Experts in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

Passports and visas

Travel documentation

How soon after booking will I receive my travel documentation?

For online bookings you should receive a confirmation email confirming details on the same day. Further to this, and for those bookings made over the phone, a confirmation invoice is sent out 7-10 working days after making the booking. Your itinerary, including flight tickets, hotel voucher, etc, is usually only issued two weeks prior to departure. Please note that many of our scheduled flights now operate an e-ticket system - where this is the case no actual tickets will be sent out, however the airline reference number will be included in your itinerary.

If you have not received any of these documents within the time-scales outlined above, or if you have any other questions relating to documentation, please call 0808 159 7247.

Passports and visa information

Passport and visa requirements for British Citizens

All citizens of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland require a 10 year passport (valid for six months after completion of any journey). Infants and children must also have their own passport with a photograph. If you are 16 or over and haven't yet got a passport, our recommendation is that you should apply for one at least six weeks before your holiday. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and from October 2006 will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this.

Each passenger travelling to the USA must have an e-passport that contains the microchip and the e-passport symbol.

Visas may be required, depending on your destination - it is your responsibility to check the latest requirements with the appropriate authority before travelling. Nationals of other countries should check entry requirements with the relevant Embassy or High Commission.

Entry requirements for Australia

All travellers to Australia, other than Australian and New Zealand citizens, require a visa or approval to travel and enter Australia.

All visitors to Australia must obtain a visa or Electronic Travel Authority in advance to be granted entry. The Australian Government has simplified the procedure for getting that approval by developing the Electronic Travel Authority System (ETAS). Application forms are not required for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and, being electronic, there is no physical evidence of an ETA.

An ETA can only be verified electronically. Please note Working Holiday Visas or Work Permits cannot be issued in this manner.

For all eligible passport holders, Austravel can process an Australian ETA Visa for you for an administrative fee (we recommend you contact us to do this no later than 12 weeks before travel). Please ask for more information and to check if you are eligible. Alternatively, you can obtain a visa via the Australian Embassy. 

Conditions of an ETA

• You can enter Australia as many times as you want during a 12 month period from the date the ETA is granted or until the expiry date of your passport, whichever is earlier.
• You can stay in Australia for a maximum of three months on each visit. If your trip will be longer than this in any one stay, then please contact the Australian Embassy prior to confirming your travel plans.
• You must not work while in Australia. You can undertake business visitor activities (undertaking of business enquiries and contractual negotiations, and attending conferences).
• You must not study for more than three months.
• You must be free from tuberculosis.
• You must not have any criminal convictions for which you have been sentenced for a total combined period of 12 months or more, whether or not the sentence/s were served.

If you have a criminal conviction, please contact the Australian Embassy before proceeding with your travel arrangements.

**It is essential that you ascertain whether or not you can obtain relevant visas and inoculations before making your booking, particularly for late bookings. Whilst we are able to provide basic advice to clients regarding passports and visas for countries you are visiting and transiting, you should check with the appropriate embassy, consulate or the British Foreign Office for the exact requirements for your chosen holiday and date of travel. Austravel have no liability for any costs or lost holiday incurred by failing to obtain the correct travel documentation for your chosen destinations. We recommend you obtain all visas before confirming your travel arrangements.

What you will need to provide

If you have not already provided your visa information to us, please contact your travel agent to provide the following information for all passengers travelling on your booking so your visas can be issued. Please be advised your departure documents will not be issued until all visas are approved.

• Booking reference
• Passport number
• Full names (as it shows on your passport)
• Date of birth
• Country of birth
• Nationality
• Issue date
• Expiry date
• Issuing authority (EG. UKPA, IPS)
• Dual citizenship - If yes which country? 
• Have you been known by any other name? (Y/N) (this includes deed poll and marriage)
• Do you have a criminal record? (Y/N)
• Contact telephone number
• Home address

***Please note failure to provide correct details may result in passengers being refused entry into Australia. Any amendments to correct visas will incur an administration charge. Please check the confirmation when the visa is approved and advise us straight away if anything is incorrect. Australian tourist visas are valid for a maximum stay of three months.

