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Visa, customs and quarantine FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. 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 Embassy or Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

There are a variety of visas available to travellers to Australia. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length of your stay, your passport and the purpose of your visit.

eVisitor (subclass 651)

This is a free visa for multiple visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes for up to three months at a time within a 12-month period. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of European countries and it cannot be extended.

Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601)
This visa allows you to visit Australia as many times as you want, for up to a year, and stay for three months each visit. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions, who live outside Australia. There is no visa application charge for an ETA, however a $20 service charge applies for online applications only.

Visitor visa (subclass 600)

The Visitor visa is designed for people who are not eligible for the eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority visa. This visa allows you to visit Australia, either for tourism or business purposes, for up to three, six or 12 months. Applicants will have to pay a fee to submit their application.

For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you are already in Australia and hold a valid Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601) you can extend your stay by applying for another visa, such as a Visitor visa (subclass 600). An eVisitor (subclass 651) cannot be extended.

See the Department of Home Affairs website for details.

The Working Holiday Maker program encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between some countries by allowing young adults (18 to 30 years old) to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. 

There are two types of Working Holiday visas:

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
For applicants with a passport 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 with a passport from Argentina, Austria, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay and Vietnam.

If you intend to study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Student Visa (subclass 500). If you are the parent, guardian or relative of a student, you can apply for a Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590). If you would like to travel to Australia for a visit and short-term study, you may be eligible for a visitor visa. A Training Visa (subclass 407) allows you to take part in workplace-based training to enhance your skills in your current occupation, area of tertiary study, field of expertise. A Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) permits temporary entry into Australia for certain programs and projects.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website to apply for the correct visa to meet your individual circumstances.

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. Before travelling, check the Australian Government website for information on prohibited goods, item declaration and penalties.

There is no limit on the amount of currency that you can bring into Australia, but you will need to declare amounts over AUD $10,000. Find out more and obtain a reporting form on the AUSTRAC website at www.austrac.gov.au/travellers.

Goods that you declare will be inspected by a biosecurity officer, who will assess the level of risk associated with the goods. In most cases, goods are low risk and will be returned to you after the inspection. However, if a biosecurity officer deems the goods to have some risk you can pay for the goods to be treated, pay to export the goods, or voluntarily dispose of the goods.

General goods: AUD $900 worth of goods per adult (18 years or over); AUD $450 worth of goods per child.

Alcohol: Up to 2.25 litres (0.5 imperial gallons or 0.59 US gallons) of alcoholic beverages (liquor, wine and Champagne) per adult.

Tobacco: 25 cigarettes or the equivalent of 25 grams (0.88 ounces) of smokeless tobacco products per adult.