Which one do I need, the Australia ETA or visa?

If you're a citizen of a foreign country and planning to visit Australia, you will usually need to obtain either an ETA or a visa before your travel. The type of document you need depends on factors like your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your stay. If your visit is for a short-term period, up to three months, and your purpose is either tourism, business, or visiting family and friends, an ETA might be sufficient. However, if your stay exceeds the ETA's maximum duration or involves uncovered activities, you may have to apply for an appropriate visa instead. Keep reading to learn whether you need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or a visa to travel to Australia.

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Whether you need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or a visa to enter Australia depends on various factors, such as your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your stay.

What is the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)?
An ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia for short-term visits, typically for tourism or business purposes. It is available for citizens of visa-exempt countries and allows multiple entries into Australia within a 12-month period, with each stay being up to three months.

To be eligible for an ETA, you must possess a valid passport from one of the following countries. Applying with a non-citizen passport, certificate of identity, or other travel document like a Titre de Voyage is prohibited.

Eligible Countries:

  • 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


  • If you hold an ETA-eligible passport but are also an Australian citizen, you cannot apply for an ETA. Australian citizens possess an automatic right of entry and do not require a visa for entry. Refer to “Travelling as a dual citizen” for further details.
  • If you possess multiple passports, you must declare them in your ETA application along with relevant details.

What is an Australian Visa?
If you’re not eligible for an ETA or if you’re planning a longer stay, different types of visas might be suitable for your visit. There are various visa types for different purposes, such as work, study, tourism, family reunions, etc. The visa requirements and application process vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for.

Types of Australian visas:

  • Studying and Training Visas:
    • Allow you to enter Australia for educational purposes, such as attending a university, participating in a training program, or taking an English language course.
  • Family and Partner Visas:
    • For reuniting with family members or partners who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible visa holders.
  • Working and Skilled Visas:
    • If you have the skills and qualifications Australia needs, these visas can allow you to work and potentially live permanently in Australia. Examples include:
      • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): For skilled migrants with in-demand professions.
      • Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186): Sponsored by an Australian employer.
  • Refugee and Humanitarian Visas:
    • This is for people seeking refuge or protection in Australia due to war, persecution, or other humanitarian reasons.
  • Other Visas:
    • This category might include temporary visas for specific purposes not covered elsewhere, such as crew visas for seafarers or airline staff.

What is an Australia E-Visitor Visa?
The Australia eVisitor (subclass 651) visa is available to citizens of certain European countries and a few other European countries. It is designed for individuals who want to visit Australia for tourism or business purposes.

  • For tourism, leisure, or business purposes, such as attending conferences or meetings.
  • Duration of three (3) months per entry. The visa is valid for 12 months from the date of grant, and multiple entries are allowed during this time.
  • Allows for multiple entries.
  • The application process is conducted online.
  • Holders of the eVisitor visa are not permitted to work in Australia. If the purpose of your visit includes work, you would need to apply for a different type of visa that allows work authorization.

People from these countries can obtain an e-Visitor for Australia:1

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom – British Citizen
  • Vatican City

Note: You cannot apply with a non-citizen passport, certificate of identity, or other travel document, including a Titre de Voyage, or a British National Overseas, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject passport.

What is an Australian Visitor visa?

An Australian Visitor visa (subclass 600) is a temporary visa that allows you to enter and stay in Australia for tourism, business (visiting, not working), or visiting family and friends. It is the most common visa for people coming to Australia for short-term stays.

The main target audience for Australian visitor visas typically includes:

  1. Tourists: Individuals who wish to explore Australia’s tourist attractions, landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural experiences.
  2. Visiting family and friends: This category includes people who have relatives or friends residing in Australia and wish to visit them for short-term stays.
  3. Business professionals are individuals who need to travel to Australia for short-term business purposes, such as attending meetings, conferences, or negotiating business deals.
  4. Academic visitors: Researchers, scholars, or professionals invited to Australia to participate in short-term educational or academic activities, workshops, or conferences.
  5. Medical visitors: People who require medical treatment in Australia or are accompanying someone receiving medical treatment.
  6. Individuals attending events or festivals: Those who wish to attend special events, festivals, or cultural gatherings in Australia.

