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Visitor Visas

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adult-elder-elderly-432722-1024x575 Visitor Visas

Visitor visas allow applicants to stay in Australia on a temporary basis for tourism or family visits.

WHAT TYPE OF VISA

  • Visitor Visa subclasses include:
  • ETA Visitor (Subclass 601) Visa – Tourism Stream
  • eVisitor (Subclass 651) Visa – Tourism Stream
  • Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) – Tourism Stream
  • Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) – Family Sponsored Stream
  • ETA Visitor (Subclass 601) Visa

The ETA provides authorisation to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport.

The ETA is an electronically-stored authority for travel to Australia for applicants outside Australia. It replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport and reduces the need for travellers to visit an Australian Embassy. The Australian ETA allows the holder to travel to Australia as many times as required within the validity period which is 12 months from the date of issue. The maximum length of each visit is three months.

While checking in at the airport for your Australian-bound flight, the check-in staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia.

The ETA is allowed for citizens of the following 32 countries – Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Vatican City.

Travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries or regions in order to apply for an ETA online: Brunei – Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, or United States. Otherwise you will need to apply through a travel agent.

EVISITOR (SUBCLASS 651) VISA

You may be eligible for an eVisitor if you: intend to visit Australia only temporarily and for tourism purposes, are outside Australia, hold an eVisitor-eligible passport, and have not been convicted of an offence or offences for which the total sentence is more than 12 months (whether or not the sentence has been served).

You must be outside Australia when you lodge your application for an eVisitor. You do not need to visit an immigration office and you will not receive a stamp or label in your passport. However, you will be given a confirmation for your records.

An eVisitor allows you to enter Australia for tourism or business purposes. You may stay for up to three months during each visit during the 12 months from the date the eVisitor is granted.

While checking in at the airport for your Australian-bound flight, the check-in staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia.

eVisitor-eligible passports are citizen passports issued by the following countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of San Marino, Slovak, Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom – British Citizen, and Vatican City.

VISITOR VISA (SUBCLASS 600) – TOURISM STREAM

This is the most popular visa and stream combination for visitors to Australia.

The Visitor visa (subclass 600) is for people who want to travel Australia as tourists, for business or to visit family. It is a temporary visa. This Tourist stream is for people travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends. If you apply for this visa in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is decided. If you apply for this visa outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.

The Tourism Stream can allow stays of three, six and twelve months. You will not be able to work on this visa.

In order to be granted this visa you will need to show that you are a genuine temporary entrant and that you have adequate means of support throughout your stay.

VISITOR VISA (SUBCLASS 600) – FAMILY SPONSORED STREAM

This is a visa for applicants from high risk countries or with a history of previous refusals. Generally this is the only stream under the Visitor visa where you can appeal a refusal to the AAT. The restrictions on this visa are that you generally cannot apply for another visa without going offshore again and the Department may require your sponsor to provide a bond. The amount of security bond is determined on a case by case basis by a delegated officer and is generally between AUD5,000 and AUD15,000 per person.

The Family Sponsored Stream requires a sponsor that is a ‘close relative’. This is either a relative of the applicant (partner, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or the ‘step’ or adopted equivalent of any of these) or a relative of a person who is a member of the applicant’s family unit and who is also applying for a Visitor visa (such as the partner of your brother or sister). A sponsor must: be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, be older than 18 years of age and have been settled in Australia for a reasonable period (usually more than two years).

The Family Sponsored Stream can allow stays of three, six and twelve months. You will not be able to work on this visa.

• The Visitor visa (subclass 600) Tourist Stream is the only visitor visa that can be applied for within Australia
• The department uses the Modified Non-Return Rate (MNRR) as an indicator of likely compliance and the level of scrutiny to apply to your application. The MNRR is a statistic showing the proportion of people from various countries who arrive in Australia on a Visitor visa but fail to leave before their visa expires, other than people who are granted certain other visas while in Australia.
• Generally each family member will need to apply for their own visitor visa.
• All Visitor visas can be applied for online through the Department’s ImmiAccount portal.
• You may withdraw the application by advising the department in writing at any time before it makes a decision about your application.
• Only the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) Family Sponsored Stream is reviewable at the AAT.
• You will not be able to work on any of these visas.

HOW WE CAN HELP WITH YOUR VISITOR VISA APPLICATION
While generally Visitor Visas are quite straightforward, if you are applying from a high risk country, hold prior refusals, or have an immigration history that includes visa condition breaches, then significant complications can arise. Additionally if you are seeking to apply for a visitor visa in order to later apply for a permanent onshore visa, further issues may arise.

Our Immigration Lawyers can advise you on improving your prospects of success and meeting the relevant criteria. We can apply tried and true strategies to give even the weakest applications the best chance of success. Please contact us today for further information and advice.


This page provides a summary of the Visitor Visa regime as at May 2019. Australian immigration law is complex and it changes on a regular basis. We strongly recommend that you contact us to confirm the requirements for a Visitor Visa and consult with one of our solicitors and Registered Migration Agents.

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