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Blazer2
November 7th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Going to Australia in February. Only thing we need now is the visa. I have gone on line and looked at several sites, with different prices.

Want to get it on line. So, can anyone tell me which site they have used and if it worked out ok. Some even sell at $12, a discount, but............don't know.

Thanks,

Blazer2, Oregon, Usa

rdowney
November 7th, 2009, 03:03 PM
We used the official site at http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/. It worked fine. The process is quick and easy.

Aussieflyer
November 7th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Don't you only need and ETA? (which means no stamp and you do not need to take send your passport anywhere).
http://www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/visitors.htm . This is our government site with details and you can apply online - the cost is $A20 through them.

MMDown Under
November 7th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Best to use the Official Website mentioned below -

"These ETAs do not attract a visa application charge, however there is a $20 service fee for each ETA applicant.
Note: Your travel agent or airlines can also book your ETA."

And I thought Electronic Travel Authorities were free. Bit rich to charge $20 service fee for such a simple electronic application.

wripro
November 7th, 2009, 06:53 PM
I used Zierer Visa Service. It took all of three minutes and cost $45. It is an ETA so no need to send in your passport or anything.

MMDown Under
November 7th, 2009, 07:07 PM
I used Zierer Visa Service. It took all of three minutes and cost $45. It is an ETA so no need to send in your passport or anything.

Sorry, but you paid too much.

The correct cost is $20 Australian. Your travel agent could have done it for you.

I think people get confused thinking it is a Visa. It is an Electronic Travel Authority, which used to be done by travel agents and airlines, which is why a passport is not required.

minifarmer
November 7th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Thank you for the references to the offical sites for obtaining an Australian visa. I read that the ETA visa information is " accesible by airlines, travel agents and Australian boarder agentcies ".

We will be arriving in Australian by cruise ship, transfering to a different cruise ship and continuing around Austrailia. Will the cruise ships also have access to the ETA information?

room010
November 7th, 2009, 07:24 PM
To avoid confusion, you MUST have a passport to enter Australia as well as an ETA. A standard tourist visa is valid for 3 months but you are not permitted to work (try telling that to the student backpackers!). Whichever way you obtain your ETA (via a travel agent is quickest and best IMO) there will be a charge for it. If you are asked to pay more than about $20 then query it, if it's less than that check carefully as it may not be legitimate. While we welcome visitors to this great country with open arms, if you don't arrive with the correct documents you can and will be refused entry. I have friends in other parts of the world who look at this policy in awe.... ;)

PS Get your ETA before you leave home?

pcur
November 8th, 2009, 01:42 AM
We just got back from our Rhapsody cruise around Australia. Yes, use the government ETA web site shown above. Yes, get it online now, print the receipt and keep it. When the Aussie officials scan your passport, the ETA shows up on your record.

If your cruise is going to Papua New Guinea, you will also need a visa for PNG, and the cruise line provided ours for $40 each. You MUST have one even if you stay on the ship, and the only US location is in Washington, D.C. By the time you pay for the postage, photo, and fee, it will be the same or more than the ship's charge.

Globaliser
November 9th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Want to get it on line. So, can anyone tell me which site they have used and if it worked out ok. Some even sell at $12, a discount, but............don't know.It is not worth $6 to worry about what you're getting from whom, and whether a discount site is a fake or fraudulent site. Giving passport information to a scam site could end up causing grave difficulties. It could lend a new meaning to "penny wise, pound foolish".

Just go to the official Australian government website (the link's already been given) and do it there. Quick, easy, secure - and no worries.

Globaliser
November 9th, 2009, 08:04 AM
I used Zierer Visa Service. It took all of three minutes and cost $45.Even if that was $45 for two people, you have paid too much! On the official government website it's only about $18.50 per person at the moment.

kenish
November 9th, 2009, 12:52 PM
From personal experience, it's easy and fast through the government website. Confirmation came back within an hour. Perhaps the $12 (US) cost was from earlier this year when the Aussie dollar was weaker. In any case, as mentioned, do you really want to send some "ID rich" information to an unknown third party to save $6 ?

The ship or airline taking you to Australia will have your ETA details, and they definitely check for it and your passport before you board. If you are denied entry due to paperwork problems they must return you to your originating point at their expense...so they make *very* sure that won't happen! When we were checking in at LAX my son was fine but they didn't show my ETA. The agent said "No worries, this happens all the time". He also said even if they couldn't find it, he could request a new ETA and get approval. Fortunately after a few minutes of typing he found it.

Blazer2
November 9th, 2009, 01:02 PM
I appreciate everyone's input. We definitely will go with the official government site.

Blazer

wripro
November 9th, 2009, 01:06 PM
I probably did pay too much but I have always used visa services and after the ordeals for Brazil and China it alleviates any stress to have them handle it. To me it's worth the extra money.

