If you’re a US citizen, you need to have a valid U.S. passport and a visa to enter Australia. Luckily for you obtaining a travel visa to Australia for citizens of the U.S. isn’t very difficult. If you’re looking to do a trip in Australia for 3 months or less you won’t need to visit an Australian Embassy, you can instead obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
If you’re looking to work and travel in Australia for a duration exceeding 3 months, you can apply for Australia’s working and holiday visa (subclass 462). This visa permits US citizens to stay in Australia for up to a year and also allows them to work and study in the country during their stay.
We’ll be looking at both these visa types, and one other relevant for U.S. citizens traveling to Australia. When you finish reading this you'll have all the relevant information needed to be successfully approved under each visa category.
Australia Electronic Travel Authority Visa (ETA) for U.S. Citizens
Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for leisure or business purposes for less than 3 months can attain an ETA.
Australia’s home affairs immigration page is where U.S. Citizens can apply an ETA for a small online service fee of $20 AUD. Airlines and many travel agents in Canada are also able to apply for this visa on behalf of travelers.
While rare occurrences, in certain scenarios you may need to do a health examination before the visa is granted and you may be asked to show proof of funds to support your stay and ticket out of Australia. For entry without complications, make sure your passport is valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
With an ETA you are subject to the following conditions:
- You cannot study or participate in training for more than 3 months while in Australia
- You must be free from tuberculosis when you travel to Australia
- Any criminal conviction where sentences are for a year or more, whether served or not, at the time of traveling to and entering Australia is not permitted.
- You cannot work in Australia other than engaging in business visitor activity
If the above conditions are agreed to and met, you will be approved for the visa.
With an ETA, you can sometimes perform business activities. For example, general business or employment enquiries, investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract, undertaking an activity as part of an official government visit, and/or taking part in a conference, trade fair or seminar are all permitted business activities.
Since this visa type is electronic, airline staff will scan your passport to confirm that you have authority to travel to Australia. This means that you will need to reapply for the visa if you decide to change your passport between the time you apply and enter the country.
Australia Tourist Stream Visa for U.S. Citizens
This visa type costs $145 AUD making it slightly different to the the two just covered. The duration of your stay can be either 3, 6, or 12 months. You can stay for the period or dates specified on the visa grant letter. The department of home affairs determines the length of your visa on a case by case basis. This visa has very similar character and health requirements as an ETA. You cannot work in Australia at all on this Visa. While being an option for U.S. Citizens, it isn’t a popular one because of Australia's other visa options.
Australia Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) for U.S. Citizens
Thousands of U.S. working holiday makers travel to Australia yearly. A working holiday visa allows you to work and study in Australia for up to a year. The cost of the visa is $485 AUD. You have to be between the ages of 18-30 to apply. To be approved for a working holiday visa you need to meet very similar character, financial, and health requirements to an ETA. You must also be a valid passport holder from one of the approved working holiday visa countries. You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa on the Department of Home Affairs Immigration page. Our how to apply for the Australia working holiday visa post covers all of this in greater detail.
We’re hoping that this post makes it easy for U.S. citizens looking to apply for a visa to Australia. If it was beneficial to you please share it with your friends! If you have any questions about Australia's visa application process for U.S citizens please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you're looking for a travel companion while you are traveling in Australia, you can connect with other travelers in Australia as well as Australian locals below.