For those of you that read the blog regularly or know me personally, you know I just returned from an awesome almost two week vacation in Australia, where I visited both Sydney and Melbourne, both fantastic cities.
Right now, I’m about halfway through my review of the trip, and you can read the segments I’ve published so far below:
Review: British Airways Galleries First Lounge, JFK
Review: Qantas 747 Business Class, JFK-LAX
Review: Qantas First Lounge, LAX
Review: Qantas 747 Business Class, LAX-BNE
Review: Qantas Business Lounge, Brisbane Airport
Review: Qantas Domestic Business Class, BNE-MEL
Review: Park Hyatt Melbourne
Review: Qantas Club, Melbourne Airport
2 days before departing on my trip, I had an epiphany while lying in bed:
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
Oh, crap. I hadn’t even thought about this when I booked the trip. Suddenly, it was two days prior and I was scheduled to fly halfway across the world. Crap.
I’m not sure why this dawned on me, but I suspect it’s because I travel so much to Europe that I had just forgotten about even inquiring about a visa.
Luckily, the Australian’s have a genius concept – the Electronic Travel Authority:
An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) provides authorisation to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport. It is for short term stays for tourism or business visitor activities.
Whew! Thankfully, I started pecking away at their website, and found out travelers from Brunei – Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong (SAR PRC), Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Rep of (South) and the United States were eligible. $20 AUD later, and after entering some biographical details, I had an electronic Visa to Australia.
I had fears running through my head before knowing about this:
- What if I would have to mail away for a visa?
- What if I had to undergo an interview for the visa (thank God I live in Washington DC!)
- What if a visa wasn’t able to be produced prior to leaving in two days?
It was a lesson for me for sure – always check to see the visa and entry requirements of the country I am visiting. Luckily, when I visit the United Arab Emirates next month over July 4th weekend, I don’t need a visa. 🙂 “US citizens with a US passport that is valid for more than six months do not need to obtain a visa prior to entry to the UAE if the duration of their visit will be less than one month. This includes US citizens with visas or entry stamps from other countries in their passports.”
Have you ever entered a country without the necessary paperwork by accident?
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