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scrb11 Dec 23rd, 2010 05:45 PM

Visa/ETA for US visitors to Australia
I didn't know they required a visa until I tried to check in online for my flight tomorrow night.

So my understanding is the ETA is issued almost instantly.

I Googled and found what appears to be an official Australian govt. site:

I went through the application, paid $20AUD and then it says they have to check with Australian immigration and for me to check back in 12 hours.

I sent this application at around 6:30 PM Pacific. My flight is in about 23 hours!

Has anyone encountered any issues getting an ETA, especially at the last minute?

Melnq8 Dec 23rd, 2010 06:12 PM

I'm American and I've gotten visas several times through the ETA site and they've been approved immediately. I've never applied at the last minute though.

Maybe it has something to do with the holiday?

Without a visa, your airline may not let you board the plane.

Good luck.

Melnq8 Dec 23rd, 2010 06:13 PM

I assume you applied for the Visitor ETA?

Clifton Dec 23rd, 2010 06:36 PM

I'd done them last minute and didn't have a problem but I can't promise it always works that way.

However, to be clear - the ETA is pretty much just an entry in a database and nothing is ever 'issued' as is done in a typical visa. Just a notation that you're coming and that they've said that's ok However I don't know if there's a minimum amount of time before whatever the airlines see is updated. I'm not positive the airlines are looking at the "official" real-time emmi database - but I've also never found anything on the ETA site saying I needed a minimum lead time either, so I'd imagine it's not something that's a typical problem. I mean, people buy last minute plane tickets. You'd think if there was an issue, it'd be in an FAQ somewhere or a warning during registering if the date was too close.

scrb11 Dec 23rd, 2010 09:39 PM

I checked the web site about 4 hours after applying and they say I have an ETA but no reference number per se, just that it's good for a year and I can enter 3 times on it.

Now I was trying to check-in online on delta and it was letting me check in before it showed the info. about the visa and a link to apply for an ETA. Thereafter, it's not letting me check-in, though I'm not sure how I'm suppose to show them that I got an ETA.

Melnq8 Dec 24th, 2010 01:50 AM

When I've done it in the past, a reference number was issued immediately, and I printed it just in case. Never needed it though, as the visa has always magically appeared in the database (Singapore Airlines in my case).

There's no way to recall the visa without the reference number that I'm aware of.

Glad it worked out, that would have been a serious vacation ruiner.

Enjoy Australia!

Clifton Dec 24th, 2010 02:11 AM

In our dozen or so trips here before moving here, I'd never had to show any evidence of an ETA. They just knew. I just bought my mom and sis tickets a couple of months ago to visit here from the US, and arranged their ETA afterwards. She'd never traveled before and was confused enough about everything you have to go through to fly these days. So I never even told them that they had visas and it never came up during their check-in, just as it never had for us. Their flights and most of ours have been on AA & Qantas, with a couple Air New Zealand trips of us as well.

But - Delta could be different. I don't think they've been flying to Australia very long, comparatively speaking. If you're feeling something could be off... maybe you could give them a call for reassurance?

Melnq8 Dec 24th, 2010 02:18 PM

Hey Clifton - just curious, did you arrange ETAs for your mom and sis from within Australia? I ask, because I tried to do that for my brother, but was refused as I was in Australia at the time, which they could see from my IP address. As it happened, I was going to the US anyway, so I ended up gettng the ETA online once I arrived in the US.

Clifton Dec 26th, 2010 02:33 AM

Hi Melnq, yes we did. Arranged it for them from here at home. I wonder if the site somehow couldn't see our ISP's bank of IPs as being in Australia? I'd be surprised at that though, as every other website seems to personalize tons of on-screen advertising geared to the fact that we're in Melbourne. And the video sites keep us from viewing shows online from the US.

That was in October. I didn't even realize until I read your post that we should have been blocked. Glad we weren't... she and my sis aren't very computer savvy either.

elnap29 Dec 28th, 2010 09:14 PM

I'd call the airline. When I applied for visas online from the US, I was concerned that I didn't get a confirmation #. I called the airline (United) and was told that the visa would be in their computer system and to check in at the airport. Everything was fine.

scrb11 Dec 29th, 2010 12:56 AM

Web site was reliable, Delta allowed me to board. :)

MaryD2 Dec 31st, 2010 11:14 PM

and now scrb11 is here EEEEKKKKKK - wish they had not got it right with the Visa

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