Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas online.
There are important things you should know before applying for, or being granted, an Australian visa. These include applying for the right type of visa, application requirements, your obligations while in Australia and the importance of complying with visa conditions.
For more detailed information visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
A tourist visa is for people visiting Australia for a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit relatives, friends or for other short-term non-work purposes. There are a number of tourist visas available for people wishing to visit Australia as a tourist. Visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for eligibility requirements.
ETA (Visitor) (Subclass 976)
An electronically stored authority for short-term visits to Australia of up to three months. Available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions, who live outside Australia.
eVisitors (Subclass 651
An electronically stored authority for visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes for up to three months. Available to passport holders from the European Union and a number of other European countries, who live outside Australia.
Tourist visa (Subclass 676)
A temporary visa allowing a stay in Australia of up to three or six or 12 months. Applicants can apply from both outside and in Australia. Some tourists are eligible to lodge an online application for an e676 Tourist visa.
Sponsored Family Visitor visa (Subclass 679)
For people seeking to visit family in Australia for a stay period of up to 12 months. Formal sponsorship by an Australian citizen or permanent resident is required.
Non-Australian citizens from certain countries are eligible to transit through Australia without a visa. If you do not qualify for transit without a visa, you will need to apply for a Transit visa.
Working Holiday visa
The Working Holiday and Work and Holiday programs encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between arrangement countries by allowing young people to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. There are two types of Working Holiday visas:
Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417)
For people from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom.
Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462)
For applicants from Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.
The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship has produced a number of fact sheets. These provide more information on temporary residence options in Australia, including the Working Holiday and Work and Holiday programs, and information on working in Australia.
There are special visas for students wishing to study in Australia and for parents, relatives or guardians of a student who is studying in Australia.
There are eight sub-classes of student visas depending on your passport country and course of study. Check with the Australian Government Department on how to apply for the correct visa to meet your individual circumstances.
Sponsored Training visas are also offered for people who want to come to Australia through a professional development program or to undertake workplace based training.
Electronic Travel Authority
The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) allows people to visit Australia for short term tourism or business purposes of up to three months. An ETA is available to passport holders from more than 30 countries, regions and locations. Check the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for eligibility requirements.
The eVisitor allows visitors to travel to Australia for short term business or tourism purposes for up to three months. eVisitor applications are free and are available to passport holders from the European Union and a number of other European countries. Check the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for eligibility requirements.
Extending your stay in Australia
If you are already in Australia and hold a valid ETA (Visitor) (subclass 976), an eVisitor (subclass 651), e676 Tourist visa, or a paper-lodged tourist visa (subclass 676) granted for a stay of three months or less you can extend your stay in Australia to a maximum of six months. Check the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for details.
Please note that this information can periodically be subject to change, and you should check with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for the most up-to-date information.
Australia’s Customs and Quarantine
Australia's customs laws prevent you from bringing drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited. There is no limit on currency but you will need to declare amounts over $10000. For more detailed information go to the Australian Government Customs and Border Protection website and Department of Agriculture.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is responsible for issuing visas to people who want to visit, work, study or live in Australia. It is responsible for the management of lawful and orderly entry and stay of people in Australia, including through effective border security. It provides information and application forms for migration to Australia, and information about settling in Australia, Australian citizenship, and multicultural affairs.
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service manages the security and integrity of Australia's borders. It works closely with other government and international agencies, in particular the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Department of Defence, to detect and deter unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.
The Department of Agriculture manages quarantine controls at Australian borders to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country.
For further information about the Australian Government's departments and their responsibilities visit www.australia.gov.au.