip to Australia, check out my Australia Page!

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One response to “How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa”

  1. […] You will need a visa. It is good for one year, up to three months at a time, and you can find out how to get one in How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa! […]

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