Most travellers visit friends or family in Australia, enjoy outdoor adventures in the outback, or study a specialised course to improve their career. However, the Australian visa process carries several requirements for all travellers to follow.
Below are the most frequently asked questions about the Australia visa.
- All travellers, including minors, need a visa to enter Australia, apart from Australian and New Zealand passport holders
- There are five main types of Australian visas: eVisitor, ETA, Visitor Visa, Working Holiday Visa, and Student Visa.
- Travellers must meet health, character, and financial requirements to qualify for each Australian visa
- Australia visa processing times vary on a case by case basis
Do I Need A Visa To Travel To Australia?
All travellers require an Australian visa except if you hold an Australian or New Zealand passport.
You need an Australian visa to travel for tourism, business, study or employment. Minors should also have separate permits from their parents or guardians to travel to Australia regardless of their age.
If you’re in transit through Australia, you won’t need a visa if you stay within the Australian airport for a layover of 8 hours or less.
Which Type Of Australian Visa Should I Apply For?
Australia offers a wide range of visas to suit every type of travel purpose. The most popular Australian visas are the e-Visitor visa, the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, the visitor visa, the working holiday visa, and the student visa.
- The Australia E-visitor Visa (Subclass 651)
This visa is the easiest for tourism and business trips to Australia. Travellers from European countries can apply for the eVisitor visa online, allowing for multiple entries to Australia.
If you hold a passport from the following countries, apply for the Australia eVisitor visa:
You can use the eVisitor visa for a stay of 3 months within 12 months. Note that you cannot have the eVisitor visa extended, so plan your holiday to Australia with this in mind.
- ETA Visa (Subclass 601)
The ETA is similar to the eVisitor visa in terms of validity. However, the Australia ETA visa is for travellers from the following countries:
|Canada||Hong Kong||Malaysia||South Korea|
You can extend the ETA visa by applying for the visitor visa below, but only if you’re already in Australia.
- Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)
This visa allows for a stay of up to one year in Australia. Apply for an Australian visitor visa if you plan to visit your family or friends, go on a cruise, or tour Australia for longer than three months. You cannot use the Visitor Visa to visit Australia for business or medical treatment.
- Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
This visa is a unique opportunity to visit Australia and work to fund your stay. It is open to travellers from Canada, France, and Ireland between 18 and 35 years old.
With the working holiday visa, you can stay up to a year in Australia to study or do short-term work for three months in these approved industries:
- Hospitality and tourism in remote areas of Australia
- Fishing and pearling
- Critical Covid-19 work in healthcare
- Bushfire recovery work
The working holiday visa allows you to qualify for more extended stays in Australia once you complete the specified work time. For example, if you successfully finish the first four months of working under this visa, you can apply for a second working holiday visa for a stay of up to 3 years.
- Student Visa (Subclass 500)
This visa allows you to study in Australia and work for a limited number of hours between your course.
There are various types of student visas, like the subclass 590 student guardian visa for parents to visit their children studying in Australia or the subclass 407 training visa for work-based training courses to improve your career skills.
If you’d like to attend a shorter period in Australia, opt for the visitor visa instead.
What Are The Australia Visa Requirements?
Australia has additional requirements for all Australian visas besides a passport with six months validity, proof of funds, and accommodation. They concern your health, character, and finances.
- Health Requirements for Australia Visa
The minimum health standards to qualify for an Australian visa are threefold. You must have no diseases or health conditions that:
- It takes a high cost on the Australian health system and greater community
- Takes health care resources that are in short supply in Australia
- Threatens public health in any way
Travellers may need to arrange for a health examination in their home country. They can do this through an approved physician linked to your nearest Australian immigration office.
- Character Requirements for Australia Visa
Travellers may not qualify for an Australian visa if they:
- Have a substantial criminal history
- Have faced conviction of escaping from immigration detention
- Are members of any group or organisation involved in crime
- Have a history of people smuggling, human trafficking, or crimes against humanity
- Have faced the law for engaging in sexual offences against a child
- Have faced the law for domestic violence
These character requirements are part of your Australia visa application. Reply truthfully to these questions, and submit any supporting information, such as a police certificate or a letter of good conduct from your employer.
- Financial Requirements for Australia Visa
To qualify for the Australian visa, you must indicate that you have enough money to support your visit. Show evidence that:
- You can support yourself while you visit Australia
- You can afford to leave Australia at the end of your holiday
The general guideline is to have at least AUD5,000 to support your initial stay in Australia and have the fare back home or onwards to your next destination.
How Do I Apply For An Australian Visa?
If you meet all the above requirements, there are two main ways to apply for an Australian visa. If you qualify for the ETA visa, you can apply for it through the official AustralianETA app for both Android and iOS devices.
Apply for all other types of Australian visas through the ImmiAccount hosted by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Both application platforms allow you to upload your required documents, fill in your supporting data, and track your visa process.
What Is The Australia Visa Processing Time?
There is no predefined processing time for any type of Australia visa. Each visa application is considered on a case by case basis, and the impact of Covid-19 can also prolong the process. The Australia visa processing times below are general estimates:
- eVisitor visa and ETA visa: 24 to 48 hours, but up to 5 working days
- Visitor visa: 24 to 48 hours, but up to 20 working days
- Working holiday visa: under 24 hours, but up to 3 months
- Student visa: 28 working days, but up to 8 months
90% of Australian visa applications get approved even with such time variations. Note that you can pay for visa processing fees via credit or debit card only. Once your Australia visa is ready, you can print it out or present the electronic version on your smartphone or laptop screen upon arrival in Australia.