Australia is an ideal destination for family holidays. Not only is it a very safe country with a great quality of life but it also offers great activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. There’s plenty to do outdoor in Australia — from discovering the world of koalas and kangaroos to watching the famous Sydney NYE fireworks and learning how to surf, your kids definitely won’t get bored Down Under.
Australia is also a welcoming country: locals are very friendly and will be delighted to help you have the time of your life. However, the country has strict border control policies and everyone wishing to enter its territory will need to apply for and obtain a visa prior to departure. If you decide to travel to Australia and you’re not an Australian passport holders, you will need to get a visa for yourself and your family.
Many parents may wonder whether their children can be added to their visa or they will need to apply for a separate travel authorization. This article will explain how to travel to Australia with kids so that you will go through passport controls hassle-free.
Can I Bring My Child to Australia?
Of course, you can bring your whole family with you for a trip to Australia. All foreigners, regardless of their age, must hold a valid visa in order to enter the country. The type of Australian visa that you and your children will need to apply for will depend on your specific circumstances, nationality, and travel plans.
If you are visiting Australia for tourism short-term, the quickest and easiest visas you may be able to apply for are the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and the eVisitor visa.
At the border, each foreigner will need to present a printed copy of their visa to the border control officers together with the passport they used during the application and the Incoming Passenger Card they will have been provided with during travel.
Australian Visas for Minors: the ETA
The Australian ETA is an electronic permission to travel. This means that you won’t need to visit an Australian embassy or consulate and will be able to apply for your travel authorization completely online. As long as you have access to a reliable internet connection and keep your supporting documents at hand, you should be able to complete the ETA application in minutes.
Unless they hold an Australian passport, your children will need to apply for a separate ETA. Each minor will have to submit an individual ETA application and all applicants will need to meet the visa requirements for Australia.
- If the minor has their own passport: help your child complete their separate ETA application and enter their passport details.
- If the minor is on their parent’s passport: help your child complete their individual ETA application. Enter your passport details — or the details of the passport where the minor is featured — but use the minor’s personal information ( name, date of birth, sex, country of birth) as they appear on the passport.
How Can Minors Apply for the eVisitor Visa for Australia?
The ETA travel authorization and eVisitor visa for Australia are very similar in their requirements and application process. Again, the eVisitor application can be completed entirely online from anywhere in the world. You’ll only need your passport, a valid email address, the application fee, and relevant supporting documents.
All travelers need to submit a separate eVisitor application if they wish to travel to Australia with this visa. Therefore, all your children must complete an individual application.
- If the minor has their own passport: help your child complete their eVisitor visa application and use the information in their passport.
- If the minor is on their parent’s passport: help your child submit their eVisitor visa application. Copy your passport details such as date of issue and expiry date but use your child’s personal information ( name, date of birth, sex, country of birth) as they appear on the passport.
Can I Sponsor My Child to Australia?
Please note that it’s not possible to sponsor family members on short-term visas like the ETA and eVisitor visas. As mentioned before, each family member must obtain their own travel permit.
However, in many cases, it’s possible for parents on permanent visas to sponsor their children for migration purposes to Australia. This is not an automatic process and there’s no guarantee that the application will be granted. Besides meeting all the legal requirements for migration to Australia, the child must:
- Be a natural, adopted or step child of an Australian citizen or of the holder of an Australian permanent visa, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- Be dependant on the sponsor. This means that the child must depend completely or in great part on the sponsor for financial support
- Be under 25 years of age when the application is submitted. If the kid is over 18, they must also be a full-time student and financially dependent on the sponsor
- Be unmarried, not engaged, and not in a de-facto relationship.