Tourist ETA Appplication App

There have been a few recent topics about the need for smartphones and apps. One that could surprise the unwary tourist who remembers ‘the old way’ is that tourists could until fairly recently apply for $20 ETAs using a simple web site. Now Home Affairs requires their app or going with a $150 tourist visa.

There is more explanatory text on the website but for those who do not click through but are curious, the salient texts are below.

You must

You should watch the videos below.

To apply for an ETA using the Australian ETA app, you need to have:

  • A mobile device camera enabled which can take your photo and an image of the Passport data page
  • Near-field communication (NFC) enabled on your mobile device
  • Location services enabled on your mobile device
  • A valid email address
  • A valid payment method ready to pay the service fee

You can get help from a friend or family member to apply through the app. Authorised travel agents can also make an ETA application on your behalf using the app.

If an agent makes the application on your behalf, you must still be physically present when they make the application. You will need to have your photo taken and have your passport available for scanning.

After you have downloaded and opened the app on your mobile device, you need to:

  • scan your passport to pre-fill your name, date of birth, passport number and other details
  • take a photo of yourself
  • answer some questions, including whether you have any criminal convictions or any prior names. It will also ask for your contact details in Australia
  • pay the service fee
  • submit the application.

If you need more help, check the Frequently Asked Questions within the app.


Very timely, Phil.

My Japanese brother-in-law went through the app process a week ago. He has limited English, and needed to get explanations of several steps from my wife. He referred to a few YouTube videos as well.


I watched the Reading the passport eChip-other video. The female narrator immediately reminded me of the voices and intonation in The Juice Media’s Honest Government Ads. Thereafter, I just couldn’t take the video seriously.

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