Types of visa

There are three types of ETA's which we have been authorised to issue for you:

Visitor/Tourist
This is valid for 12 months from date of issue with multiple stays of three months each.

Business Long
This is valid for use for the life of the passport (up to 10 years), and for multiple stays of three months each. An additional fee is payable to The Australian Immigration Authority of A$90 (approx. £50) by MasterCard or Visa credit card when your ETA is processed. Please ensure your method of payment is by one of these cards.

Business Short
This is valid for use for up to 12 months with a single stay of three months. This is only for USA & Canadian citizens.

In each case, Austravel makes an administration charge of £20 per ETA issued. If you wish us to arrange your ETA for you, please fill in below the numbers of Visas required, and click to continue.

Please note, you may not be permitted to enter Australia unless you are in good health and have no criminal convictions. In these circumstances please contact the Australian Consulate.

Working Holiday Visa
Why not make the most of your Australia holiday by staying a little longer and applying for a Working Holiday Visa. Not only will you have the opportunity to earn some extra money to fund even more exciting Austravel trips and experiences, you will also gain an insight into the true local way of life in this wonderfully laid-back destination. The Australian Working Holiday Visa allows UK passport holders between 18 and 30 years old to live and work in Australia for up to 24 months.

New entry requirements for the USA and ESTA
Requirements to travel visa-free to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have been changed. Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries will still be eligible to travel without a visa but will have to obtain an approved travel authorisation prior to their travel to the United States.

Visitors who do not receive travel authorisation prior to their departure may be denied boarding, experience delays or be denied admission into the United States. Applications may be submitted at anytime prior to travel, but no less than 72 hours prior to departure.

You can apply for a visa waiver through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov to complete or track your ESTA application.

Supplying passport details for flights to the USA
The US Transport Security Administration (TSA) requires that airlines provide certain passenger data, by electronic means, to TSA 72 hours prior to departure. This is known as US Secure Flight. The information required is your full name (as in passport), gender, date of birth and redress* number (if held). We will provide all this information to the airline.

*A redress number is a unique number for a regular traveller who has applied for redress under the US TRIP programme. This would apply where the traveller is regularly selected for additional screening when matched against the US watch list.

Lost or stolen passports
In the UK: Report the loss or theft of your passport immediately to the police and the UK Passport Service (UKPS).

Abroad: Report the loss or theft of your passport immediately to the local police, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Consulate, Embassy or High Commission. You can find the details of your local FCO by calling 0845 850 2829 prior to departure, or by visiting www.fco.gov.uk.

Documents to take to the airport
If you don’t have a valid passport, visa or entry permit, you may be refused travel, either by us or by the airline.

Please be aware that if this happens, we are unable to assist you in any way. Be sure to double-check that you’ve remembered these documents.

Non-British citizen visa requirements
If you are non-British citizen, please consult the embassy of your destination country and the Home Office Immigration Department. You may require special documentation, either for your destination country or for your return to the UK.

Non-British citizens include citizens of British Dependent Territories, those who hold their citizenship by virtue of connection with Gibraltar, British subjects who have a right to live in the United Kingdom, and EC and other nationals.

Children and passports
Since October 1998, children under 16 have been required to travel on their own passport.

If your child is already included on your passport, he or she is not affected by this change and can continue to travel on your passport until it expires or until they reach the age of 16. However, please be aware that some countries, such as Bulgaria, may refuse entry to any children without their own passports.

If a new document is required during the validity of your existing passport, any child who is included on it will need to apply for a separate passport.

Passport application can be a lengthy process, so we recommend that you plan ahead and keep your holiday dates in mind.

Other documentation
A letter of Parental Consent is required by US immigration if you are taking a child who is not a member of your family into America.

Machine readable passports and how to obtain one
A machine-readable passport has the holder’s personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page.

All UK passports issued in the UK since 1988 are machine-readable. If your passport is from outside Britain, however, it may not be.

For further information or to obtain a machine-readable passport, please call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice Unit on 0845 850 2829. Alternatively, you can contact the US Embassy on 09042 450 100 (calls are charged per minute) or visit the US Embassy website.

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