Acquiring an Australian Visa

In Australia, as in most countries, a visa is needed to visit, according to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. But there are several types of visas available.

The Tourist Visa

This category is for individuals who visit or who are doing business and is valid for as much as three, six, or 12 months. The primary charge for application is AUD135 to AUD1,000.

The eVisitor (subclass 651) is a free visa for a person who is the holder of a passport from a certain country.

The Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) has an AUD20 service charge. Eligibility for this visa, requires the party to have a passport from a particular country.

It is possible for visitors who need a visa to Australia to acquire one if they are:

  • visiting
  • performing business visitor activities
  • visiting family
  • touring with a registered travel agent from the People’s Republic of China

While in Australia you can apply for the Tourist Stream of the Visitor Visa online, if you have a valid visa with no condition 8503 imposed.

If you are not in Australia, only certain travelers can apply for a visa online.

Those with a passport from the People’s Republic of China who are inside China and wish to apply for a visa could apply for and receive the Visitor Visa (subclass 600) known as Frequent Traveler Stream Visa.

Global Visa Processing Times

  • Tourist – 15 to 28 days on average
  • Sponsored Family – 39 to 61 days on average
  • Business Visitor – 5 to 15 days on average
  • Approved Destination Status 3 to 5 days on average
  • Frequent Traveler – 3 to 5 days on average

You will need a visa to Australia if you are staying in the country for years or if you are visiting for less than 72 hours. The type of visa issued to you is based on:

  • the length of your stay
  • your passport
  • your current living location
  • the purpose of your visit

Those who are looking to live, work, or study in Australia will have different requirements for a visa to Australia.

Student visas offered include:

  • vocational education and training
  • post-graduate study
  • higher education
  • primary and secondary education

There is a vast array of work visa options, found here. To live in Australia, you can apply for a visa if you have a family member who is Australian, or an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand.

Visiting Australia will no doubt be an exciting adventure. Make your trip and your time in the country enjoyable by understanding what visa you will need and by applying for your visa far enough in advance.

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