For your trip to Australia, you need a valid visa, and you can choose between different categories. Learn about the most common Australian visas and how to get the right one quickly and cheaply.
Every visitor to Australia who is not an Australian citizen needs an entry permit to enter the country. However, you don't have to get a sticker at the embassy for this because, nowadays, there are fast and uncomplicated online application procedures.
Since 1994, a simplified Australian entry law has been in effect for citizens of the so-called eVisitor countries. Passport holders from these countries are considered to already hold a valid Australia visa before the law and do not have to go through the entire visa process.
Instead, they can qualify for an Australian entry permit (eVisitor) before they arrive. This online visa is valid for tourism and business travel, participation in short-term study programs, and certain volunteer work only.
The eVisitor visa is stored electronically with Australian authorities and replaces the former visa sticker in the passport. Countries with eVisitor eligibility include:
|Visa for Australia: eligible eVisitor countries
* Individuals with passports from British Overseas Territories cannot apply for an eVisitor.
When searching for a suitable visa for Australia, you will find the term ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) in addition to the term eVisitor (which is the most commonly used online visa for Australia).
The ETA is also an entry permit for Australia, with exactly the same rights and validity periods as the eVisitor visa. The differences lie only in the eligible countries and expenses:
Although nationals from some eVisitor countries could theoretically apply for an ETA, they would need to use a travel agent, airline, specialized service provider, or Australian visa office to do so. Therefore, it makes little sense to apply for an ETA for Australia when you are an eVisitor beneficiary.
To get the online entry permit for Australia (eVisitor), you have to fulfill other requirements besides your citizenship in one of the 36 eVisitor countries. These are related to your intention to travel, the planned length of stay, and some personal characteristics.
You are eligible to apply for an eVisitor for Australia if you are arriving by air or (cruise) ship. This does not include military aircraft or naval vessels.
To obtain an eVisitor visa, your passport must have been issued in one of the 36 eVisitor countries and be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
You can use the eVisitor visa for Australia only for tourist purposes, short business trips, or participation in short training courses of up to three months. This Australian visitor visa, therefore, does not entitle you to work or study in Australia.
With an Australian eVisitor visa, you may stay in Australia for a maximum of three months at a time. However, you are allowed to enter Australia several times within the validity period of one year.
You may only enter Australia on an eVisitor if you meet the physical, mental, and biographical requirements. The following conditions apply:
If you meet all these criteria and come from one of the eVisitor countries, nothing stops you from getting your eVisitor approval.
If you want to travel to Australia on an eVisitor visa, you will need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
If your passport is not valid for a long enough period before applying for your eVisitor visa, please apply for a new passport first before applying for the eVisitor. The permit is valid only in combination with the passport with which it was applied for.
If you want to travel to Australia together with children, then you must also apply for a separate visa for all of them. Even infants need a passport and visa.
You can complete the application for an Australian eVisitor in just a few minutes on the eVisitor application page of our partner, iVisa. Please have your passport and a valid email address ready.
Please note that you must be outside of Australia when applying.
In three steps, you will first create a user account, then fill out your application form, including your personal information, and then receive your travel authorization via email within 12 hours.
On the eVisitor authorization, you will find:
Your eVisitor will be digitally linked to your passport, so border officials will automatically have access to your information when you enter the country. Nevertheless, keep a printout of your eVisitor approval for security.
The eVisitor visa for Australia is valid from the day of travel approval for a total of twelve months but not longer than the end of the validity of your passport. Therefore, when you get a new passport, you will also need to apply for a new eVisitor.
Within the validity period, you can travel to Australia several times for a maximum of three months at a time.
An approved eVisitor visa for Australia entitles you to travel to Australia for personal and business purposes. Permitted activities in Australia include:
With an eVisitor visa, you may not work for or provide services to Australian companies or organizations in Australia. The sale of goods and services to the Australian public is also prohibited for eVisitor visa holders.
An exception to the ban on working in Australia on an eVisitor visa is made for specific volunteer work. For this, you must meet certain requirements:
If your eVisitor application has been rejected after the automatic review by the Australian authorities, you will not necessarily be told the reason. However, you still have a chance to figure it out through an exclusion process.
