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An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is an authorization for entry to Australia available to holders of certain states' passports. Established in 1996 to remove the need for some people to apply for full visas, they can be applied for over the Internet, through travel agents and through airlines. Unless there is some problem with the application, the ETA is granted immediately. Unlike ordinary visas, when an ETA is issued, no stamp or other documentation is added to the holder's passport; instead the computer-based system links the passport number to the ETA and is accessible by immigration officials.[1]

ETAs are issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship in three different types: the short-validity tourist and business ETAs, each valid for one year[2] and the long-validity business visa, valid for the life of the holder's passport.[3] All three types allow entry as often as desired during the validity of the ETA for stays of up to three months (and for a stay up to three months beyond the expiration of the ETA provided entry is during the validity period). None of them allow the holder to take up new paid employment.[4]

As of June 2007, more than 23 million people had been granted ETAs and ETAs accounted for almost 80% of all Australian tourist and short-term business visas granted worldwide.[1]

As of January 2009, an ETA application attracts a fee of AU$20, whereas the eVisitor (a subset of ETA for European nationals) is free.

Eligible passports

Holders of 44 different passports are eligible for the ETA and/or eVisitor, which is a subset of the ETA for European nations: [5][6]

Map of states eligible for ETA (blue) and eVisitor (green)

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eVisitor

 Italy
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Malta
 Netherlands
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 Spain
 Sweden
 United Kingdom

Exceptions

Holders of United Kingdom British National (Overseas) passports cannot apply for an eVisitor, however they can apply for an ETA (see below). They are subject to additional requirements, they cannot apply online and must apply in person at a travel agent or consulate.

ETA

Exceptions

Citizens of  New Zealand are not eligible for the ETA, but may enter Australia without giving any notice; they are given a Special Category Visa on arrival.

Reciprocity

Some countries regard the ETA as being equivalent to visa-free travel when deciding whether to grant the same to Australians wishing to enter their territory. The United States, for example, offers their Visa Waiver Program to Australian passport-holders,[7] and one of the conditions for joining this scheme is that "Governments provide reciprocal visa-free travel for U.S. citizens for 90 days for tourism or business purposes)".[8] Japan has also granted visa-free access to Australians.[9]. United States require from January 2009 similar ETA from citizens of Australia and some more countries. This system is not called visa, but Electronic System for Travel Authorization, therefore the USA still allows visa-free travel for Australians.

Whilst all countries in the European Union have access to the ETA system, not all of them regard it as being visa-free travel.[10] As a matter of EU policy, however, none of them impose reciprocal requirements on Australian nationals for short-term stays.[11][12] (The United Kingdom and Ireland are exempt from this particular EU policy, but still do not impose any short-term visa requirements on Australians.)[13][14]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ a b "Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 55: Electronic Travel Authority". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/55eta.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  2. ^ "What types of ETA are there?". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAAus3En.html. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  3. ^ "ETA (Business Entrant)(Subclass 956 and 977)". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/956-977/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  4. ^ "ETA - FAQ". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAInfoFAQFrameEn.html. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  5. ^ http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976/eligibility.htm
  6. ^ http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/evisitor/eligibility.htm
  7. ^ "Visa Waiver Program (VWP)". U.S. Department of State. http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#2. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  8. ^ "Visa Waiver Program - How a Country Qualifies". U.S. Department of State. http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1255.html. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  9. ^ "Visa Free Entry to Japan for Short-term Visitors from Australia". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 1998-11-05. http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/1998/r98145.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  10. ^ "Report from the Commission to the Council - on visa waiver reciprocity with certain third countries, COM(2006) 3 final" (.doc). Commission of the European Communities. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2006:0003:FIN:EN:DOC. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  11. ^ "Same visa policy for all European Union Member States". EUROPA. http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/freetravel/visa/fsj_freetravel_visa_en.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  12. ^ Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (2001-03-21). "Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001" (subscription required). Official Journal of the European Communities 44 (L 81): 1–7; Article 1(2) and Annex II. ISSN 0378-6978. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/pri/en/oj/dat/2001/l_081/l_08120010321en00010007.pdf.  
  13. ^ "Visa and Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) nationals". UK Visas. http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1020786334922. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  14. ^ "Do I need a visa to come to Ireland?". Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Ireland. http://193.178.1.205/services/visa/01.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  

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