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Everything you Need to Know about Australia’s ETA, eVisitor & Visitor Visas


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1 Everything you Need to Know about Australia’s ETA, eVisitor & Visitor Visas
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AustraliaOnlineVisa
AustraliaOnlineVisa
[ January 31, 2020 ]
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Have you always wanted to visit Australia? 2020 could be the year to put your plans into action and organise a trip to our fantastic country. Australia offers a wealth of wonderful opportunities and amazing experiences - from pristine beaches to unspoilt wilderness, beautiful coral reefs and vibrant, multicultural cities - there’s literally something for everyone. 

And organising a trip to Australia is much easier than you think. Plenty of countries are eligible for an Australian tourist visa and these days it’s quick and straightforward to apply for a tourist visa online. There are three flexible Australian tourist evisa options available and they can all be quickly applied for and processed online. 

Here, we guide you through Australia’s touriste-visa choices, answering all your questions and letting you make an informed choice on the most suitable electronic visa for your needs.

Read on to find out more about Australia’s visitor evisas

Does everyone need a tourist visa for Australia?

Yes - with the exception of Australian and New Zealand citizens, everyone who enters Australia as a tourist, to visit friends or family, or for business reasons needs to organise a tourist e-visa before their trip.

Which Australian tourist evisas are available?

There are currently three tourist evisas available for Australia:

  • The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (subclass 601),
  • The eVisitor Visa (subclass 651), and;
  • The Visitor Visa (subclass 600).

Each of these tourist evisas allow people to visit and stay in Australia. If you hold one one of the above visitor visas you can study for a maximum of three months in Australia and undertake voluntary work if you wish. Paid work isn’t allowed under these tourist visas.

A tourist visa could also be an option for extending your stay in Australia if your current Australian visa is due to expire. However, please remember that Australia’s flexible tourist visas are intended for genuine visitors and they are only available for visitors who plan to stay in Australia on a temporary basis.

Please note that children travelling to Australia must have their own tourist visa and it’s necessary to process a separate e-visa application for each child. 

Which Australian visitor evisa should you apply for?

The visitor visa you apply for depends on your reason for visiting Australia, the length of your planned stay, your nationality and the country that you’re applying from. We cover the  Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (subclass 601), eVisitor Visa (subclass 651), and; VisitorVisa (subclass 600) in more detail below. 

What are the key things you need to know about before applying for a visitor evisa?

Before applying for an Australian visitor e-visa, it’s first worth checking that you can fulfill these basic requirements:

  • You must hold a valid passport with an expiry date that is 3 months beyond the date of your arrival in Australia. You can’t apply for any of Australia’s visitor  e-visas with a non-citizen passport, certificate of identity or other travel document,
  • You must meet Australia’s health requirements and make sure that you’re free from any disease that may be a public health risk for Australian citizens (the government currently requires that all visitors to Australia are free from tuberculosis when they travel to and enter Australia),
  • It’s also important to ensure that you meet character requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs - you must not have been sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more or have any outstanding debts with the Australian government.

Please ensure that you apply for these electronic visitor visas using the passport and passport number that you intend to travel to Australia with. 

Which tourist evisa should you apply for? Below we explore Australia’s three tourist evisas in further detail and answer all your key questions. 

Australia’a Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa

The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa(subclass 601) is an electronic visitor visa, designed for people who want to visit Australia for a holiday, to visit friends or family, or for  business purposes.

How long is an ETA Visa valid for?

Australia’s ETA Visa is a flexible electronic visa that is valid for 12 months from the date it is first granted and enables you to stay in Australia for up to 3 months at a time. Holders of the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (subclass 601) can travel to Australia as many times as they like during this 12 month period.

Who is eligible to apply for an Australian Electronic Travel Authority Visa?

People from the following countries are currently eligible to apply for an ETA Visa online:

Brunei - Darussalam

Canada

Hong Kong (SAR PRC)

Japan

Malaysia

Singapore

South Korea, and;

The United States of America.

