If you are planning to visit Australia for tourism or business, then the best way to apply for an Australian holiday visa is to get an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Without a valid visa, you will not be allowed to enter Australia except if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen.
The ETA will serve as your Australian holiday visa. You will be allowed to gain entry into Australia within a 12 month period. If the validity of your passport is less than 12 months, then the ETA would be valid for the life of the passport. Once given, the ETA would let you stay in Australia for a period of 3 months on each visit within 12 months when the visa is granted.
The Electronic Travel Authority has replaced the traditional visa label in your passport. It is electronically issued and details of your approval will be recorded on the government database. If you changed passport after being granted an ETA, you must reapply for a new one to be attached to the new passport.
For tourism or business purposes, you will not be allowed to stay in Australia for over 3 months per visit. If you plan to stay in Australia as a tourist for a longer period, then you must apply for an alternative visa.
If for business, your ETA will only allow you to do the following:
- Make business or employment inquiries
- Investigate, negotiate, sign, or review business contacts
- Carry out activities as part of an official government-to-government visit
- Participate in conferences, trade fairs or seminars as long as you are not compensated by the organizer for your participation
However, you cannot work, offer services to organizations, or sell goods or services to the public with an Electronic Travel Authority. If your intention is to get employed, then apply for another valid visa. If you are taking a family member, they should also have an ETA.
If you are a current holder of a Special Purpose Visa or a Maritime Crew Visa upon granting of an ETA, you will be allowed to enter Australia using the ETA but the validity of your other visa stays. If you currently hold other substantive visas when granted an ETA and it is still valid on your next entry into Australia, you will be allowed to enter with that visa, not the new ETA. If you entered and stayed in Australia using the other visa for more than three months, the ETA expires three months from your date of entry in Australia.