Your Essential Guide to Australia’s ETA, eVisitor & Visitor Visas

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[ November 24, 2019 ]

Which visa do i need to enter Australia as a tourist?

There are hundreds of reasons to spend some time exploring Australia. Perhaps it’s a trip you’ve always imagined making? Or, maybe you have family living in Australia that you’d love to catch up with? From cosmopolitan cities, to awe-inspiring landscapes and superb surfing - Australia has something for everyone!

The great news is, these days, a trip to Oz can often be organised very easily. Many countries are now eligible for an ETA, eVisitor or Visitor visa to Australia. These are tourist visas that can be applied for quickly and easily and many countries are eligible for one of these tourist visa options.

What is the difference between Australia’s tourist visas? Is your country eligible for a tourist visa? And how can you apply for an ETA, eVisitor or Visitor visa to Australia? Our blog gives you all the essential info - keep reading to discover more…

Australia’s tourist visas: Key facts

If you’d like to visit Australia for tourism or business purposes, or to visit friends or family, you’ll first need to apply for a tourist visa. Tourist visas may also be an option for extending your stay in Australia following the expiry of another visa.

There are several different tourist visas for visiting Australia and it’s important to spend some time making sure that you apply for the correct one. Which tourist visa you apply for depends on your nationality, where you’re applying from, the length of your planned stay in Australia and the reason for your visit.

An Australian tourist visa enables you to:

  • Visit and stay in Australia during your visa’s validity period,
  • Carry out voluntary work in Australia (paid work is not permitted), and;
  • Study in Australia for a maximum of 3 months.

Tourist visa holders must ensure that they:

  • Hold a valid passport with an expiration date that is more than 3 months beyond the date of their arrival in Australia,
  • Are free from any disease that may become a public health risk for Australian citizens,
  • Meet character requirements, and;
  • Have not been sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more

Three tourist visas are currently available:

  1. Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601)
  2. eVisitor Visa (subclass 651)
  3. Visitor Visa (subclass 600).

Let’s explore further…

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa

The Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (subclass 601) is intended for those visiting Australia for tourism or business reasons. It is valid for 12 months from the date it’s granted and allows the visa holder to stay in Australia for up to 3 months at a time and travel to Australia as many times as they wish within the 12 month period.

In some cases, holders of an ETA are also allowed to study in Australia for up to 3 months.

To apply for an ETA, you must have a passport from an eligible country and be living outside Australia.

These countries are currently eligible for an Online ETA application:

  • Brunei - Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong (SAR PRC)
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Korea, Rep of (South)
  • United States.

You can quickly lodge your ETA visa application here with AustraliaOnlineVisa if you hold a passport from Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea or the United States of America.

Processing an ETA Visa usually takes less than 24 hours, but can take a few weeks in some cases.

eVisitor Visa

Australia’s eVisitor Visa (subclass 651) offers very similar terms to the ETA Visa. It is valid for up to 12 months from the date of issue and it also allows holders to stay in Australia for a maximum of 3 months at a time for tourism or business purposes.

During the 12 month validity period, eVisitor visa holders can travel to Australia as many times as they wish. Holders of this visa are also usually permitted to study in Australia for up to 3 months.

To apply for an eVisitor Visa, you must have a passport from an eligible country and be living outside Australia.

Below are the countries that are currently eligible for an eVisitor Visa:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom – British Citizen, and;
  • Vatican City.

You can apply for an eVisitor here.

Australia’s eVisitor Visa is usually processed quickly. Within 24 hours of submitting your application, you should receive a response and you will then be notified by email when your eVisitor Visa has been approved. 90% of eVisitor Visas are processed within 2 days.

Visitor Visa

If you’re keen to visit Australia for longer than 3 months at a time, the Visitor Visa could be a suitable option. The Visitor Visa allows holders to stay in Australia for up to 3, 6 or 12 months.

The Visitor Visa (subclass 600) has several different visa streams depending on your reason for visiting Australia:

  • Tourist stream - apply inside Australia
  • Tourist stream - apply outside Australia
  • Sponsored Family stream
  • Business Visitor stream
  • Approved Destination Status stream, and;
  • Frequent Traveller stream.

You can apply for a Visitor Visa from inside or outside Australia depending on your stream. So, the Visitor Visa can be a handy way to extend your stay in Oz following the expiry of another Australian visa.

However, if you’re applying from within Australia, you’ll need to ensure that your current visa doesn’t have a ‘no further stay’ condition.

If you’re applying from outside Australia, you can lodge an online or paper application depending on your passport.

The application fee to apply for the a Visitor Visa ranges from AUD$145 to AUD$365 depending on what stream you chose.

If you apply for a Visitor visa from within Australia, you will be required to pay an additional ‘subsequent temporary application charge’ of AUD$700 if your current visa was granted in Australia. For example, if you are in Australia on your second Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) that was granted in Australia, and you wish to apply for a Visitor visa to extend your stay, you will need to pay the ‘subsequent temporary application charge’ in addition to the Visitor visa application fees.

Processing times for the Visitor Visa depend on the visa stream you apply for, but 90% of Visitor Visas in the Tourist streams are currently processed within 26 days.

Interested in applying for an ETA, Visitor or eVisitor Visa for Australia?

AustraliaOnlineVisa can help you to lodge the application for your ETA, Visitor or eVisitor Visa to Australia. We can answer any questions you may have and help you to select the most suitable Australian visitor visa for your needs. Please get in touch with our expert team today. You could soon be whizzing your way to Australia!

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