MMDown Under
November 9th, 2009, 01:21 PM
I probably did pay too much but I have always used visa services and after the ordeals for Brazil and China it alleviates any stress to have them handle it. To me it's worth the extra money.

I can understand your concern and confidence in a familiar visa service company.

I don't think the Government does enough to explain how ETAs came about, how travel agents/airlines used to do it, and how it is not related to Visas.

As a result, I'm sure lots of people get ripped off.

cottagemama
November 9th, 2009, 04:21 PM
Can Canadians use the ETA system or do we need a Visa?

alwayshappytocruise
November 9th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Our TA is doing this and paying for this as part of our Bon Voyage gift!! Sweet....
Lynda

MMDown Under
November 9th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Can Canadians use the ETA system or do we need a Visa?

http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976/eligibility.htm

Yes, Canadians can apply for ETAs on line, as per official website. You don't need a visa for short term tourist visits.

Wripro - I stand corrected as ETAs are listed under Visas.

worldly wanderer
November 9th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Getting a visa for Australia, apply on line for a free EVisitor visa which is available for tourist purposes.. This free visa is available to all European countries.

aussiedisneyfan
November 10th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Yes, it is free for European. For some reason we charge USA (and probably others). I was telling my mother in law she had to get the ETA and it would cost $20AUD and then discovered that it was free for her.

MMDown Under
November 10th, 2009, 02:12 AM
Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for an eVisitor, you must:

be outside Australia
hold an eVisitor eligible passport.

eVisitor Eligible passports

The list below are eligible passports. These are citizen passports issued by the following countries.

Andorra
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein

Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Republic of San Marino
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom - British Citizen
Vatican City

Note: Holders of a British National Overseas (BNO) passport are not eligible to apply for an eVisitor.

From Government Website mentioned below.

Would be interesting to know why eVisitors are free whilst ETAs have a $20 service charge.

whynotcruise
November 10th, 2009, 02:36 AM
I'm confused now. :confused: My TA told me that the cruise line will take care of our visa in Australia and not have to worry about getting one. We disembark in Sydney and plan to stay a couple of days post cruise. Any info will be appreciated :) Thanks!

Globaliser
November 10th, 2009, 06:23 AM
Yes, it is free for European. For some reason we charge USA (and probably others).Would be interesting to know why eVisitors are free whilst ETAs have a $20 service charge.The standard position in Australian immigration law is that all foreigners require a visa to enter Australia. Historically, the main exception from this was Kiwis.

The ETA system was intended to provide a channel for the issue of an equivalent electronic document to countries which were generally "safe" as far as immigration offences were concerned. This is the $20 system.

eVisitor is an even newer development, which appears to be by some form of agreement with the EEA (hence you see Iceland, Norway and Switzerland on the list). So, in a sense, it's a subset of a subset. I imagine that because Australians can enter Schengenland without a visa, and the requirement imposed by Australia is out of line with normal practice between "Western" countries, the EEA twisted Australia's arm about cost to minimise the impact of the Australian requirement.

Schengenland has quite a powerful collective weapon to wield in this respect. If you're a non-European country, you really want to do everything you can to avoid getting onto the Schengen visa list.

Globaliser
November 10th, 2009, 06:26 AM
My TA told me that the cruise line will take care of our visa in Australia and not have to worry about getting one.Some cruise lines will do this for their passengers. But how far would you trust your TA? What if your TA has got it wrong? Can you verify this directly with the cruise line?

It's always great if someone else is going to do this for you, but you always have to ask yourself this question: What if you turn up at check-in and find that it's not been done?

Personally, I have a motto for these things: If I want to make sure it's been done, I do it myself. I really can afford five minutes of my time and A$20, even if in theory I could have got someone else to do it.

aussiedisneyfan
November 10th, 2009, 06:50 PM
I have read numerous posts on here that Princess does organise the visa for you. I don't remember what they charge but from memory it was included as an extra in your cruise price. I think you could organise it yourself and tell them not to do it. Search around the boards and you are bound to find a recent experience.

kenish
November 10th, 2009, 10:10 PM
There's one and only one party who can confirm your visa is taken care of. That's the cruise line. Everyone on this board is being helpful and providing general facts and the benefit of their experience. None of this answers the question however. But time after time, posters would rather rely on us than contact the party who can answer for sure. With phone calls and emails being almost free nowadays....

Sorry if this comes off as a bit snarky, but I really will never understand.

whynotcruise
November 11th, 2009, 01:10 PM
There's one and only one party who can confirm your visa is taken care of. That's the cruise line. Everyone on this board is being helpful and providing general facts and the benefit of their experience. None of this answers the question however. But time after time, posters would rather rely on us than contact the party who can answer for sure. With phone calls and emails being almost free nowadays....

