Visitor Visa Australia: What One Do I Need?
If you are not an Australian or New Zealand passport holder and plan to visit Australia via a tourist stream visa, you will need to get a visa to enter the country. There are a range of visas in the tourist stream as well as business visitor visas and working holiday visas that you must apply for before you leave home. If you are a bona fide tourist who is not working in Australia (unless on a business trip), you should be eligible to apply for entry with one of them.
HCM Legal is one of Brisbane’s leading law firms with vast experience in immigration law. If you’re applying for a visitor visa for Australia, here is all you need to know about tourist visas. If you are unsure, we are happy to assist you with your application and can put you on the right path to making a successful visa application.
Visitor Visa Australia – General Requirements
Before applying for an Australian visa, you should check you meet the visa conditions and general requirements for entering Australia, otherwise, you may not be permitted entry. This includes:
Valid passport: You must have a valid passport, including the passports of family members travelling with you and any minors. Make sure when you arrive in Australia that you have at least six months left before your passport expires. When you apply for an Australian visa, it corresponds with your passport number. If you change passports before you travel you must apply for a new visa before you travel.
Your health: You must not pose a risk to public health in Australia and can only apply for a visa if you do not have, for example,
- are not going to give birth in Australia
- are not expected to incur health-related costs higher than AUD49,000.
Although there is no age limit for visa applications, you may have to have a medical assessment from an assigned doctor to confirm your health permits you to apply for a visa if you are elderly.
You should also make sure you have valid health insurance as a medical emergency can be so expensive to render it unaffordable for the majority of people.
Your character: Australian visa applications are stringent to prevent undesirables, such as those with a criminal conviction, from entering the country. Thus, will not meet the requirements for entry to Australia if you;
- have been given a prison sentence of more than 12 months (whether served or not)
- are a fugitive
- have been involved with persons or organisations involved in criminal behaviour
- have been or there are reasonable grounds to believe you have been involved in trafficking, genocide, smuggling or slavery
- are in debt to the Australian government
- do not have sufficient funds for your return trip
Going to Australia as a tourist or visiting friends and family matches the requirements for Australia visitor visa. Similarly, if you are going on a business trip to Australia for less than 3 months and meet the requirements, you may also be eligible to apply for this visa.
What type of Australian Visa do I Need?
Australia’s strict border control measures mean it is crucial you apply for the right visa to meet your needs. The type of visitor visa for Australia you should apply for depends on several issues, such as
- The nationality stated in your passport
- Certain passport holders from eligible countries can apply for a standard tourist Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or eVisitor visa. If you are not an eligible passport holder, applying online through ImmAccount may provide you with other suitable visas
- How long you intend to stay in Australia for
- The ETA or eVisitor visa are for durations up to 90 days (or 3 months). If you intend to stay longer, you will need to apply for a long-stay Australian tourist visa allowing you to visit for 6 or 12 months.
- The purpose of your trip to Australia
Going to Australia as a tourist or visiting friends and family matches the requirements for an Australian visa. Similarly, if you are going on a business trip to Australia for less than 3 months and meet the requirements, you may also be eligible to apply for this visa.
Tourist Visitor Visa Australia
Visitor Subclass 651 – eVisitor Visa
Eligible passport holders from the European Union, including the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City and Switzerland can apply for an eVisitor visa.
Australian-bound European travellers have taken advantage of the easy, online application process. Plus, the fact there are no visa fees (although there may be a small processing fee) has made it the most applied for visa for European travellers to Australia.
The visa is typically issued by email within 5 days of your visa application and although the visa is stored digitally in the Australian immigration database, you should make a copy and keep it with your passport.
This is a multiple-entry tourist visa that allows an unlimited number of trips to Australia within one year from the date of approval of the visa. Each visit to Australia must be or a maximum of 90 days.
Visitor Visa Subclass 601 – The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
The Subclass 601 allows certain passport holders, including American and Canadian, to apply online for an ETA. There is a small charge of AUD$20
A multiple-entry visa, you are allowed an unlimited number of visits to Australia while the visa is valid (a year from the date of issue). Each visit should be no longer than 90 days.
Visitor Visa Subclass 600
This is a visa for tourists:
- Who are not on the ETA or eVisitor eligible country lists
- Who wish to stay in Australia for longer than 90 days. Long-stay visas can be issued for periods of 6 or 12 months.
- Who are already in Australia who wish to extent their ETA or eVisitor visa beyond 90 days.
This Australian visitor visa is not as convenient as the subclass 601 and subclass 651 visas because:
- the application is more complicated, requiring additional supporting documents
- long-stay visas can take longer to process—20 days or longer
- it is more expensive with visa fees costing AUD145 from outside Australia or AUD370 if you are already in Australia
What If I Visit Australia for a Business Trip?
Whether you are solely a business visitor or combining a holiday with business visitor activities, a standard Australian visitor visa may meet your needs rather than you needing to apply for a work visa, which will incur additional charges and is a more complicated application process.
If your work is defined as a business trip according to the immigration authorities, and you are not receiving a fee or payment from an Australian organisation, you can be admitted with a visitor visa to Australia for up to consecutive 3 months. Activities that are considered to be a business trip include:
- attending meetings and tours
- negotiating or singing business agreements
- going to a conference, trade fair or seminar
- a training or study course, as long as it is not medical
- selling services and products as part of negotiating a business agreement, but not supplying or providing the services
- non-paid voluntary work as long as it is secondary to the main purpose of your visit (tourism), although compensation in the form of board, lodging and living expenses is permitted
Can I Get a Working Holiday Visitor Visa for Australia?
Working holiday visas and Work and Holiday Visas are issued to young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 (or up to 35 for French, Irish and Canadian passport holders).
Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417 and Work and Holiday Visa Subclass 462
Individuals from certain countries granted the visa, including the UK, Ireland and other European countries have the right to have an extended visit to Australia for up to 12 months and work while they are visiting. Second and Third Working Holiday visas may also be granted, allowing you to work and stay in Australia for up to 3 years in total, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Work and Holiday Visa, subclass 462 grants individuals from eligible countries, including Greece, Spain and Turkey the same rights as the Subclass 417.
Need to Know More About Visitor Visas for Australia?
If you’re planning to visit Australia, get in touch with our team in Brisbane to find out more about visitor visas in Australia. Contact HCM Legal today.