The Australian visa application solely relies on the applicants intent of visitation – be it for tourism, business, work, studying, or paying a relative a visit. Persons who possess passports of more than one country have no difficulty in procuring visa with ease online, whereas others may take on a manual process of submitting paper application at Embassies or Consulates in person.
What Is an Australian Visa?
An Australian Visa is an authorisation that grants applicants travel to Australia for a period of time determined in advance. Dissimliar to many a countries, Australia issues no visa stamps or labels on applicants passport. In lieu, visa privileges are documented electronically on an online database and upon arrival at Australia, the immigration officer will check the database to find out whether you have a visa.
Do I Need a Visa for Australia?
In exemption of New Zealanders (who are opportuned to acquire a visa on arrival), everyone else must mandatorily apply for a visa or authorization before they travel to Australia. For short-term visits, you can get an eVisitor, an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), or a visitor visa, depending on your nationality:
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
Visitor Visa (Tourist Stream, Subclass 600)
European Union countries
All other countries.
Hong Kong (SAR PRC)
On the other hand, for long-term intent such as studying or working, everyone in exemption of New Zealanders will have to get the relevant visa.
Australian Visa Policy for New Zealanders
Citizens of New Zealand can visit, establish a business, study, work, and reside in Australia without prior visa application. New Zealander are eligible for the Special Category Visa (subclass 444), which can be gotten upon arrival.
After residing in Australia for the duration of five years, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency, on the condition that you meet all other requirements, such as income, health and security checks. But you may continue to live in Australia even with just an SCV as it does not have a maximum duration.
How to Get an Australian Visa?
An Australian visa can be gotten online or through an Australian Embassy/Consulate, based on applicants nationality throughthe following:
- Application for the eVisitor through the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ online service.
- Application for the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) through the official ETA portal of the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
- Application for australian visa either online or in-person at an Embassy or Consulate.
Do I Need to Submit Original Documents?
Submission of original documents for an Australian visa is not a necessity. If executing application online, scan necessary documents and attach them as electronic files. If application is manual as in paper, then certified copies should be submitted. Meaning copies of your documents ought to be made, and sent to a renowned person for certification, and “This is a certified true copy of the original as sighted by me” must be written.
Certification if documents cannot be done by everyone. It has to be an Australian citizen or a non-Australian who works in one of the “eligible professions”, like doctors, judges, clerks of court, bank officers, police officers, etc.
See the required documents for an Australian visa and who is eligible to certify them for you.
When Should I Apply For a Visa?
The time to start application process for an Australian visa depends on the kind of visa you are applying for:
- Application for a tourism visa should be processed at least a month before the planned trip, but you may consider giving it time. Despite the fact that a lot of applications are handled in a space of few weeks, there are other tourism visa applications handling that span for more than four months.
- For an eVisitor or ETA application, the application process can be carried out a week prior to the trip.
- Application for a long-term visa, such as a work visa, you will have to start the process as early as you can since they can take months to over a year to complete.
Who Issues Australian Visas?
The authority that assesses and decides all visa applications is known as the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Australian Visa Types
Australian visas are split into the following categories:
- Visitor visas. This group is for short-term travellers who do not intend to permanently reside in Australia and it includes the following visas and travel authorizations:
- Tourist Visa (Subclass 600)
- Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601)
- eVisitor (Subclass 651)
- Medical Treatment Visa (Subclass 602)
- Study and training visas. This group contains visas for international students, trainees, interns, as well as parents or guardians of underage international students:
- Student Visa (Subclass 500)
- Training Visa (Subclass 407)
- Student Guardian Visa (Subclass 590)
- Parent visas. This particular kind of visas is issued to the parents of Australian citizens, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizens, and are split into the following types:
- Parent Visa (Subclass 103)
- Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804)
- Contributory Aged Parent Visas (Subclass 884 and subclass 864)
- Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 173) – Temporary
- Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143)
- Family visas. This category of visas is issued to the underage or adult dependent relatives, or carers of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens. It is divided into:
- Adoption Visa (Subclass 102)
- Aged Dependent Relative Visas (Subclass 114 and subclass 838)
- Carer Visas (Subclass 836 and subclass 116)
- Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)
- New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa (Subclass 461) – Temporary
