When it comes to visiting Australia, for a short travel visit, you could search online for ‘visa Australia’ and see which option suits you better. However if you happen to reside in one of those visa exempt nations (currently Australia has linked agreements to this effect with over 50 nations, from Singapore to United States), then you can apply for an ETA. It is that simple and as the process is mostly conducted online, you would not be required to visit any Australian consulate to obtain your visa.
What is an ETA and what are the requirements?
An ETA is an electronic travel authorization where your passport is inked with a valid electronic travel authorization which enables you to travel down under, legally. Moreover an Australian ETA, which has been around since 1996, makes it easier for you to obtain a valid visa in order to travel to Australia. All that is required is that your passport is currently valid, that it has correct and pertinent information, and that you do not have any criminal history. A valid Australian ETA is a multiple entry visa, which is valid for 12 months. You can travel to Australia multiple times during this period for either travel or business purposes but you cannot use the same to seek employment down under.
So what happens if one overstays?
In case, you plan to stay in Australia for beyond 12 months, you would be granted a temporary extension of 3 months after which you would be required to head back to your native country. The ETA system is an interesting one as it makes travel all the more easier; you would no longer be required to wait in long queues at any Australian consulate offices or attend interviews to obtain your visa.