Australia visa

Australia visa

Traveling to Australia

From tourists to students to businesspersons, Australia attracts millions of visitors each year. The “land down under”’ is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. However, apart from New Zealand passport holders, who can obtain a visa on arrival, all other foreign nationalities are required to obtain a visa before traveling to Australia.

Fortunately, there are many options for studying, tourism, business, and joining family members. The application process is straightforward and can be done online for almost all visa types.

The type of Australia Visa you need to obtain is dependent on the purpose of your visit, your nationality, and how long you intend to stay in Australia. Single-entry Australia Visas and multiple-entry Australia visas are both available depending on the reason for travel. There are also many different options for short-term and long-term residence permits in Australia.

A full list of visa categories and types can be found below, along with a guide on how to submit your application.

Australia visa types

There are several categories of Australia Visas that applicants can choose from. These categories are intended for anyone looking to visit, study, or do business in Australia. Under each category, there are several types of Australia visa types you can to apply for. 

The primary categories of Australia Visas include: 

  • Australia Visitor Visas
  • Australia Student Visas
  • Australia Working Visas
  • Australia Family Visas 
  • Australia Refugee and Humanitarian Visas

* If you are applying for an Australia Visa from within the country and your visa expires, you can apply for an Australia Bridging Visa while you wait for the new one to be issued. 

Visitor visas

For those looking to visit Australia for either a short or long period of stay, there are several types of visas available. The type of visa you select will depend on the purpose of traveling to Australia and how long you intend to stay. 

The following are the main types of Australia Visitor Visas:

  • Visitor Visa (Tourist visa)
  • Transit Visa 
  • eVisitor Visa 
  • Electronic Travel Authority (eTA or Australia eVisa)
  • Work and Holiday Visa 
  • Working Holiday Visa  

* An Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV) may be issued to Australian citizens who hold a foreign passport and are able to prove why they cannot travel with their Australian passport.

Student visas

Many people choose Australia as their destination for obtaining a university degree, taking a short course, or attending another type of educational institution. The Australia Student Visa type you select will depend on your age and the duration of your studies, among other factors.

There are three types of visas that students can choose to apply for:

  • Student Visa 
  • Training Visa 
  • Student Guardian Visa 

Working visas

For those looking to start a business, join a company or invest in the Australian economy on an Australia business visa, there are many types of Working Visas. Applicants should select their visa type carefully depending on their nationality, skills, occupation, and duration of stay in Australia. 

The main types of Australian Working Visas are: 

  • Business Owner 
  • Global Talent Visa
  • Investor Visa
  • Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa 
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa 
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa 
  • Skilled Independent Visa
  • Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Skilled-Recognized Graduate Visa
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Skilled Regional Visa
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa
  • State or Territory Sponsored Investor Visa
  • Temporary Activity Visa
  • Temporary Graduate Visa
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa
  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa 
  • Employer Nomination Scheme 
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Family visas

Applicants looking to join a family member, child, or partner, care for a sick relative, or bring an adopted child into the country can apply for an Australia Family Visa. There are many types of Family Visas intended for a variety of different situations and reasons for travel. 

The primary types of Family Visas are: 

  • Parent Visa
  • Partner (Provisional and Migrant) Visa
  • Prospective Marriage Visa
  • Carer Visa
  • Child Visa
  • Adoption Visa
  • Aged Dependent Relative Visa
  • Aged Parent Visa
  • Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa
  • Contributory Aged Parent Visa
  • Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa
  • Contributory Parent Visa
  • Dependent Child Visa
  • New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) Visa
  • Orphan Relative
  • Remaining Relative Visa

Refugee and Humanitarian visas

For those seeking asylum from their country of origin, there are various types of Australia Refugee and Humanitarian Visas available. The visa type will depend on your nationality, duration of stay, and purpose of seeking asylum in Australia.   

  • Refugee Visas
  • Temporary Protection Visas
  • Global Special Humanitarian 
  • Protection Visa 
  • Safe Haven Enterprise Visa 

Australia visa requirements

While every Australia Visa type will require a different set of documents and materials, there are certain documents that are required for almost all applicants. The requirements for your application will depend on what category of visa you are applying for (Student, Working, Visitor, etc.) and the type of visa you select.

Most applicants will submit the following list of documents as part of their application:   

Visa application form

Almost all Australia Visa applications can be submitted online or on paper. The Australia eVisa application can be submitted through the official Australian Government Office of Home Affairs website. How you submit your application will vary depending on the visa category and type selected.

Proof of good health

Australia has high standards for health for all travelers. Nearly all applicants must undergo a health examination to prove they are in good health before arriving in Australia.

Valid identity document

All applicants will need to include a valid form of identity document as part of their application. This document should be valid for the duration of their stay for short-term visas.

