Australia Visa Application Checklist
- When applying for an Australian visa, knowing which one is required is paramount.Australia image by Stefano Maccari from Fotolia.com
The Australian government offers several types of visas depending upon a traveler's reason for visiting and their length of stay. Visa application requirements and the required substantiating documents can vary depending upon the type of visa that is issued. The Australian government offers visas for tourism, education, employment and humanitarian purposes. Even within each of these categories there are several types of visas available. In addition to meeting visa requirements, anyone seeking entry into Australia must possess a valid and approved travel document such as a passport, and a completed and signed Incoming Passenger Card.
Tourism Visa, Short Visit
- Australia offers several tourist visas to anyone wishing to visit for "a holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit relatives, friends or for other short-term non-work purposes." The ETA (subclass 976) is a short term tourist visa for stays of up to three months. The eVisitors (subclass 651) visa is for tourist or business visits of less than 3 months, however it is limited to citizens of the European Union and a few other European countries. While there is no fee for either visa, there is a $20 AUD service charge for the ETA. There is no service charge for the eVisitors visa. Applications for all tourist visas can be lodged online at the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Citizenship website with a valid, unexpired passport and a major credit card. Online applications must be submitted from outside the country. If an applicant doesn't want to apply online, they can complete the process through a travel agent or by way of an Australian visa office outside of Australia.
Tourism Visa, Long Visit
- Any traveler wishing to visit Australia for a period longer than three months will need to apply for a Tourist (subclass 676) visa and provide supporting documents. The application process for a long visit is significantly more cumbersome than that of the process associated with short visits. In addition to documenting sufficient funds for the duration of their stay, any traveler wishing to apply for a Tourist (subclass) 676 visa must complete the visa application (Form 48 or Form 48R depending on country of citizenship), a consent form if a child under 18 is traveling without both parents, a valid, unexpired passport, a certified copy of the traveler's birth certificate, a recent passport-size photo, and health, character and penal requirements as stipulated by the government.
- There are a few visa options available to anyone wishing to travel to Australia on business-related matters. For stays of up to three months the ETA (Business Entrant) (Subclass 956 and 977) is available to citizens of certain countries. Those who are from the EU are reminded to use the eVisitors (subclass 651) visa, which is approved for tourism or business purposes. The service charge, required application and supporting documents depend upon the subclass of visa necessary to complete the business visit. For the ETA Short Validity (subclass 977) visa, which allows business people to make a short business visit to Australia such as for a conference, negotiation, business-related meeting, seminar, convention, networking or exploratory business visit, a $20 AUD service charge and a valid passport is required. The application can be completed online, through a travel agent or at an Australian visa office. However, for those who are not eligible for the ETA (Business Entrant) Short Validity (subclass 977) visa, either because of citizenship requirements or otherwise, they must complete Form 456 and submit it in person at an Australian visa office, pay a visa application charge of $104 AUD, provide evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay and, in some cases, provide evidence of why they need to visit Australia on business.