Australia Visa Policy

Learn about the visa policy of Australia and find out the travel requirements for visitors of your nationality.

Visa Policy for Australia

The visa policy of Australia determines which visa or travel authorization a foreign national needs in order to visit the country.

The requirements for each individual depends on a number of factors, including nationality, length of stay, and purpose of traveling to Australia.

There are a number of different types of visa and travel authorizations for Australia.

Electronic visas and travel authorizations are available for holders of over 40 different passports for stays of short periods. These function as combined Australia tourist visas and business visas.

For long stays or if the foreign national plans to live and/or work in Australia, they must make an application for the relevant visas and permits at an Australian embassy.

Travelers from all other countries must obtain a consular visa for Australia from an embassy.

Australian visa policy dictates that almost all visitors must apply for a visa in advance of their journey to the country.

The only exceptions are citizens of New Zealand, who enjoy the right of abode and receive a Special Category Visa on arrival in Australia.

Australian immigration policy is generally consistent throughout the different states and territories that make up the mainland and many of the islands belonging to the country.

However, to visit certain islands belonging to Australia or the Australian Antarctic Territory, special authorization is required from the government.

Below you will find a comprehensive list of Australia’s rules and regulations regarding visas and travel to the country.

Tourist Visa Policy for Australia

There are several types of Australian tourist visas. Different visa options exist for travelers of different nationalities.

There are 2 different types of visa for Australia that can be obtained via an online application. These are the eVisitor Visa and the Australia ETA, which stands for Electronic Travel Authority. Both grant the right to visit Australia as a tourist.

The type of electronic visa that a visitor must apply for depends on their nationality.

The eVisitor is available for nationals of over 30 countries, while the ETA is available for citizens of around 10 states and territories. This means that there is a combined total of over 40 different nationalities who are able to apply for an Australia tourist visa online.

Online tourist visas for Australia grant the holder multiple entries to the country and allow them to spend a maximum of 3 months in the country within a period of a year.

Applicants will need a valid passport from an eligible country, a current email address, and a method of payment. They must also meet certain health requirements, such as being free of tuberculosis (TB).

Any foreign national who does not meet the requirements for an online visa may arrange an interview at an embassy to make their case for an Australia tourist embassy visa.

Tourists from all other countries must acquire their tourist visa for Australia from an Australian embassy.

Any tourist who wishes to stay longer than 3 months in Australia must also apply for a long-term visa at an embassy, regardless of their nationality.

For more information about which Australia tourist visas are available to each nationality, see below.

eVisitor for Australia

The Australia eVisitor Visa is exclusively available for citizens of around 40 European countries.

It was introduced as part of a reciprocal short-stay travel agreement with the European Union (EU). Therefore, nationals of all 28 EU member states are eligible to apply for the eVisitor.

In addition, visitors from around 10 non-EU countries in Europe may obtain an eVisitor Visa for Australia. These include the 4 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland; 4 European microstates affiliated with, but not members of the EU: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City; and the United Kingdom (UK).

The eVisitor Visa permits the holder to visit Australia for the purposes of tourism and business.

It is valid for 12 months, in which the holder can make multiple visits and grants the right to stay in the country for a maximum of 3 months at a time.

The Australian eVisitor Visa is designated as visa subclass 651.

The eVisitor for Australia is obtained by completing an online application form, which is straightforward and typically takes just a few minutes to fill in.

Applicants are required to submit basic personal details, passport information, and an email address to which the approved Australia visa will be delivered. There are also a few questions regarding health and security matters.

In order to have their eVisitor application granted, travelers must be free of tuberculosis (TB) and must not have any serious criminal convictions.

ETA for Australia

The Australia Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) is available to foreign nationals from 7 sovereign states and one special administrative region.

Citizens of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States of America are all eligible to apply for the Australia ETA.

Travelers from these countries must do a simple online application to acquire the ETA for Australia, which takes a matter of minutes to complete.

Required information includes the traveler’s name, nationality, passport details, and a current email address, to which the approved ETA will be delivered.

The applicant must also answer some questions pertaining to travel, health, and security.

Like the eVisitor Visa, the Australian ETA can be used to enter Australia as a tourist or for business trips.

The ETA can be used multiple times. The visitor is allowed to spend up to 3 months in any 12-month period in Australia.

Visitors must not have TB or any serious criminal convictions in order for an ETA application to be granted.

ETA for Australia: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Visa On Arrival for Australia

Australia has a visa on arrival called the Special Category Visa (SCV) (subclass 444), which is granted to citizens of New Zealand.

According to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealanders have the right to visit, study, live, and work in Australia. The SCV is granted upon arrival in the country as proof of this right, counting as a tourist visa, business visa, residence permit, and work visa for Australia.

Unlike most foreign nationals, New Zealanders do not need to apply for an Australian visa in advance. Their passports are not usually stamped when they arrive in Australia.

The SCV is valid until the date when the New Zealand national leaves the country. Upon their return to Australia, another Special Category Visa is issued on arrival.

New Zealanders must not have any serious health conditions (particularly infectious diseases) or any criminal convictions with prison time of more than 12 months to be eligible for the SCV.

In addition, if a New Zealand national already holds a different type of temporary or permanent Australian visa, they will not be granted an SCV.

New Zealanders who come to Australia for a specific purpose, such as military personnel on active duty and diplomats, are usually issued with a special purpose visa instead of an SCV.

Visa On Arrival for Australia: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Protected SCV

All SCVs issued after February 26 2001 grant the holder limited access to Australian social security. New Zealanders who received their SCV after this date are not eligible for Australian citizenship unless they apply for and obtain permanent resident status.

New Zealanders who acquired a Special Category Visa before February 26 2001 are known as “protected SCV holders”. They are eligible for most social security benefits and hold the same rights as permanent residents, including the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required for Australia

The majority of foreign nationals who plan to visit Australia must obtain a consular visa from an Australian embassy regardless of the purpose of their visit or how long they plan to stay in the country.

According to the Australian visa policy, citizens of around 200 different sovereign states must apply for a consular Australia tourism visa in advance

In order to apply for a consular visa, nationals of these countries must make an appointment at an Australian diplomatic mission overseas.

All travelers, apart from New Zealand nationals, must apply for a consular visa for Australia if the individual intends to work, live, or stay longer than 3 months in Australia.

In order to legally be able to work in Australia, foreign nationals must apply for an Australian work visa at an embassy.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required for Australia: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Other Visa Information for Australia

Business visitors from a number of countries may visit Australia without a visa for up to 90 days if they are in possession of an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) with the “AUS” code on the reverse side.

Eligible nationalities include Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The majority of visitors from these countries must abide by the usual Australian visa policy. Only ABTC holders on business trips of less than 90 days may enter the country visa-free.

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