Do I need a visa to travel to Australia?
Unless you are a New Zealand Passport Holder then all other foreign visitors to Australia need a visa irrespective of the country they are travelling from. Visitors to Australia must apply for one of five visas, depending on the purpose of their visit, and how long you choose to visit Australia for. You must apply for a visa before leaving home.
What type of tourist visa should I apply for?
There are a variety of visas available to travellers to Australia. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length of your stay, your passport and the purpose of your visit. For tourists, there are 3 main types.
1) Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa (subclass 601)
This visa allows you to visit Australia as many times as you want, for up to a year, and stay for three months each visit. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions, who live outside Australia. There is no visa application charge for an ETA, however, a $20 service charge applies for online applications only.
To qualify for an ETA, applicants must hold a valid passport from an ETA eligible countries, be in good health, and be outside Australia at the time of application and the time of grant. Applicants with a criminal conviction may not be able to apply for an ETA online and may need to apply for a visitor visa instead.
ETA Eligible Countries:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State.
Apply Online for an Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601)
2) eVisitor (subclass 651)
This is a free visa for multiple visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes for up to three months at a time within a 12-month period. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of European countries and it cannot be extended.
To qualify for an EVV, travellers must hold a valid passport from EVV eligible countries and can make an application online. Applicants must be outside Australia at the time of lodgement and time of decision. An E Visitor Visa is valid for 12 months and permits travellers to stay 3 months from the date of each entry (during the validity period).
EVV Eligible Countries:
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.
Apply Online for an eVisitor (subclass 651
3) Visitor visa (subclass 600)
If you are not eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority or E Visitor Visa or have a declared criminal conviction, you should apply for a Visitor Visa instead.
A Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) allows travellers to enter Australia for tourism or business purposes. A visitor visa may be valid for different periods including up to three (3), six (6) or twelve (12) months.
In some cases, the embassy may only allow a shorter stay period of one month and may also impose a restrictive condition, which may prevent the holder from applying for further visas from within Australia.
To qualify for a Visitor Visa, you must hold a valid passport. Applicants who are not eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa online are required to submit a paper application through their nearest Australian immigration office. Average processing times can range from four to six weeks. If the Government requests additional documentation, this can affect the processing period. In some cases, applicants may be required to undergo health checks.
Arriving in Australia: Clearing Customs and Immigration
Apply Online for a Visitor visa (subclass 600)
Can I extend my stay on a tourist visa? If you are already in Australia and hold a valid Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601) you can extend your stay by applying for another visa, such as a Visitor visa (subclass 600). An eVisitor (subclass 651) cannot be extended.
Passport validity? For entry into Australia, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. If you are transiting another country on your way to or from Australia, make sure you check the entry requirements for that country. Many countries will only permit entry if you have at least 6 months of validity remaining on your passport.
For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website.