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Australian visa requirements

Please note that all travellers to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane. Travellers to Australia cannot apply for a visa on arrival, with the exception of New Zealand passport holders, who will be visaed on arrival in Australia .

All international event participants, (other than New Zealander passport holders) should review the following information carefully. There are currently two possible visa options for adult event participants and the appropriate visa to apply for will depend on their country of passport.

IMPORTANT: It is the policy of the Conference office NOT to supply an invitation letter to unpaid or unregistered delegates as it is NOT required and does NOT assist in the visa application process. Upon payment of registration, the delegate will receive a confirmation letter of acceptance of registration and receipt of payment. For NON ETA visa applicants, a list of ALL paid registered delegates will be forwarded to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) to assist visa applications.

Information regarding appropriate visas for intending delegates was obtained from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra. Current on December 18, 2005.

The appropriate visa for intending participants

Participants of an event or conference in Australia will generally need to apply for a subclass 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa.

Please note that applications for the subclass 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa can only be made at an Australian visa office overseas.

See: Office and Contact Details Outside Australia

If an overseas participant is eligible to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) they may apply for either a Short or Long Validity Business Visitor ETA.

Additional information on the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs' Electronic Travel Authority system can be found via the following links.

Fact Sheet 55 - The Electronic Travel Authority

The Electronic Travel Authority

Australia's Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is the most advanced and streamlined travel authorisation system in the world.

The ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia for short-term visits or business entry. It replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport and removes the need for application forms.

An ETA is issued within seconds by computer links between the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), travel agents, airlines and specialist service providers around the world and the internet.


The ETA system was introduced in 1996 and is now available to passport holders from 34 countries and locations and regions (page three contains a complete list).

More than 21 million travellers have been granted ETAs to come to Australia. ETAs now account for almost 83 per cent of all Tourist and short-term Business Visitor visas granted worldwide.

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

The Types of ETA

There are three ETAs: the subclass 976 Tourist (Short Validity) ETA; the subclass 977 Business (Short Validity) ETA; and the subclass 956 Business (Long Validity) ETA.

All three types of ETA allow single or multiple entries into Australia for a maximum stay of up to three months from the date of each entry.

The subclass 976 and 977 (Short Validity) ETAs allow the holder to travel to Australia as often as they need within the specified period (not to exceed 12 months) from the date the ETA was granted. These ETAs do not attract a visa application charge.

The subclass 956 (Long Validity) Business ETA allows the holder to enter Australia on multiple occasions during the life of the passport. This ETA attracts a visa application charge which is currently A$65.

How ETAs work

Service providers enter the information contained in the applicants passport into the ETA system via the Internet or their existing travel or airline reservation system.

The system performs an online check of the departments warning records, and if no adverse record is detected, the service provider is advised that the ETA has been granted.

If a referral message is received, the service provider refers the applicant to the nearest Australian diplomatic office.

No evidence of the ETA is needed, as it is electronically stored in the system. Airlines and travel agents participating in the ETA system can confirm its existence on behalf of travellers.

Internet Applications

Internet access to the ETA system was implemented in May 2001. This enabled tourists and business travelers intending to visit Australia for three months or less to apply for a subclass 976 or subclass 977 (Short Validity) ETA at the same time as they made their other online travel bookings.

Applications can be made at: (please note that and A$20 service fee will be incurred for Intenret lodgment).

The subclass 956 (Long Validity) Business ETA is not available via the Internet.

Applicants may also seek an ETA through their nearest Australian Overseas Mission.

ETAs cannot be granted, or extended, in Australia.

The department also operates a 24-hour national telephone service inquiry line on 131 881, for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia.

ETA eligible passports

The following passport holders are able to access Australia's Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) issuing system. An ETA is issued by computer between DIMIA and travel agents, airlines and specialist service providers.

Hong Kong (SAR)

The Netherlands
Republic of San Marino
South Korea
United Kingdom - British Citizen
United Kingdom - British National (Overseas)**
United States of America
Vatican City

* Holders of Taiwan passports can only be processed for an ETA if resident in and applying in Taiwan.
** Holders of UK passports which indicate their nationality to be British National (Overseas) can only be processed for an ETA if resident in and applying in Hong Kong.

ETA applications can be made through the Department's Internet address:


ETA arrangements provide significant benefits to travellers, as well as airlines and the Australian Government.

Travellers benefit as the ETA provides a seamless process for providing authority to travel to Australia from places where tickets are obtained.

Travellers also enjoy faster processing at airports.

Airlines benefit by utilising computer systems to verify that travellers have authority to enter Australia before issuing their boarding passes. This saves airline staff time at the check-in counter and reduces their likelihood of transporting unauthorised passengers.

The Australian Government benefits by having easy access to data on all travellers to Australia. This supports maintenance of Australian border integrity by law enforcement and health authorities.

Further information on the ETA is available at:

Last modified: 6/29/2006
ACCE Conferences - ACEC 2006
PO Box 855 Earlville QLD 4870 Australia
Contact: Meredith Malcolm
Tel: (04) 37633508 Fax: (07) 40547037
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