Visiting Australia requires a visa, but which one to choose depends on various factors, including your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and how long you plan to stay. If your visit is for tourism or business and is short, you can consider an Australia ETA or an E-Visitor Visa. The ETA is open to more nationalities, while the E-Visitor Visa is designed for specific countries. However, a regular visa may be necessary if you intend to stay for an extended period, require multiple entries, or are visiting for work or study purposes. It is crucial to carefully review the requirements and eligibility criteria to make the right choice for a hassle-free trip to Australia.

We offer specialized services to help you obtain the Australian E-Visitor visa if you plan to visit Australia. Here at Visas for Future, we are committed to guiding you through the application process, ensuring it is smooth and stress-free for your convenience.

What We’re Offering

We offer a quick and reliable service for Australian E-Visitor visa applications, which are suitable for tourism, leisure, or business purposes such as conferences or meetings. We guarantee delivery to your mailbox within 24 hours, ensuring prompt processing.

  • Three (3) months duration per entry.2
  • It is Multiple entry.2
  • Australia E-Visitor costs $42.92 fee.

Why choose us

Our visa forms are easy and simple.
We validate your application.
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How to choose the appropriate option for your trip to Australia?

Choosing the appropriate option for your trip to Australia depends on several factors, including the purpose of your visit, your nationality, the duration of your stay, and any specific requirements you may have. Here are some steps to help you choose the right visa option:

  1. Determine the purpose of your visit: Are you traveling for tourism, visiting family or friends, attending business meetings, or participating in short-term study or training? Understanding the purpose of your trip will help you narrow down the visa options available to you.
  2. Check your eligibility: Different visa subclasses have specific eligibility criteria based on nationality, intended activities in Australia, health, and character requirements. Review the eligibility criteria for each visa option to ensure you meet the requirements.
  3. Consider the duration of your stay: Determine how long you plan to stay in Australia. Some visa options allow for short-term stays of up to 3, 6, or 12 months, while others may have longer validity periods or allow for multiple entries during their validity.
  4. Review visa conditions: Understand the conditions attached to each visa option, such as restrictions on work or study, limitations on healthcare access, and requirements for maintaining health insurance coverage during your stay.
  5. Assess processing times: Consider the processing times for each visa option, as well as any additional documentation or information required for your application. Some visas may have faster processing times than others.
  6. Evaluate cost and fees: Consider the visa application fees and any additional costs associated with health examinations, biometrics, or other requirements. Depending on your circumstances, some visa options may be more cost-effective.
  7. Seek professional advice if necessary: If you’re unsure which visa option is best for your trip to Australia, consider seeking advice from a qualified immigration consultant or contacting the Australian Department of Home Affairs for guidance.

Difference between the three Australian visa types

FeaturesAustralia Visitor VisaElectronic Travel Authority (eTA)Australia E-Visitor Visa
PurposeTraditional visas for tourism, business, and family visits.Electric visa for Tourism or businessElectronic visa for EU citizens for tourism or business
DurationVaris (up to 12 months) multiple entries12 months, multiple entries12 months, multiple entries
EligibilityBroader range of nationalitiesVisa-exempt countriesEU citizens only
Activities PermittedTourism, business, and family visitsTourism and business visitTourism and business visits
RestrictionRestrictions vary by streamNo work/study over three months onlineDefinition
ApplicationOnline but may require more documentation and a biometric appointmentOnlineOnline
Stay DurationUp to 3, 6, 9, 12 months per visitUp to 3 months per visitUp to 3 months per visit

Comparison of Eligibility Criteria for Australia ETA and visa

Eligibility for Australia Visa:

  • Nationality: Eligibility varies based on the type of visa and may include a broader range of nationalities.
  • Passport: Possession of a valid passport from a country recognized by the Australian Government.
  • Purpose: Depends on the type of visa applied for, such as work, study, tourism, family reunion, etc.
  • Financial Means: Ability to meet financial requirements specified for the visa category.
  • Genuine Intent: Genuine intention to visit Australia for the specified purpose and abide by visa conditions.
  • Health: You must be healthy and not pose a health risk to Australia.
  • Character: You should have a clean criminal record and demonstrate good character.
  • Financial: You must have enough money to support yourself while in Australia.
  • Intent: You must genuinely plan to visit Australia and leave when your stay ends.
  • Children’s Interests: The visa might not be approved if it’s not considered best for applicants under 18.