AustraTo apply for an ETA Visa you must be living outside Australia when you apply. 

Can you study in Australia under an ETA evisa?

If you hold an ETA e-visa, you’re allowed to study in Australia for up to 3 months, but it’s important that these studies don’t extend beyond a 3 month period. 

Are you allowed to work in Australia with an ETA Visa?

With the exception of unpaid voluntary work, holders of the Electronic Travel Authority Visa are not permitted to work in Australia during their stay. 

However, certain business activities are permitted under this evisa. The Department of Home Affairs advises that business visitors using the Electronic Travel Authority e-visa can visit Australia to:

  • Investigate, negotiate, sign or review a business contract,
  • Carry out general business or employment enquiries,
  • Undertake duties as part of an official government visit, and/or;
  • Participate in a trade fair, conference or seminar (but event organisers cannot pay you to take part).

Business visitors on the ETA evisa are not allowed to provide services for or work for a person, business or organisation during their time in Australia. Business visitors with an ETA Visa are also not allowed to sell goods or services to the Australian public during their trip. 

How long does an ETA Visa take to process?

An ETA e-visa is usually processed quickly - it normally takes less than 24 hours, but can take up to a few weeks in some cases.

What does an ETA Visa look like?

An Australian ETA Visa is an electronically stored evisa for travel to Australia and it is linked to your passport number, which means you don't need paper confirmation or a stamp in your passport when you’ve been issued with this visa. Your ETA Visa will be verified automatically when you check in for your flight to Australia and again by Australian Immigration when you arrive in this country.

eVisitor Visa

Australia’s eVisitor Visa (subclass 651) is another flexible evisa and is very similar to the ETA Visa. It’s intended for people who want to visit Australia for a holiday, to visit friends or family, or for business reasons.

How long is an eVisitor Visa valid for?

An Australian eVisitor Visa is valid for up to 12 months from the date it is issued. During this 12 month period, eVisitor visa holders can stay in Australia for up to 3 months at a time and travel to Australia as many times as they wish. 

Who is eligible to apply for an eVisitor Visa online?

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

Here we’ve listed the countries that are currently eligible for an Australian 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.

How long does an eVisitor Visa take to process?

eVisitor Visas are usually processed promptly. You should receive a response within 24 hours of submitting your eVisitor Visa application and you will then receive a notification by email when your eVisitor Visa has been approved. 90% of eVisitor Visas are processed in less than 2 days. 

Can you study in Australia under an eVisitor visa?

Holders of an eVisitor Visa are usually permitted to study in Australia for up to 3 months, but again it’s vital that these studies don’t go beyond this 3 month period. 

Are you allowed to work in Australia with an eVisitor visa?

Holders of Australia’s electronic eVisitor Visa are not allowed to work in Australia during their trip. 

Nonetheless, unpaid voluntary work is permitted under this visa and the business activities that we outlined in the ETA Visa section above are also allowed under the eVisitor visa. 

What does an eVisitor Visa look like?

The e-visa will be linked electronically to your passport. You don't need to bring paper confirmation or get a stamp in your passport under this visa. Like the ETA VIsa, your eVisitor Visa will be automatically checked when you board your flight to Australia and again by Australian Immigration when you reach Australia.

What happens if you want to stay in Australia for longer than 3 months?

It takes a long time to get to Australia and flights often aren’t cheap. It’s understandable that you may want to visit Australia for a longer time period. Australia’s Visitor Visa (subclass 600) has a number of different streams and some of these streams offer longer validity periods for tourist visitors. Read on to find out more about the Visitor Visa

Visitor Visa 

Australia’s Visitor Visa is another e-visa intended for tourists visiting Australia for a holiday or to catch up with friends and family living in Australia. 

How long is the Visitor Visa valid for?

A Visitor Visa offers an extra level of flexibility in comparison to Australia’s other visitor evisa options. Holders of a Visitor Visa can stay in Australia for up to 3, 6 or 12 months. Chinese citizens under the Frequent Traveller stream can be granted a Visitor Visa for up to 10 years.