Sorry if this comes off as a bit snarky, but I really will never understand.

Thanks for your response no matter how snarky it is. Isn't what these boards are for? To get help and general facts and other experiences? And yes, I'm sure that I WILL be calling the cruise line at the end. What is so wrong to ask for info?

I've heard that "if a person have nothing but sarcastic things to say, don't say anything at all."

Thanks.

pcur
November 11th, 2009, 01:20 PM
The only problem with having the cruise line do the ETA for you is it will cost you more. Using the Australia web site and buying it online yourself is a matter of a few minutes. You print out the confirmation, the ETA is recorded against your passport number electronically, and when they scan your passport when you go through immigration, the ETA shows up. The confirmation printout is just in case there's a glitch, and you have the proof.

A few minutes online and it's done, and cheaper.

moyaroo
November 11th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Sometimes we rely on word of mouth when word of vendor is the better way to go. In the case of Ausie ETA. Yes, from experience, Princess will organize it and charge IIRC $20US so no too much overcharge. Your TA could do it for you cheaper and tell Princess to not do it or you could relay same message and do it yourself.

If your TA has access to a GDS system (TA Should know what that means) they can probably do it for free. Qantas fixed my wife's at no charge on our last visit as she had a new passport that didn't coorespond to the ETA's passport number.

The_Big_M
November 11th, 2009, 09:30 PM
Sometimes we rely on word of mouth when word of vendor is the better way to go. In the case of Ausie ETA. Yes, from experience, Princess will organize it and charge IIRC $20US so no too much overcharge. Your TA could do it for you cheaper and tell Princess to not do it or you could relay same message and do it yourself.


Just by chance, and for the purpose of comparison, I saw that Oceania also do it for their passengers, though charge $59US for the convenience. Ouch!

kenish
November 11th, 2009, 09:39 PM
whynotcruise- I fully agree with your comments about the purpose of this board. But others' experience has zero relevance to your question, sorry. The only party who can answer if your ETA was processed is the cruiseline so it's good to hear you're contacting them. If the question was "What were the best things you did in Sydney?" or "How do I apply for an ETA?", that's when experience is golden.

By and large, the vast majority of my posts are not sarcastic and I prefaced this one by saying it was. Enjoy your cruise, Australia is an amazing country ! A tour guide summed it up by saying "Australia is a very fortunate nation"

painfree
November 12th, 2009, 02:14 AM
Hi..

I applied for my visa the other day using the Australian immigration website..It took 5 minutes and I have a confirmation number in case of a 'glitz'..as someone so aptly put it..My sister tried to apply for her visa later in the day and got an error message...'stated she already had a visa'..Princess had already obtained the visa..When she called Princess to enquire about the cost she was told to check with her TA..They..Princess..could not give out that information???..Rather odd, huh?

I paid $20AD..with exchange..$18.54 USD..of course, My CC will probably charge a foreign transaction fee which will bounce it above $20..Go Figure..

Carol...

Stevek7
December 9th, 2009, 11:31 PM
The $12 web site for the Australian ETA appears to be a scam. I went through the process before payment, and although the processing fee was $12, the tried to charge a $16 fee for the ETA itself, which is free.

Globaliser
December 10th, 2009, 06:28 AM
Thank you for the warning about that, which is about to be expected.

I don't know why anyone would even think of trying some non-official site when there is a clear and easy official site that is, at worst, just a few dollars more. But I suppose there are some people who will go to any lengths, and take any risks, just to save a few measly bucks.

jestley
December 10th, 2009, 12:32 PM
I got the E-Visitor, online from the Australian government website, took a few minutes to fill in, had to do one form for each of us, a few hours later I got confirmation emails with our authorisation details and it cost nothing!
That's my kind of price:D
Jo

Globaliser
December 10th, 2009, 03:44 PM
Just to clarify, for those who are new to the distinction between ETAs and eVisitors.

The free eVisitor to which jestley refers applies only to European nationals from eligible countries.

The ETA is applicable to US and Canadian nationals, amongst others. This is the electronic document for which the Australian government's official website charges an AUD 20 service charge.

kenish
December 10th, 2009, 10:19 PM
Thank you for the warning about that, which is about to be expected.

I don't know why anyone would even think of trying some non-official site when there is a clear and easy official site that is, at worst, just a few dollars more. But I suppose there are some people who will go to any lengths, and take any risks, just to save a few measly bucks.

Quite a few personal details are required to apply for the ETA. I'm sure it's a dream come true for ID thieves. You don't know if a "middleman" site is in Russia or some other notorious cyber-crime hotbed. Even if research shows the URL is registered in the US, UK, etc. there's nothing to prevent the ETA from being delivered while your personal details are forwarded to people who don't have your best interests in mind.....