Eligibility for Electronic Travel Authority (eTA):

  • Citizenship: You need to be a citizen of a country eligible for the ETA scheme.
  • Valid Passport: Your passport must be issued by a country recognized as eligible by the Australian Government.
  • Intent: Your purpose should be a temporary visit to Australia, and you must follow all visa conditions and stay periods.
  • Health: You must meet Australia’s health standards.
  • Character: You must meet the character standards set by the Australian Government. If you have a criminal record, you may need to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600) and provide relevant documentation.
  • Accurate Information: Providing correct information is essential. Any discrepancies could lead to your ETA being canceled.
  • Debts: Any debts owed to the Australian Government must be repaid, or arrangements must be made for repayment.
  • Children’s Interests: The visa might not be approved if it’s not considered in the best interests of an applicant under 18.

Additional Criteria:

  • Travelers must be free of tuberculosis when traveling to and entering Australia.
  • Travelers must not have any criminal convictions resulting in sentences totaling 12 months or more, regardless of whether the sentences have been served.

Comparison of Purpose and duration of visit between Australia ETA and visa

Australian visas:

  1. Visitor Visas:
    • Purpose: This is for individuals intending to visit Australia for tourism, visiting family or friends, or other short-term purposes.
    • Duration: Typically allows stays ranging from 3 to 12 months, depending on the subclass.
  2. Studying and Training Visas:
    • Purpose: For individuals planning to study, train, or participate in educational programs in Australia.
    • Duration: Varies based on the type and length of the course or training program.
  3. Family and Partner Visas:
    • Purpose: This is for individuals intending to join family members or partners who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.
    • Duration: Permanent residency may be granted in some cases, while others may have temporary visas leading to permanent residency.
  4. Working and Skilled Visas:
    • Purpose: For individuals with specific skills, qualifications, or work experience sought by Australian employers or the Australian government.
    • Duration: Varies depending on the subclass, with some visas leading to permanent residency.
  5. Refugee and Humanitarian Visas:
    • Purpose: For individuals seeking protection in Australia due to persecution, conflict, or humanitarian crises in their home countries.
    • Duration: This can lead to permanent residency for those granted refugee or humanitarian visas.
  6. Other Visas:
    • Purpose: This section covers various other types of visas, such as medical treatment visas, bridging visas, and temporary activity visas.
    • Duration: Varies widely depending on the specific purpose and subclass of the visa.

Electronic Travel Authority (eTA):

  • Purpose: The ETA is primarily for short-term visits, including tourism, business activities such as conferences or meetings, or visiting family and friends.
  • Duration: The ETA allows stays of up to 3 months per visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is visa or ETA better for Australia?

Determining whether a visa or ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) is better for Australia depends on various factors, including your nationality, the purpose and duration of your visit, and your preferences.

Do I need an ETA and a visa?

No, you won’t need both an ETA and a visa for Australia.

What is the best visa to enter Australia?

The best visa to enter Australia depends on various factors, including your nationality, the purpose and duration of your visit, and your circumstances.

What documents do I need to travel to Australia?

To travel to Australia, you typically need the following documents:
1. Passport
2. Visa or ETA
3. Flight Itinerary
4. Health Insurance
5. Sufficient Funds.
6. Accommodation
7. Customs Declaration
8. Vaccination Certificates

  1. Immigration and Citizenship Website. (2019). Immigration and Citizenship Website. immi.homeaffairs.gov.au. Retrieved April 1, 2024. <https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/evisitor-651> []
  2. Immigration and Citizenship Website. (2019). Immigration and Citizenship Website. immi.homeaffairs.gov.au. Retrieved March 20, 2024. <https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/evisitor-651> [] []

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Rosalie Santos
Written by

Rosalie is a content writer who loves to learn and share knowledge. She has a background in education and teaching, which helps her write clear, accurate, and engaging content. She writes about travel, culture, and education topics. She also handles Turkey and India visa applications, which she learned from Lei Achumbre, the COO of Visas for Future and a visa expert. She fulfills visa orders and answers customer service questions once a quarter.

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Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

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MLA Style

Santos, Rosalie. "Which one do I need, the Australia ETA or visa?." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/which-one-do-i-need-the-australia-eta-or-visa/. Accessed on 20 March 2024.

Chicago Style

Santos, Rosalie. "Which one do I need, the Australia ETA or visa?." Visas For Future. March 20, 2024. https://www.visasforfuture.com/which-one-do-i-need-the-australia-eta-or-visa/.

Published: 20 Mar 2024 7:31 UTC

Last modified: 4 Apr 2024 13:15 UTC

Reading time: 12 minutes

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