Australia is the home of the Great Barrier Reef, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the famous Australian Outback, and numerous national parks, beaches, casinos and resorts. No wonder thousands of UK tourists visit Australia every year. If you are planning your holiday to Australia, here is some essential information about the Australia visa.
|Requirement type||Mandatory for British and Irish travellers
|Purpose of travel||Tourism, business|
|Valid||1 year from issue; 3 months per visit|
|Processing time||Normal: 5 working days
Urgent: 1 hour
|Application method||Online only|
|Payment method||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal|
What Is the Australia Visa?
The Australian visa is a document that is electronically linked to your passport to allow you to travel to Australia. It comes in two variants, the eVisitor and the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, both of which you receive via email after your successful application. You can print out your Australia visa or present it on your smartphone, tablet or laptop when you travel.
The Australian visa is only available for visitors who travel for tourism or business activities and not employment. Travellers who wish to travel to Australia for a short-term work engagement should apply for a Temporary Work Visa or Working Holiday Visa.
Types Of Australian Visas
The type of Australian visa you need depends on the activity you wish to do in Australia and your nationality. The main types of Australian visas are
- Tourist visa
- Business visa.
The Australian tourist visa is great for leisure and visiting friends or family. The Australia business visa is ideal for business enquiries, meetings, conferences, and training workshops less than 3 months long.
Depending on your nationality, you may qualify for an eVisitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa. The eVisitor visa is ideal for citizens of the;
- EU countries such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City and Switzerland.
American and Canadian travellers, as well as citizens of 50 other countries, should apply for the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa instead. The requirements and validity of both the eVisitor and the ETA are exactly the same, although the application process for eVisitor may be easier and costs less than the ETA.
Requirements For the Australia Visa
To apply for the Australia visa, you need:
- At least 6 months validity on your passport
- An email address
- A debit or credit card for paying the processing fee
In addition, travellers must also:
- Be outside Australia at the time of their visa application
- Be free of tuberculosis and in general good health
- Provide proof that you can financially support your stay and return
- Have no criminal convictions of a combined period of 12 months or more, whether or not you served the sentences or not
- Have no work activities other than making business enquiries, attending conferences and contractual negotiations
- Have no debt to the Australian Government
- Not intending to sell products or provide services to Australian consumers
- Not engage in studies for longer than 3 months
Who Needs the Australia Visa?
All passport holders, regardless of their age, require an Australian visa. Minors can travel on your passport, but they will need individual visa applications. This means that if you plan to travel with your family, each family member must register a visa application.
How Long Does the Australia Visa Last?
The Australian visa is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and allows for 90 days per visit to Australia. This means that within 3 months, you can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you need to on a single visa. However, you will need a new Australian visa if your passport expires within the 12-month validity period.
How Long Does It Take to an Australian Visa?
On average, your Australia visa takes 5 working days to process, but urgent applications can be ready in an hour. In addition, it takes less than 10 minutes to fill out your online Australia visa application since only the essential identification details are necessary as they appear on your passport.
How Much Does the Australia Visa Cost?
The Australian visa costs £14.95 per person, payable through Visa, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. Processing begins immediately after you submit your online visa application. Once approved, you will receive a text and email notification to download and print your visa or save it on your smartphone to present it to immigration authorities when you arrive in Australia.
- At the time of writing (June 2021), Australia borders are not open due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there are several exemptions to this regulation, and the following types of travellers are currently allowed into Australia:
- Citizens and permanent residents of Australia
- Immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents
- Travellers transiting through Australia for less than 72 hours
- Travellers who have been in New Zealand for more than 14 days before flying to Australia
- Travellers with compassionate and compelling reasons to visit Australia, such as the critical illness or death of an immediate family member
- Travellers can apply online for an exemption to travel to Australia and must provide their visa and proof of their claims for exemption. These include a birth, death or marriage certificate, a letter from a doctor, hospital or employer, as well as bank statements that prove that you can support your trip to Australia. Apply for a travel exemption between 2 weeks and 2 months before your expected departure date, and allow 7 days for processing.
- Additional documents for travellers to Australia include the UK Government Declaration Form for International Travel and the Australian Travel Declaration. You should complete these online forms at least 72 hours before your departure to Australia.
- You must also present a negative PCR Covid-19 test conducted 72 hours or less before your departure to Australia.
- When applying for your Australia visa online, please ensure that the details on the application form are exactly as they appear in your passport. Errors are amendable but at an additional fee.
- Apply for your Australia visa at least 24 hours before your flight, and the earlier, the better. An air ticket is not necessary to apply for your Australia visa.
- Even though your Australia visa allows multiple entries, you should ideally be outside of the country for at least 2 weeks before returning. Otherwise, frequent entrances and exits will alert the immigration authorities. If this is part of your itinerary, it is best to inform the Australian embassy to minimise delays or inconveniences when boarding your flights.
- Airlines operating flights to Australia are subject to international passenger arrival caps, determining how many seats available for international visitors. This helps manage the number of visitors who must undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in government-approved centres.
- Your flight to Australia will most likely include a transit, so please check the Covid-19 regulations for the transit country as they may change according to each country’s situation.
Plan your Australia trip today
Despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, you can still plan your Australia visit today. Apply for your Australia visa here today, and be ready to go as soon as possible.