Australia is an amazing country, unique in every way from it’s scenery, its wildlife and it’s way of life. It is so beautiful and offers so many unforgettable experiences it is no wonder that so many have it on their bucket list of must-see destinations.
It is easy to get carried away choosing all the wonderful things that you will see and do on your trip of a lifetime, and planning is all part of the fun. But the most important part of the planning, aside from booking flights and arranging your itinerary, is to make sure you can actually enter the country in the first place!
And for this you will need to arrange a tourist visa Australia issued in advance of travelling.
There are two types of tourist visa for Australia- which one do I need?
There are two types of tourist visa the ETA visa to Australia and the eVisitor. It is important that you choose the right one. Which is dependant on the country stated as your nationality on your passport.
The ETA visa is for citizens of the USA, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The eVisitor is for citizens of Europe. Aside from this both have many similarities, and both have two types – the tourist visa and the visa for business, which have slightly different things that you will be allowed to do while in Australian territory.
They represent permission to enter Australian territory, and the visas are electronically linked to you passport. They are for short term stays only, and only for tourism or business activities. Both are also valid for one year, with a maximum stay of 3 months per trip, no more. This does mean that you can return to Australia several times during the validity of the visa.
Because the visas are linked to your passport number it is absolutely vital that you use the same passport to travel, otherwise you will be refused entry. If for some reason your passport changes, either because it is lost or stolen or needs to be renewed, then you must apply for a new visa. But don’t worry this doesn’t apply if you lose your passport while in Australia and need to be issued a new one by your embassy you don’t need to renew the visa – it is only to enter the country you need it.
How do I get a tourist visa for Australia
Whichever type of visa you need, the eVisitor or the ETA, you can apply quite easily online for both by filling in the online application form. You will need to apply for a visa per person, even for children and babies included on a parent’s passport. Each person has to have their own visa or will be denied entry.
You need to be resident outside of Australia when you do it, and will need your passport, email address and credit card and your personal details.
You should check before you start that there is not some reason you do not meet the criteria. For example if you have tuberculosis, or a criminal record this can be enough to be refused a visa – or worse issued a visa but the later refused entry.
It is worth doing some research into the reasons why you may not have permission to use this process, and things that might mean you are refused as there are more. As an example, you are not eligible for the eVisitor if your passport is as a British National Overseas, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British Protected PErson or British Subject passport. And this is just one such rule to be aware of.
Once you have completed the online application, it is relatively quick to receive your visa if there are not problems with the application. In most cases the ETA will take a couple of hours to receive an answers, and the eVisitor usually a couple of hours, but for 25% of applicants it can take up to 3 working days. Do not be alarmed if your family members are approved at different intervals, for example hours or a day or two apart. This is perfectly normal and happens because each application is reviewed separately.
Once approved you will receive an email confirmation of everything that you can print or keep on a mobile device for future validation, although you shouldn’t need to show anyone as it is linked to your passport number and this will display when you check in for your flight.. Even though it is very quick, try not to leave it to the very last minute – better to have some peace of mind!
What can I do with my tourist or business visa?
The rules again are very similar regardless of which visa type you need for your nationality. Under the tourist category you can visit for things like visiting the territory for sightseeing and normal tourist activities, or to visit friends and family who may be living there. In addition is also allows you to study for up to 6 months also.
With the business visa, again the things you can do are similar regardless of the type of visa you need. You will be able to conduct business research in order to identify future corporate collaborations. You are also permitted to look for work – with a view to eventually move to Australia permanently – although you must not actually do any paid work.
You will also be able to undertake negotiations, reviews and signing of business or employment contracts, or attend conferences and seminars – as long as you are not paid for attending.
There is one small difference in that the eVisitor for Europeans allows you to also do volunteering work too for either the tourist or business visa. If you wish to stay longer, or undertake paid work you will need to apply for a different type of visa and will not be able to use the ETA or eVisitor process.
All in all for you dream holiday, or for a short business trip – it is very easy to get the visa you need. And all without leaving the comfort of your sofa. So don’t hang about and get it done today.