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Australia has a number of visa options for visitors. Americans have access to the ETA system, while EU citizens have access to the eVisitor system. I'm having trouble telling the difference, besides that the ETA visa costs a few Australian dollars while the eVisitor visa doesn't.

What is the difference between going with the eVisitor and going with the ETA, besides the price, and which offers more options to visitors?

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The obvious choice is eVisitor.

Conditions of an ETA are:

  • You can enter Australia as many times as you want during a 12 month period from the date the ETA is granted or until the expiry date of your passport, whichever is earlier.

  • You can stay in Australia for a maximum of three months on each visit.

  • You must not work while in Australia. You can undertake business visitor activities (undertaking of business enquiries and contractual negotiations, and attending conferences).

  • You must not study for more than three months.

  • You must be free from tuberculosis.

  • You must not have any criminal convictions for which you have been sentenced for a total combined period of 12 months or more, whether or not the sentence/s were served.

You may be eligible for an eVisitor if you:

  • intend to visit Australia only temporarily and for tourism or business visitor purposes
  • are outside Australia
  • hold an eVisitor-eligible passport
  • are free of tuberculosis when you enter Australia
  • have not been convicted of an offence or offences for which the total sentence is more than 12 months (whether or not the sentence has been served).

Apart from the cost (AUD$10 for an ETA, free for eVisitor) there is little difference between the two. Both allow pleasure or business, but not work.

  • You state that the obvious choice is the eVisitor, but then that there's little difference between the two, other than the AUD $10 fee for the ETA. How is the choice obvious when you say they're the same thing? – TheEnvironmentalist Nov 23 '16 at 0:12
  • Same thing in practice, not in existentialism. "apart from the cost ... there is little difference between the two" – TheEnvironmentalist Nov 23 '16 at 0:27
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    Most (if not all) of the conditions of an ETA also apply to the eVisitor (12 months validity, 3 months maximum stay, purpose of visit...) – jcaron Nov 23 '16 at 1:09
  • I think the main difference is the countries that can apply for each one are different. French can apply for both, but USA can only apply for the eVisitor. – N Reed Nov 23 '16 at 3:59

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