The ETA visitor visa is an electronic travel authority that is primarily available for people who live outside the country and wishes to stay in Australia for a brief period of time to spend the holidays, to tour the country, as well as to pursue a recreation or to take a short, informal course.
This type of visitor visa is valid for one year that starts from the date it was issued and allows the holder to stay for at least three months per visit during the whole duration of the validity period.
But this visitor visa is not applicable for repeat visits and extended vacation. Hence if an applicant wants to stay longer to be able to travel in the country, it is often advised that he take a tourist visa or other options, depending on his plan.
Having an ETA visitor visa has its advantages. First, it saves you time since the information needed is stored in your passport which is readily available to travel authorities and other agencies and can be accessed anytime. Second, it is more convenient since your passport number is connected with the ETA and a confirmation of the record is given even without going to an agency for application or to have it stamped.
This type of tourist visa is not suitable for those who wanted to stay for longer periods. Once the ETA visa expires, you may not be able to use it for your travel but instead you have to apply for another type of visa that will allow you to extend your stay. If you are planning to stay longer, you have to allow the ETA to expire first and wait for two weeks to renew.
If you have a new passport, you must also apply for a new ETA before you go to Australia to avoid delay in the immigration.
If you plan to bring your family with you, each member has to get an ETA, even when they are below 18 years old and they are declared in your passport.
Lastly, the only available in selected countries. To save you time before your applicants, it would be best to check out first with the website of the Australian immigration department.
The electronic visitor visa may be a more convenient way to travel in Australia for short-term visits but before you apply it is important to know what the purpose of your stay is and decide which option is better for you.