Australia Tourist Visa and Visitor Visa Options

Travel & Leisure

  • Author Madalina Phillips
  • Published December 9, 2022
  • Word count 1,510

What visa options do you have if you want to come to Australia on a tourist visa ?

The Australian Tourist visa is one of the most utilized visas to travel to Australia. Australia’s tourism industry ranks as one of the most important sources of national income, so it is only natural that the Australian tourist visa would be one of the most versatile. However, simply applying for a tourist visa is not the end of the matter. There are many different facets when it comes to selecting a tourist visa, not the least of which being whether an applicant will be eligible. This is based upon aspects such as what passport the applicant holds, to even whether they are intending to visit Australia for tourism, visit family or business activities.

The subclass 600 Visitor Visa has three stream options. The first is the tourist stream, which allows for an applicant to arrive in Australia for the purpose of engaging in a holiday whether that be general sight-seeing or a cruise vessel, or even seeing friends that live in Australia. The second is the Sponsored Family stream, which is used by applicants that have family members that are already Australian Citizens or Permanent residents, enabling them to go to visit them for a short period of time. Both streams may allow an applicant to remain in Australia for a period of up to 12 months. The third stream, however, is the Business Visitor Stream which usually only allows an applicant to stay for up to three months. This stream is reserved for those that are seeking to engage in a business visitor activity such as business meetings, business conference, trade fair or seminar. Additionally, it does enable a holder to be able to negotiate business contracts or even make employment enquiries. It does not allow for a holder to engage in any work or employment. In-fact, working on this visa is prohibited and if you are found doing so it can lead to cancellation. You can engage in up to three months of training or study while on this Visa, but it cannot exceed that period. If an applicant wants to engage in employment while on holiday, another Visa subclass needs to be utilized such as the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa or TSS visa.

It is also important to bring up that there are two other streams that can become relevant outside of those listed. These are the Approved Destination Status and Frequent Traveller streams. Both of these options are reserved for individuals from the Peoples Republic of China, and only for those that are from certain regions. The approved destination status stream is utilized for the purpose of tourists that are seeking to come to Australia, usually at the behest of an approved travel agent or on a specific tour. Meanwhile, the Frequent Traveller Stream is reserved for those that frequently travel from China to Australia in order to conduct various business similar to the Business Visitor stream. However, this is also utilized primarily by Business holders and is unique compared to other streams. It can offer a period of up to 10 years validity on the visa itself, a substantial leap compared to the other streams that can only offer up to maximum of around 12 months’ time to remain in Australia. Yet, there is a significant caveat attached to this subclass and that is that it can only allow a holder to stay in Australia for periods of 3-month intervals. As such, while the visa itself can be valid for 10 years there is still a limit on the amount of time a visa holder can remain in Australia for before needing to return home.

These are currently the primary options that one could elect to utilize if they wanted to come into Australia in a tourist or visitor capacity. The subclass 600 is the most versatile, offering a variety of streams and the flexibility to travel the country or even visit family members that may be living within Australia. However, if an applicant is seeking to engage in meaningful employment for the purpose of profit while undertaking travel in Australia then they will need to look into the subclasses 417 Working Holiday Visa or 462 Work and Holiday Visa depending on the passport that is held. It is also important to remember that you cannot bring additional dependent applicants on the working these two subclasses, requiring that the applicant come to Australia alone.

Another tourist visa option is the subclass 651 eVisitor Visa which is open to the citizens of the European Union. This visa can be granted for up to 12 months however the visa holder is allowed to stay maximum 3 months after each entry. This visa allows up to 3 months study.

Australian ETA visa or the Electronic Travel Authority is another visa option to travel to Australia. There are two streams of ETA visas: ETA for tourism and ETA for business activities. The Australian ETA visa is available to citizens from the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Hong-Kong, and South Korea. This is an online application and it is valid for 12 months, the allowed length of each stay is 90 days at the time.

For the applicant that wants to be in Australia, but also have the option of engaging in full-time, part-time, or casual employment there are options: Either the subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa or the subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa. These Visas both offer the option of undertaking employment while in Australia for a period of twelve months, enabling for the prospective applicant to be able to earn an income while in Australia for a Vacation period. However, when working in Australia there is a very important limit that needs to be kept in mind. Namely, that the applicant is not able to remain with a single employer for any longer then six months. This is the most common issue that befalls visa holders when on this Visa, especially if they have found an employer that they wish to remain with for a longer-term period.

Both of these Visas also have limits placed on the applicant to disallow dependent children from being brought along as additional applicants. A dependent child is defined as a child, or step-child, that is either below the age of eighteen. Or, if older then eighteen, is dependent on or they are incapable of supporting themselves physically or mentally due to medical reasons.

Both Visas are also known to have limits on them for ages. These can differ depending on the kind of passport holder that an applicant is, but traditionally the visa holder must be between 18 at minimum and 35 years of age at most to be eligible for these two subclasses. Where both subclasses differ amongst one another is in the passports that one must hold. A subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa may only take applicants from the following countries that are laid out in the legislation. These nations include, but are not limited to: Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Conversely, a Subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa has a different set of passports that are eligible for this visa subclass that are laid out within their own legislative instrument. The passports you’ll find here include, but are not limited to: The United States, The Peoples Republic of China, Thailand, Brazil, and Poland.

Prior to the creation of the subclass 600 there was the subclass 676 tourist Visa. This subclass originally offered opportunities for those similar to the ones found within the tourist stream, enabling an applicant to be able to enter Australia and experience the country. However, it has since been closed and applications for it are no longer offered. While it is discontinued it is a common search result for prospective applicants, and it can create confusion if looking for tourist Visas. Therefore, it is important to bring up that this is no longer a valid visa subclass for the foreseeable future. Many of the roles that it fulfilled are now held by the subclass 600 visitor visa which can be seen as its replacement.

Tourist visa can be applied for inside of Australia, usually as an extension of a current tourist visa, or outside of Australia. For a stay longer than 3 months, the applicant may be required to have passed the health requirement. This is to ensure that the applicant does not require serious medical attention at the detriment to Australian citizens, or even put strain knowingly upon the Australian medical system. The applicant must be of good character to be able to meet the character requirements. Finally, the applicant will need to prove that they have suitable funds to be able to support themselves throughout the duration of the visa. This is to ensure that once a prospective applicant arrives, they will not be stranded, or even be unable to support themselves and require financial aid to be able to survive in the country for the period of time stated.

The OMARA registered migration agents from VISA LOUNGE can manage the entire tourist visa application on your behalf, contact us today.

VISA LOUNGE is a boutique Australian migration firm, providing the highest standard of service, advice and assistance on visa and migration matters. We excel in migration planning and strategy.

We work with both corporate and private clients advising employers and individuals, located in Australia or anywhere in the world.

Worldwide: +61 7 3040 8444

Email: info@visalounge.com.au

Web: www.visalounge.com.au

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