- Orphan Relative Visas (Subclass 117 and subclass 837)
- Remaining Relative Visas (Subclass 115 and subclass 835)
- Partner visas. This kind of visas are issued to the spouses, de facto partners, or prospective spouses of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens, and is divided into:
- Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
- Partner Visa (Subclass 309) – Provisional
- Partner Visa (Subclass 100) – Migrant
- Partner Visa (Subclass 820) – Temporary
- Partner Visa (Subclass 801) – Permanent
- Humanitarian visas. These types of visas are issued to refugees who fulfil Australia’s protection obligations and are divided into:
- Refugee Visa (Subclasses 200, 201, 203, and 204)
- Global Special Humanitarian (Subclass 202)
- Protection Visa (Subclass 866)
- Temporary Protection Visa (Subclass 785)
- Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Subclass 790)
- Bridging visas. These types of visas is issued to permit the holder to stay in Australia while their immigration application is being processed. Based on the circumstances involved, they are split into:
- Bridging visa A – BV (Subclass 010)
- Bridging visa B – BVB (Subclass 020)
- Bridging visa C – BVC (Subclass 030)
- Bridging visa E – BVE (Subclass 050 and 051)
- Work visas. These types of visas permit the holder to work in Australia legally. Based on the kind of work, be it professional or domestic, they are split into:
- Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858)
- Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)
- Permanent Residence Visa (Subclass 191) – Skilled Regional
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187)
- Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) – Provisional
- Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
- Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
- Skilled Recognised-Graduate Visa (Subclass 476)
- Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887)
- Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) – Provisional
- Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)
- Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)
- Temporary Work Visa (Subclass 403) – International Relations
- Temporary Work Visa (Subclass 400) – Short Stay Specialist
- Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)
- Business and investment visas. This kind of visas are issued to business owners who wish to operate an existing or new business or invest in Australia. Based on the state of things, they are divided into:
- Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 888) – Permanent
- Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188) – Provisional
- Business Owner (Subclass 890)
- Business Talent Visa (Subclass 132) – Permanent
- Investor Visa (Subclass 891)
- State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa (Subclass 892)
- State or Territory Sponsored Investor Visa (Subclass 893)
- Work and holiday visas. These kinds of visas are issued to citizens of certain countries who have a work and holiday agreement with Australia:
- Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)
- Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
- Transit visa (subclass 771). This visa allows the holder to pass through Australia for 72 hours maximum.
- Special Category Visa (subclass 444)
- Resident Return Visas ( Subclass 155 and 157)
- Declaratory Visa
Can I Appeal a Visa Refusal?
If your Australian visa is repudiated, then you can make a plea to reassess the decision to the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Make sure to appeal as early as you can upon reception of the repudiated letter, as consideration will not be accorded if waiting is elongated. You mostly have 7 - 28 days to make an appeal.
Your visa rejection letter will inform you on your eligibility status for an appeal, if qualified the time and means to do so will be stipulated.
After Visa is Gotten
If you receive an Australian tourist visa, a Visa Grant Number will be sent to accompany it. This number can be used to examine your visa’s details on the VEVO system (Visa Entitlement Verification Online). A visa stamp on your passport will not be giving to you because all your information is available on an online database.
Nonetheless, it is imperative to print out the visa grant notice and have it in possession with you when you travel. This letter conveys the information you need for your visa. The immigration officer at the airport will run an examination on your visa status on the online database using your ImmiAccount or visa number.
How Long Is the Processing Time for an Australian Visa?
The processing time for an Australian visa is based on the kind of visa the applicant desires. Generally, most tourist stream visa applications are handled within a duration of few weeks, to a maximum of 4 months – but it could also take lesser time to process if all requirements are in order.
As for long-term visa applications, such as work visa, it can take several months to more than a year, based on the type of visa.
Do I Have to Provide Biometrics For my Visa Application?
Biometrics submission is necessitated (visa picture and fingerprints) if:
- Visa you are applying for biometrics are obligatory.
- Country you are applying from biometrics are obligatory.
Do I Need Travel Health Insurance for Australia?
For long-term visas, having a proper Australian health insurance coverage is always a prerequisite. For visitor visas, it is optional to get health insurance, but the Australian government strongly advises travellers to do so.
How Long Can I Stay in Australia With a Valid Visa?
Assuming you are visiting Australia for vacation or other short-term purposes, you can stay up to three months at a time:
- An eVisitor and ETA is valid for one year from the issued date. This one year duration, you are opportuned to travel at will to the country for a couple of times as long as your stay does not exceed three months at each visit.
