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Fact Sheet 53 – Australia's Entry System for Visitors

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Background

The aim of Australia's entry system for visitors is to both manage the growth of visitor numbers in a cost-effective way through the use of cutting edge technology and to deliver a level of service consistent with the expectation of today's travellers.

New systems and technology, are allowing Australia to develop the world's most electronically sophisticated immigration entry system for visitors. Australia is expanding its use of online immigration services to provide easy access for our clients around the world.

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system

The ETA system was introduced in 1996. It is available to passport holders from a number of countries, regions and locations.

The ETA system can be accessed by more than 300 000 travel agents worldwide, more than 75 airlines and through the internet.

The ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia for short-term tourist or business visits. It replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport and reduces the need for travellers to visit an Australian Embassy.

Most ETAs are issued immediately by computer links between the department, travel agents, airlines and specialist service providers around the world. In a small number of cases, some additional processing is required.
See: Fact Sheet 55 – The Electronic Travel Authority

eVisitor

The eVisitor is available to passport holders from the European Union and a number of other European countries wanting to visit Australia for tourism or business visitor purposes. The eVisitor authorises multiple entry to Australia over a twelve month period, for stays of up to three months on each occasion.

Business visitor purposes may include attending a conference, negotiation or an exploratory business visit. It does not include work. If you are intending to carry out short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work in Australia you should apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).

Eligible travellers can apply for an eVisitor using the simple online form available from the department's website.

Tourist e600 visa

Since July 2013 eligible tourists, business visitors and sponsored family visitors who want to visit Australia can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600) online. The department intends to progressively expand online lodgement of the Visitor visa (subclass 600) to all clients.

If a tourist requests a stay period of three months or less, and no further information or checking is required, the application may be granted in a matter of minutes. In other cases, the application will be manually processed by a case officer.

Business visits may include attending a conference, negotiation or an exploratory business visit. It does not include work. If you are intending to carry out short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work in Australia you should apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).

Document readers

Australia has pioneered the use of document readers to automatically capture information from passports and visas. Document readers are used at many of Australia's overseas missions and all Australian airports.

Fact Sheet 53. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Last reviewed December 2013.

Last modified Wednesday 27 August 2014