Australian Embassy

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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With the popularity of Australia's Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa procedure, the necessity of visiting an Australian embassy, consulate, or high commission has decreased. Obtaining an ETA is a fast, online method of obtaining a visa that lets you board your flight to Australia with no fuss. The information you entered when you applied for the ETA is stored in the government's electronic systems and retrieved by airline personnel to confirm that you may board the airplane. You do not have to get your passport stamped or go through any other procedure except customs, of course.

Once upon a time, it was necessary for all tourists, business travelers, artists, performers, media people, and athletes to pay a visit to an Australian embassy or, at least, phone one, to obtain the necessary forms to apply for a visa. The ETA has eliminated this step for short-term visitors and business people who can simply apply online from the convenience of their homes. For non-ETA visas, which means all those except short-term tourists and business people, contact with an Australian embassy is a must.

Embassy Assistance

Embassies and consulates traditionally assist their own overseas citizens with all manner of concerns and problems, from lost passports to trouble with local authorities. They also provide advice, forms, and applications for non-Australians who want to visit or immigrate to their country. They can either answer questions about these issues, or refer you to a registered Australian agent who can.

By providing a direct link to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) in Australia, embassies can cut through any bureaucratic problems that may arise. If an applicant does not have access to an agent, embassy staff can inform the applicant about processing timelines, and can track the progress of an application. Their job in a foreign country, after all, is to encourage good will and friendly relations.

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