In an earlier article, I already told you a bit more about the work visa for Australia, a proof that you need if you want to do paid work during your stay Down Under as well as traveling. However, there is also another option, namely the tourist visa Australia. This visa is recommended if you have enough money for your trip, or if you want to visit family or acquaintances, for example.
In any case, let one thing be clear: without a visa, you will not enter Australia and even the plane. Also, know that if you have a criminal record, there is a chance that your visa application will not be approved.
Which tourist visas are available in Australia?
You can choose from two different visas: one for 90 days and one that is valid for a maximum of 12 months.
- 90-day visa (eVisitor, subclass 651): this visa is entirely free but cannot be extended. Ideal for a (long) holiday or a visit to friends or acquaintances. Paid work is, in any case, strictly prohibited.
- The eVisitor visa is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The good thing is that you can travel in and out of Australia as often as you want. A maximum stay of 3 months is allowed per visit.
- If you want to stay longer? Then apply for a visa for a period of 6 to 12 months at least two weeks before your current visa expires.
Once your application has been approved, you will be allowed to enter Australia. If you have a foreign background, the Australian migration service may ask for some additional information.
You can also opt for a subclass 601, although this has no advantages over the eVisitor visa. You pay $ 20 for it while the eVisitor visa is free.
3, 6, or 12 months (subclass 600): depending on the options you choose, the costs are between $ 135 and $ 340. In addition to the number of months, a distinction is also made as to whether you may enter Australia one or more times.
If you request a 600 subclass for 12 months, you have the option of entering and leaving Australia in the first half of the year as often as you wish.
Good to know is that the visa is extended by 1 year with every entry. Please fill in the application form when you plan to travel in and out of Australia. Whether this request is approved is up to the Australian immigration service.
What does a visa for Australia look like?
Don’t think you need an old-fashioned stamp in your passport. Australia has been using the Electronic Travel Authority since 1996, often also abbreviated with ‘ETA.’
In concrete terms, this means that your ETA is registered after approval. This is recognized upon check-in upon entry into and departure from Australia. So you do not need a visa in your passport.
How long does a visa application take?
As I have already indicated, this is approximately 1 working day for the above visas. However, the application can take longer if additional information is required or if, for example, a medical check has to be done.
Do you need to have already booked a ticket to apply for your visa?
No, this is not necessary. You do need to visit Australia within the specified period. Otherwise, your visa will be invalid.
Is it allowed to do volunteer work with a tourist visa?
Yes, although there is a condition attached to this. The work should not be the primary purpose of your stay in Australia. Helping occasionally with a fun project voluntarily is, therefore, no problem.
Can you be in Australia to apply for a visa?
No, the visa application must be made outside of Australia.
Can I extend my stay in Australia?
Yes, it is possible to extend the 600 subclass tourist visa. You can also choose to convert the eVisitor visa into another visa if you want to stay longer than three months. Consider, for example, the 600 or 417 subclasses (the Working Holiday Visa). In both cases, you will have to submit a new application. You can do this from Australia.
The Australian government indicates that you should contact them at least 14 days before the expiry of your current visa for changing or extending.
If you have a ‘No further stay’ statement (‘condition 8503’), it is not possible to make a new application from Australia.
Also read: working in Australia? Then view these 6 handy tips for a working holiday Down Under .