The Visitor Visa has several different visa streams depending on your reason for visiting Australia. Here we outline the key details for each Visitor Visa (subclass 600) stream:

Tourist stream: apply inside Australia

Under this visa stream you can visit Australia as a tourist, to enjoy a cruise, visit family and friends, or for reasons other than business or medical treatment. 

Unlike the other tourist visas outlined in this article, you can apply for this visa from inside Australia. So if you hold another Australian visa that is expiring and would like to stay in Australian for longer, this visa might be worth considering. You may be granted a stay of up to 12 months on this visa depending on your circumstances.

The current application fee for this visa is $365 AUD.

Please note that 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.

Tourist stream: apply outside Australia

Under this visa stream you can visit Australia as a tourist, to enjoy a cruise, visit family and friends, or for reasons other than business or medical treatment. 

Unlike the other tourist visas outlined in this article, you can apply for this visa from inside Australia. So if you hold another Australian visa that is expiring and would like to stay in Australian for longer, this visa might be worth considering. You may be granted a stay of up to 12 months on this visa depending on your circumstances.

The current application fee for this visa is $365 AUD.

Please note that 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.

Tourist stream: apply outside Australia

This visa stream also allows you to visit Australia as a tourist, to go on a cruise or to visit family and friends.

You must be living outside Australia to apply for this visa and, depending on your circumstances, you may be granted a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months. Eligible parents of Australian citizens might be granted a longer validity period.

The current fee for this visa is $145 AUD.

This visa stream allows people who are sponsored, usually by a family member, to come to Australia to visit their family members.

You may be granted a stay of up to 12 months on this visa and you must be sponsored by an eligible family member who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You can also study or train for up to 3 months on this visa if you wish. This visa has a ‘no further stay’ condition, which means that while in Australia you will be unable to apply for any new temporary visa. 

The Sponsored Family stream is $145 AUD, but please note that the Department of Home Affairs may ask your sponsor to pay an additional security bond. 

Business Visitor stream

This visa stream allows you to visit Australia for business purposes. You can stay for up to 3 months on this visa.

You can stay in Australia for a short period for business reasons, but you are not permitted to work or sell goods or services under this visa.You may be allowed to enter Australia once or several times while this visa is valid and you must be living outside Australia when you apply and when the Department of Home Affairs decides on your visa.

The Business Visitor stream is currently $145 AUD.

Approved Destination Status stream

This visa stream is intended for citizens from certain areas of China who are visiting Australia on a tour organised by an approved travel agent.

The validity period for this visa will be specified by the Department of Home Affairs in your visa grant letter.

You must remain with the organised tour group during your stay in Australia on this visa. This visa also has a ‘no further stay’ condition.

The application fee for this visa stream is currently $145 AUD.

Frequent Traveller stream

The Frequent Traveller visa stream is for citizens from China who travel to Australia regularly for business or personal reasons.

This visa may be granted for up to 10 years and you can stay in Australia for up to 3 months each time you enter.

You must hold a passport from and be a citizen of the People's Republic of China (SARs are excluded) to be eligible for this visa. You must also provide biometrics within the People's Republic of China before you apply.

The Frequent Traveller visa stream is currently $1065 AUD.

Who is eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa online?

In general, countries that are not eligible for an ETA Visa are usually eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa.

It is possible to apply for a Visitor Visa from inside or outside Australia depending on your chosen visa stream. The Visitor Visa can provide a handy way to extend your stay in Australia following the expiry of another Australian visa.

However, if you’re applying from within Australia, it’s important to check that your current visa doesn’t have a ‘no further stay’ condition.

What does a Visitor Visa look like?

The Visitor Visa 600 is another electronic visa that is linked to your passport. You don't need to bring a paper document along with you or get a stamp in your passport with this visa. Your Visitor Visa will be automatically checked when you check in for your Australian flight and by Australian Immigration when you arrive in Australia.

How long does a Visitor Visa take to process?

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 27 days.

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