How to Enter Australia

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

You must have a valid U.S. passport and a visa to enter Australia. Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA is an electronic label-free visa and can be obtained at the ETA website for a small service fee. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. If you overstay your ETA or any other visa, even for short periods, you may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). You can find more information about the ETA, other visas, and entry requirements from the Embassy of Australia at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, via the Australian Visa Information Service at 905-280-1437 (toll charges to Canada apply) or their website.

On November 1, 2012, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service began a trial extending Australia's automated border processing system, “SmartGate,” to U.S. Global Entry Program members. SmartGate gives eligible travelers the option to self-process through passport control upon arrival in Australia. It is an automatic border control system which uses the data in an ePassport and facial recognition technology to perform the checks which are usually manually completed by Australian Customs & Border Protection Officers.

To be eligible to use SmartGate, U.S. travelers must:

Be a member of the U.S. Global Entry Program ;
Hold a valid U.S. ePassport ;
Arrive in Australia via a participating international airport (not by sea); and
Be aged 16 years or older.

Special Travel Circumstances in Australia

Potential Health Screening: The 1908 Quarantine Law gives Australian authorities broad powers to prevent the entry of diseases and other materials into Australia that might pose a threat to its welfare. In the event of a public health emergency involving a communicable disease, passengers arriving in Australia may be subject to strict health screening measures, including testing, monitoring, and assessment for possible quarantine. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, please consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) web site. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Customs: Australian customs authorities enforce very strict regulations concerning the importation from all countries of items such as agricultural and wood products, as well as very strict quarantine standards for other products, animals, and pets. These regulations also apply to items you bring with you, including small quantities of food such as fruit. Please contact the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C., or one of Australia's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements, or visit the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry web site.

Safety Concerns: Be aware that Australian fauna can be dangerous. From jellyfish off the Great Barrier Reef to crocodiles, sharks, poisonous insects, and snakes, the continent and its waters host wildlife that merit awe and respect in equal doses. Visit the Wet Tropics Management Authority visitor info guide for information on Australian wildlife and marine life. While swimming, take important safety precautions, such as swimming only between the flags where a lifeguard is present, and never swimming alone. SCUBA diving can be a treacherous sport. Over the past few years, there have been numerous deaths related to diving incidents. We urge divers to follow recommended precautions and never dive alone.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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