With vibrant cities, diverse landscapes, including the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Australia is a popular tourism destination for global travellers! Are you planning a visit to Australia? If so, make sure you think about obtaining your visa well in advance of your travel; all visitors to Australia require a current and valid visa for travel as there are no visa waiver or ‘visa-on-arrival’ programs available.
Australia has recently ‘tightened’ up on visitor visas and many people have been surprised that their visa has been refused! The main reasons for refusal tend to be related to a lack of supporting documentation and evidence. Don’t let this happen to you! We can help you put together a well-documented visitor visa application to give you the best chance of making your dream visit to Australia a reality.
The type of visa, document requirements and process varies depending on your passport country, location and activities planned for your visit.
All visitors to Australia must have a genuine intention to remain in Australia on a temporary basis and for the purpose you provide to the Department (e.g. tourism). You must have adequate financial resources for your stay. Also, all visa applicants must meet the relevant health and character criteria and may include a requirement to obtain health insurance for the period of your stay in Australia.
The ‘stream’ of visitor visa will depend on your planned activities in Australia. In addition to the above general requirements, each stream has specific purposes and requirements:
The tourism stream is for people travelling to Australia for a holiday or to visit family or friends.
The purpose of your stay must be to visit Australia for a holiday, to see family and/or friends, or for other purposes that are not related to business/work or medical treatment.
This stream is specifically for people travelling to Australia to visit family. Applicants for this visa must be sponsored by an eligible relative who lives in Australia. This pathway might be appropriate if you are from a ‘high risk’ country or you have previously had a visitor visa refused.
You must be sponsored by an eligible relative in Australia who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old. Your sponsor must have been ‘settled’ in Australia for a reasonable length of time (usually at least 2 years). Your sponsor should be a close family member i.e. a spouse/de facto partner, or a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew (or any of the 'step' or adopted equivalents of those relations). In certain cases, an application for this visa may instead be sponsored by a Member of Parliament, or an authorised person representing a government department or instrumentality, or a local government mayor.
Also, your sponsor cannot be the sponsor of another visitor whose visa is still valid (unless that person is a member of your family, and you have the same reason for travelling to Australia), and not have within the last 5 years sponsored a visitor who breached his/her visa conditions.
If required, your sponsor must also pay a security bond (usually between AUD 5,000 and AUD 15,000). This bond will be refunded to your sponsor provided you comply with your visa conditions and leave Australia before your visa expires.
Do you have meetings to attend in Australia? Are you exploring business or investment opportunities, negotiating a contract, or attending a conference or seminar? A Subclass 600 Temporary Business Visitor Stream visa may be appropriate for you. This 3-month visa allows you the opportunity to meet your business trip needs in Australia.
In general, you must have short business term purpose in Australia as well as relevant personal attributes and a business background suitable for your business activities in Australia. You also need to have access to sufficient funds to cover your costs whilst you are in Australia.
There is also a Frequent Traveller stream for citizens of the People's Republic of China who travel often to Australia for business or personal reasons.
This stream is specifically for citizens of People's Republic of China who are travelling in an organised tour group.
The visa will be applied for on your behalf by a registered travel agent through the Approved Destination Status Scheme.
Visitors from certain countries may be eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or an eVisitor visa, instead of a Visitor visa. The ETA and eVisitor visas generally have fewer requirements and conditions than the Visitor visa, as well as lower application fees.
Please contact us if you would like further information regarding these visas.
Need more time in Australia to explore, connect with family or complete business activities? You may be able to extend your stay by applying for a subclass 600 Visitor visa.
If you are applying while in Australia as the holder of another Australian visa, you will generally be granted a subclass 600 Visitor visa if you meet the above requirements, have complied with conditions of your existing visa and are not subject to a `no further stay` condition.
Once this visa has been granted it will generally cancel or cease any other visa that you hold, and will come into effect as soon as it has been granted. You will need to keep this in mind if you hold or are applying for any other type of visa.
Australia has agreements with many nations to allow young travellers to take an extended holiday in Australia and undertake short term work to help fund their trip on a 12-month visa.
Not all passports are eligible, so please contact us to find out if you are an eligible passport holder for either the subclass 417 Working Holiday or subclass 462 Work & Holiday visa. Generally speaking, you need to be between the ages of 18 and 30 (or 35 years for some countries – please contact us for more information). You may not be accompanied by any dependent children on this visa.
For subclass 462 work and holiday visas, you must also meet education and English level requirements and you may need a letter of support from your government or tertiary education provider.
The working holiday visas will allow you to work up to 6 months at a time with any one employer. In some jobs, and regional areas, there may be opportunities to work longer.
You may be eligible to extend your working holiday visa by up to three years if you complete work in certain roles and industry sectors in regional Australia.
Please contact us to find out more about these working holiday visas and how we can help you.