The reasons for your eVisitor rejection may be as follows:
If the reason for your eVisitor rejection is a clerical error, missing documents, or the incorrect format of uploaded files, you can correct these errors and submit a new eVisitor application ten days after the rejection.
However, if the reason for your rejection is your biography or your current personal or professional circumstances, then a renewed eVisitor application makes little sense. In this case, you should apply for a traditional visa at the embassy.
After a rejection, do not under any circumstances attempt to submit a new eVisitor application with false information. This may result in a permanent entry ban.
When you enter Australia, you must have your travel authorization (e.g., eVisitor or ETA) and a valid passport ready. At the border, you will also need to fill out an "Incoming Passenger Card" (IPC), which will request the following information:
Also, proof of your completed Australia Travel Declaration, which you have completed prior to your arrival as requested by your travel provider or airline, may be required of you again at the border.
The information from the Incoming Passenger Card and the Australia Travel Declaration helps the Australian government to manage customs, quarantine, and immigration matters and is used exclusively for these purposes.
Before entering the country, check the exact import regulations for Australia. There are strict rules for carrying food, plants, medicines, luxury goods, money, and other items.
While filling out the Incoming Passenger Card, it is better to specify more than too few things you are carrying because there are harsh penalties for exceeding or disregarding the import regulations.
Suppose the practical eVisitor visa is not enough for you because you want to work or study in Australia or plan a more extended stay. In that case, there are other visa categories available.
You can choose between different work and holiday visas, student and education visas, family and adoption visas, work and skills visas, investor and career visas, as well as some immigration visas. More detailed information is available on the official website of the Australian government.
Australian visas are divided into so-called "subclasses" and assigned 3-digit numbers. Examples of the most popular long-term visas for Australia:
The "subclass" for the popular eVisitor visa is 651, and the ETA for travelers from Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the USA runs under subclass 601. Visit the Australian government website for more detailed information.
Do you have further questions about the Australian visa experience? Then hopefully, you will find what you are looking for in our FAQ:
You should apply for the eVisitor visa for Australia well in advance of your arrival. A lead time of five days is the minimum. However, we recommend an advance notice of several weeks because longer waiting times can occur at authorities without advance notice in times of crisis.
You can enter Australia until the last day of your eVisitor's validity and stay there for a maximum period of three months. This means that you can apply for a new eVisitor without problems until your old eVisitor expires.
However, keep in mind that the eVisitor is also tied to the validity period of your passport. If your passport expires before the one-year eVisitor validity period, you will need to apply for a new eVisitor visa ahead of time.
Only travelers with an Australian or New Zealand passport are allowed to travel to Australia without a visa.
With an eVisitor or ETA, you are not allowed to work in Australia. Still, you may apply for a special visa to start a professional activity or sell goods or services in Australia. Few exceptions apply for specific volunteer activities.
While the eVisitor visa does not allow you to work in Australia, there are exceptions for certain types of volunteer work. If you want to volunteer, make sure you meet the requirements, such as working for a non-profit organization and not receiving a salary for your services.
If you are traveling to Australia on an eVisitor or ETA, you can only attend short training courses or classes but not pursue long-term studies. Anything shorter than three months is allowed. However, medical training, such as for doctors or nurses, is not permitted.
If possible, you should apply for the visa a few weeks before you plan to travel so that you have enough time to submit any subsequent applications. Although the processing time is usually short, unforeseen circumstances can cause delays.
The eVisitor visa for Australia cannot be extended while you are in Australia. When your eVisitor visa expires, you must leave the country. If you wish to stay longer, you will need to apply for a new visa to suit your intended length of stay and purpose of visit.
Having a criminal record may affect your eVisitor visa application. While minor misdemeanors are not a major problem, more serious convictions may result in a denial. However, it is important that you are honest and accurate when applying for your visa, as providing false information about your criminal history can have serious consequences, including being banned from entering Australia in the future.
You cannot use an eVisitor visa to travel to Australia specifically for medical treatment. If you require medical treatment in Australia, you must apply for a Medical Treatment Visa (Subclass 602), which is designed for this purpose.