Wednesday 10 September 2014

Australia Visitor Visa

People travelling to Australia might have various reasons for e.g. holiday, sightseeing, visiting a relative or a friend, business visitor or a short – term non work things like medical checkups etc. Whether the visit is for less than 72 hours or for years visitor visa is definitely required.
Under this category there are various sub classes:

Visitor (Subclass 600)

This visa allows a person to visit Australia for business purposes, visit family, or on a tour from a registered agent from the People’s Republic of China for up to 3, 6 or 12 months.  Application charges range from AUD 130 to AUD 335 but the person carrying passports can avail for a free or cheaper visa.  Application can be submitted either online or on paper.

Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601)

This visa allows a person to visit Australia as a business visitor he/she can enter Australia as many times up to a year and stay for 3 months for each visit.  Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can be granted to a person outside Australia and who holds a passport of his country.  Only certain passport holders can apply for this online for e.g. passport holders of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and United States.  Travel agents might be required for applying for ETA.  When ETA is applied and decided then the person should be outside Australia. 

Person must apply for ETA 2 weeks before the travel date.  No stamp would be given on the person’s passport but instead a confirmation for records would be provided to the passenger.  A Transaction Reference Number (TRN) would be provided to the passenger whose application is lodged.  Passport, email address and credit card would be required for paying up the service charges.  However, a person who cannot apply online can apply for an ETA in their nearest Immigration office outside Australia or take assistance from travel agents, airlines etc.  Person can also use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check for visa details and entitlements.  Visitor should take health insurance while travelling.  Person with criminal convictions would be refused an ETA.   Person should have no debts towards the Australian Government.  Each family member travelling along will have to apply for a separate ETA including children below 18 years of age.  Once the application is processed then the applicant would be immediately informed. 

E Visitor (Subclass 651)

This is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia. People holding a valid passport and making trips for business purpose or just to visit for a period of 3 months in 12 month duration can be granted an ETA. People can travel for holiday, study in Australia for up to 3 months, can volunteer to work for tourism related schemes.  An e-visitor is linked to the passport no of the traveller so he/she should carry the same passport.  If a new passport is issued then the authorities should be advised.  While in Australia, if a person gets new passport then he does not need to apply for another e-visitor provided the earlier one is still valid.  There is no charge for applying for this subclass. Visitors are requested to fulfil the health requirements (should not have active tuberculosis), should carry a health insurance, should not be convicted and should not hold any debt towards Australia. Separate e-visitor would be required for each member of the family travelling. Once the application is processed notification is provided to the traveller. They should keep safely the e-visitor grant no, date when it starts and the conditions. If the application is not accepted then an email would be sent with the decision.

Special Category Visa (Subclass 444)

This visa is a temporary visa that allows a New Zealand Citizen to stay and work in Australia. If a person has a valid passport, is a citizen of New Zealand, shows completed incoming passenger card and meets the health and character requirements then this visa type can be granted on arrival. Although Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with New Zealand but it is advisable to carry health insurance for items not covered by the agreement.  Applicants above 16 years can be asked to furnish police certificate from their native country and biometrics (scientific form of identification). On arrival the passenger needs to show his New Zealand passport, fill up the incoming passenger card, meet the health and character requirements and thereafter visa would be granted. This visa type is recorded electronically and passport is stamped showing the date of arrival. If a person uses Smart Gate automated border processing system at the Australian Airport, then he would be advised by Smart Gate that visa has been issued.

Some of the other circumstances where a person can apply for this category visa are: enter Australia on any other passport, become a New Zealand citizen after arrival in Australia, enter on any other visa about to end. If a person has ‘no application further’ condition on his visa then he cannot apply for this category. This category visa cannot be applied before arrival in Australia. There is no application charge but other costs have to be incurred in making police and health certificates by the applicant. In relation to applying for this visa (not in Immigration clearance) the department has service standards relating to the time it takes to process the visa.  Person can be asked to provide additional information or interviewed on a given date.  If a person wishes to withdraw the application then a letter can be sent to the Immigration office.  This visa is valid from the time the person enters Australia till the time he leaves the country. 

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (Subclass 461)

This visa allows a person who is not a citizen of New Zealand to stay in Australia with his/her family member who is a citizen of New Zealand, holds a Special Category Visa (subclass 444) and is either living or accompanying the person. Person can apply for this visa in or outside Australia. This visa allows a person to stay and work in Australia for a period of 5 years from the date the visa is granted. Applicant and his family member should have a valid passport. 

Applicant must be related to the New Zealand Citizen in some way such as spouse, dependent child, relative etc. Certain health and character requirements need to be met. This visa can be applied for while staying in Australia and also outside the country. Necessary forms have to be filled and relevant documents should be submitted in the native Immigration office. Visa authorities take their time in processing the application and they advise the applicant about the status accordingly.

For further information please refer or send an email to


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