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Australia ETA or Visa: Which One Do You Need?
iVisa
4 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Planning to visit the majestic Sydney Opera House or explore the vibrant underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef? You’ll need either an Australia ETA or a Visitor Visa first.

If you’re confused about which one to choose, don’t panic. We’re here to explain everything you need to know about the Australia ETA and the Australia Visitor Visa to help you decide which option is better suited to your needs.

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Understanding your options: ETA vs. Australian Visa

Australia offers three different options to travelers: The ETA, the Visitor Visa, and the eVisitor Visa. The one you choose will depend on various factors, including eligibility, reason for travel, and length of stay. Before selecting one, you’ll need to understand the intricacies of each:

An Australia ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is an electronic visa for tourism or short-term business visits, available to nationals from certain visa-exempt countries. It's digitally linked to your passport and allows multiple entries into Australia; each stay can be up to three months within a twelve-month validity period.

The Australia Visitor Visa is a more traditional visa that offers greater flexibility regarding stay duration and activities. It includes various streams like tourist, business, sponsored family, or frequent traveler, catering to a broader range of nationalities. The Australia Visitor Visa can allow stays ranging from three months to one year, depending on the specific stream.

The Australia eVisitor Visa is specifically designed for EU citizens. Like the ETA, it's an electronic visa for short-term tourism or business purposes, permitting multiple entries with each stay up to three months over 12 months. The main difference between the eVisitor Visa and the Visitor Visa lies in the applicant's nationality and the simplicity of the application process, with the eVisitor Visa offering a more streamlined approach for EU citizens.

You can learn more about these visas here:

  1. Australia ETA

  2. Australia Visitor Visa

  3. Australia eVisitor Visa

Here’s a summary of the differences between the three visa types:

Criteria Australia ETA Australia Visitor Visa Australia eVisitor Visa
Definition Electronic visa for tourism or business Traditional visa for tourism, business, or family visits Electronic visa for EU citizens for tourism or business
Duration 12 months, multiple entries Varies (up to 12 months), multiple entries 12 months, multiple entries
Eligibility Visa-exempt countries Broader range of nationalities EU citizens only
Activities Permitted Tourism, business visits Tourism, business visits, family visits Tourism, business visits
Restrictions No work/study over 3 months Restrictions vary by stream No work/study over 3 months
Application Process Online Online but may require more documentation and a biometrics appointment Online
Stay Duration Up to 3 months per visit Up to 3, 6, 9, or 12 months per visit Up to 3 months per visit

Cost comparison of the ETA & Visas

The government visa fee for an Australia ETA is approximately $13, while that of a Visitor Visa is approximately $126. The eVisitor Visa is free.

Choosing to apply through us comes at an additional cost – a worthwhile investment for applicants seeking a more streamlined and supportive visa application process.

Processing time comparison: ETA vs. Visitor Visa

Our processing times vary based on the type of visa you apply for.

  • For the Australia ETA, there are two processing speeds: Standard, which takes about 5 days, and Rush, taking roughly 3 days.

  • The Australia Visitor Visa usually has a standard processing time of up to 30 days.

  • For the Australia eVisitor Visa, we provide three options: Standard processing (24 hours), Rush processing (16 hours), and Super Rush processing (12 hours).

Remember, these durations only reflect the processing time with us. They don't include the time the Australian authorities need to review and decide on your application. So, applying well before your intended travel date is wise to allow for any unforeseen delays.

How to select the right option for your Australia trip

Picking the right Australian visa is about matching your travel goals to the right option. Consider why you're going (like sightseeing or business), how long you want to stay, and where you're from (your home country). Each visa type has its own rules about what you can do and for how long.

Still stuck, let us help you pick the right choice and make applying for a visa less confusing. Start by checking your visa eligibility options with our Visa Checker Tool.

Got questions?

For more information about the ETA or eVisitor Visa, Australia entry requirements, or the other types of Australian visas, you can contact our customer support team via WhatsApp.

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