- A Tourist Stream Visa is issued for three, six, or twelve months.
Work, study, and other long-term visas can be issued from a few months - five years, depending on circumstances surrounding the applicant.
How Long Do You Have To Leave Australia Before Returning?
On the instance of you having possession of an ETA or eVisitor, there are no laid down rules on how long you need to be away from Australia before you return. You have to be cautious of leaving the country before your said three (3) months are up. Upon return, you can stay for another three months, provided that you do not surpass your visa’s one-year validity.
Also, take note that you are not permitted to work in Australia with an ETA, eVisitor, or a tourist visa and that you cannot pursue a course of study that will elapse the stipulated three months.
Can I Extend an Australian Visa?
Assuming you are already in Australia and you want to elongate your stay, you can apply for a new visa at least two weeks before your current visa in use becomes invalid – as long as the visa does not have a “No Further Stay” notice. Meaning you cannot extend or apply for a new visa if you have entered using a tourist visa (which has a “No Further Stay”), except you are tied down by extraordinary circumstances beyond your control.
Once application for a distinct visa type is made, a Bridging Visa is received by the applicant, which permits applicant to stay in Australia until a decision is agreed upon by the Immigration Authority.
Read: Australia Visa Extension
How Long Can You Stay After Your Visa Expires?
Except application for another kind of visa is processed, living in Australia after expiration of visa is not permitted. Assuming you stay longer than expected, be it just a few days, it will be documented in your immigration record which could have a negative effect on visa applications in the future.
If you outstay your visa for longer than 28 days, you could be subjected to an interview by immigration authorities on your exit, and unfortunately get a three-years travel ban.
Normally, if having outstayed was for a valid reason exceptions are made.
How Much Does an Australian Visa Cost?
The amount of money paid for an Australian visa is based on the type of visa, the method of application, and the duration of your stay:
- Visit visa (tourist stream): AUD 145
- eVisitor and ETA: Free of charge, except for a AUD 20 service fee
- Student visa: AUD 620
- Training visa: AUD 310
- Work visa: AUD 310 to AUD 4,045 depending on the visa
Can I Get a Refund If I Withdraw My Visa Application?
Assuming you withdraw your Australian visa application, most likely you are not going to get a reimbursement. Visa application withdrawal can only be reimbursed in one of the following instances:
- The applicant or a close relation of the applicant has passed away.
- A similar visa has been issued to the applicant.
- Only for parent visa applications: The applicant has applied for a different Australian parent visa type, and eager to hear a decision on the second application.
Should in case your visa application is rejected, a reimbursement will not be sent.
How to Check Visa Validity And Conditions?
The Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) can be used to verify the details and conditions of your visa. To access VEVO, one of the following is needed:
- Transaction Reference Number (TRN) – this is the number gotten upon commencement of the online visa application.
- Visa Grant Number – this number is given when application for visa is successful.
- Visa Evidence Number – this number is gotten if for some reason, a visa label is not attached to your passport.
Also, you will have to fill in the following details: your birthdate, passport number, and country of nationality.
How Do I Find Out About The Progress of My Application?
Application status can be monitored through the ImmiAccount if application was registered online. As the Department of Home Affairs assesses your application, the process on your account will be updated, as follows:
- Incomplete – if visa application has not been finished.
- Ready to submit – if application is completed, but yet it has not been submitted.
- Submitted – the application is submitted.
- Received – application has been received by the DHA.
- Initial assessment – application assessed by the DHA.
- Further assessment – when additional information is requested for submission by the DHA.
- Finalised – a decision has been agreed upon and you will get notification by email or post as early as possible.
How Can I Pay For My Visa?
When application is carried out online, visa fee is paid through applicants credit or debit card (such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club or JCB). In an instance were you appear at the Embassy or Consulate in person for application, the office will give directives on how to pay the fee.
What If I Make a Mistake During My Application?
For visa application online submission, you ought to be careful as to not submit it with any mistakes. If you observe a mistake before finalizing your application and making payment for the visa, you can simply alter it. If observation is not altered until after submission, there's likelihood of resubmission which will attract repayment of the visa fee again.
The advantage an applicant has at all times is before final submission of the application, there is definitely a chance to review it once more, scan through to identify errors and make necessary corrections.
Bear in mind that wrong details filled in passport, could cause mishap for applicant at the border.