Biometric information

Nearly all applicants will need to submit biometrics information including fingerprints and a photograph. If required of your visa type, biometrics can be submitted at an Australian Visa Application Center (AVAC) or an Australian Biometrics Collection Center (ABCC). Once you submit your application, you will be contacted with steps on how and where to present your biometric information.

Australia visa application

The exact steps you will need to take to submit your Australia Visa application will vary depending on the duration of your stay, your purpose of travel, your nationality, and many other factors. The following is a list of general steps that most applicants will need to take to receive a successful result for their visa application. 

  1. Prepare your application

    Determine when you need to travel: You will need to give yourself enough time to submit your application and receive a decision before traveling to Australia. The processing time for each visa type varies so be sure to have an idea of your travel dates well in advance of your trip.

    Check the validity of your identity document: All applicants need to have a valid passport, or another form of an identity document when submitting their application. For short-term visa types, this document should be valid for the duration of your stay in Australia.

    Select your visa category and visa type: Make sure to select the correct visa category and visa type for your unique purpose of travel. This will determine how you complete the rest of the application process.

    Organize a health examination, if applicable: Nearly all applicants must prove they are in good health before traveling to Australia. Be sure to confirm if you need an official health examination for your visa type.

    Gather the required documents: Each visa type requires a slightly different set of documents to be submitted along with the application. Make sure to check the list of required materials before proceeding with the submission of your application.

  2. Submit your application

    Apply online or on paper: Nearly all Australian Visa applications can be submitted online. In order to apply online, applicants will need to create an account through ImmiAccount. However, there are some exceptions where applicants may need to apply by post. Be sure to allow enough time depending on how you are submitting your application.

    Provide the required documents: All applications must contain the required documents for the specific visa type. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

    Pay the fees: Almost all application fees can be paid online during the application submission process. Fees are subject to vary based on the duration of the visa and the visa type.

    Submit your biometric information: Almost all applicants will be asked to present biometric information, including their fingerprints and a photograph. This information can be collected at an Australian Visa Application Center (AVAC) or an Australian Biometrics Collection Center (ABCC).

  3. Receive a decision

    Once you submit your Australian Visa application, it will be sent for processing. Each visa type takes a different amount of time to be processed.

    If your application is successful it will be sent back to you with instructions on how to proceed. The written decision will include your visa grant number, the Australia Visa validity dates, and the visa conditions.

    If your application is refused you will be informed by writing. The decision letter will include why your application was refused and if you have the right to review or appeal the decision.

Where to apply for a Australia visa

The vast majority of Australia Visa types can be applied for online at the official website of the Australian Government Office of Home Affairs. Applicants will create an account through ImmiAccount and log in to begin the application process. In some cases, applicants will need to apply on paper. In this case, the application will be sent by post to the relevant application processing center. 

Australia visa fees

The fees for each visa type are varied and subject to change over time. Therefore, fees are dependent upon when you submit your application, among other factors like the visa type and how you submit your application. Application fees are charged in Australian dollars (AUD). Some common fees include AUD150 for an Australia Visitor Visa, AUD650 for an Australia Student Visa, and AUD325 for a Temporary Short Stay Work Visa. 

Australia visa application processing

The amount of time required to process an Australian Visa will depend largely on the type of visa you are applying for.

Application processing times can vary based on whether the application is complete, if you have submitted the application online or on paper, how quickly you can provide any additional information that is required, how long it takes to receive information from external sources, and other factors.

For example, for a Temporary Visitor Visa, the processing time is 5 and 88 days on average for applications submitted from outside and inside Australia respectively. For Permanent visa types, the processing times can reach several months or more. 

Australia visa FAQ

How much does an Australia Visa cost?

The fees for an Australia Visa will vary depending on the specific visa type and the duration of stay in the country. Applicants should check the official Government of Australia Office of Home Affairs website to verify how much their visa type will cost.

How long does it take to receive an Australia Visa?

Processing times for an Australia Visa depend on the specific type of visa. A Temporary Visa may be processed in just a few days to a few months, while a Permanent Visa might take up to several months. Applicants should also factor in the documents they need to collect, particularly if they are coming from external agencies or sources. If any examinations are required, this will also take additional time in addition to the average processing time for each visa type.

How long can I stay in Australia without a visa?

Apart from holders of New Zealand passports, all foreign travelers are required to obtain a visa to stay in Australia for both short-term and long-term durations of stay.

Is an Australia tourist visa easy to obtain?

The process for obtaining an Australian Visa is typically simple and straightforward. Almost all applications can be submitted online by following a series of streamlined steps. Applications that are submitted on paper may require additional steps. Applicants should be aware that each visa type requires a slightly different process to be approved.

Can you work in Australia without a visa?

Unless you hold an Australian or New Zealand passport, it is not possible to work in Australia without obtaining a visa. All other nationalities looking to work or start a business in Australia will need to obtain the correct Working Visa type in order to work in the country for either a short or long duration.

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