This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
US citizens enjoy visa-free access to 155 countries, but Australia isn’t one of them. However, US citizens are one of eight nationalities that can apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) online using the Australian government’s website. An ETA allows multiple entries of three months or less during a one-year period.
The ETA application process takes about five minutes to complete, and you could be instantly approved. Here’s a quick overview of the process.
Step 1: Select whether you need a Tourist ETA or a Business Visitor ETA, and certify that you are currently located outside Australia.
Step 2: Enter your passport details, whether you have an alias and whether you have a criminal record. Anyone with a criminal record can’t apply for an ETA.
Step 3: Enter your address, phone number and email. Select whether you wish to receive communication by SMS and declare whether you hold any other passports.
Step 4: Confirm your information.
Step 5: Pay the online service charge of AUD $20 (about $15) using a credit card. I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve since it has no international transaction fees — but unfortunately the charge didn’t code as travel.
You can pay agencies to apply on your behalf, and some airline customer service agents will charge you to apply on your behalf at check-in, but it’s so quick and simple that it’s no hassle to do it yourself.
The Australian government’s official line is that you shouldn’t book travel before getting an approved ETA, but considering no ETAs were denied between July 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, you’re probably safe waiting until shortly before your trip. This could allow you to use one ETA for multiple trips within a one-year period. Most ETA applications are approved immediately and those that need additional processing are usually handled within 24 hours.
Featured image by Gallo Images / Getty Images.
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees