Visa requirements for going to Australia

Visa requirements for going to Australia
Updated 2019-07-30 12:17

When travelling to Australia, it is necessary to get a visa from the Department of Immigration before confirming your overseas travel. Types of visas vary according to the length of stay in Australia, how long you intend to stay, and the home country of the applicant, so it is best to consult with the Department of Immigration if you are unsure as to what visa is applicable to you.

The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa

The ETA visa is the most common tourist visa for visitors coming to Australia for up to three months. The ETA is not a physical visa or label in your passport; rather, the visa is stored electronically and tied to your passport number. You can apply for this visa online, and the application process is easy and straightforward. The average processing time is less than one day. The ETA allows visa holders to travel to Australia as many times as needed, within 12 months of the approval date, for stays of up to three months each time.

Besides, the immigration officials, airlines and travel agents can see proof of this visa online, allowing them to assist with booking travel to the country. This is important as airlines are not authorised to allow passengers to board flights to Australia unless they can see proof that an appropriate visa has been obtained.

The visa covers tourism and limited business purposes. As per the Department of Immigration, business purposes related to the ETA Visa include:

Making general business or employment enquiries.
Investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract.
Activities carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit.
Participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, as long as you are not being paid by the organisers for your participation.

Applying and conditions

To apply for this visa, you must have a valid passport for each person who will be travelling. Currently, there is an AUD 20 service fee per applicant. All members of the family or party - even children - must have their own visa. If you have any criminal convictions in your home country, you are not eligible for this visa and should apply for the Visitor Visa (subclass 600) instead. You also must not have any debts to the Australian government when applying for this visa. Other conditions include health requirements, to maintain Australia's high health standards, and character requirements (which ties in with any criminal offences you may have). You must also only intend to stay temporarily in Australia and adhere to the conditions and period attached to your visa.

While in Australia on an ETA Visa, you are not covered by Medicare, Australia's national health care system. Therefore, it is essential to have your own health and travel insurance for the duration of your visit.

You can apply for an ETA if you hold a passport from:

Hong Kong (SAR of China)
Republic of San Marino
South Korea
Taiwan (excluding official or diplomatic passports)
The Netherlands
United Kingdom'British Citizen
United Kingdom'British National (Overseas)
United States of America
Vatican City

You can't apply with a non-citizen passport, certificate of identity or other travel document. If you are not on the above list, please check the Home Affairs web page for a variety of visas.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.