Capital Canberra
ESTA applicants in a year 1 431 077
Joined VWP 1996
Eligible for ESTA Yes



Australia and the Visa Waiver Program

Australia is one of the 38 countries whose citizens are eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) instead of a full visa when planning to go to the United States. The VWP allows travelers to visit the US for a period of up to 90 days without a visa. Instead, travelers can apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online, which automatically proves their eligibility when entering the country.

This system is very similar to the ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) that has been used in Australia for years. Australia has been part of the VWP since 1996, just ten years after its introduction. Similarly, US citizens are required to apply for an ETA before traveling to Australia.

Australia-US Relationship

On the whole, relations between Australia and the United States are excellent. In 1951, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States signed the ANZUS Treaty. It states that each country will co-operate on military matters both in the Pacific Ocean region and unofficially, on a global scale. This ensures that the two countries have a certain level of allegiance and that they agree that an armed attack on any one of the countries could pose a danger to the other.

Australia and the United States also have a Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), which allows investment and trade to take place to grow and favor both economies.

A large-scale poll in 2017 showed that 77% of the population believed that an alliance with the United States was both necessary and vital for matters of security. 60% had a less favorable view of the US due to the Donald Trump administration. It is yet unknown how the past year has affected the general consensus of Australia-US Relations. It is clear that they still have a fairly amicable and reciprocal political relationship.