There are various types of Australian visa required for travel to the country, depending on the nationality of the applicant, the purpose of the visit, and the length of the stay.
Citizens of 45 eligible countries are able to complete the simple online Australian visa application and obtain one of two electronic Australian visa types, the ETA or eVisitor visa for Australia.
Both the ETA and eVisitor visa allow eligible citizens to visit Australia multiple times within a one-year period, with a maximum 90-day stay allowed with each entry. It allows travel to Australia on a holiday or as part of a cruise, to visit friends and family, or for a business trip.
Valid business activities with the online visa types for Australia include:
- Making general business or employment inquiries
- Investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract
- Making an official government visit
- Participating in a conference, trade fair or seminar (as long as the applicant is not being paid by organisers to take part)
These types of visa for Australia also allow holders to study or train for up to 3 months, but not if studying is the main reason for the trip.
Those not eligible to apply for an Australia eVisa, as well as those wishing to stay for more than 3 months, will require one of the more traditional Australian visa types. This could be an Australia visitor visa for tourism or business, a study visa, or a work visa, depending on the purpose of their stay.
The ETA Australia (subclass 601) is the type of Australian visa valid for passport holders from Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. It is valid for a 90-day consecutive stay in Australia within a 12-month period, for tourism, transit or business purposes. Citizens from European countries or Taiwan are not eligible to apply for this visa, and instead, the eVisitor for Australia will be required.
The eVisitor (subclass 651), like ETA, is valid for a 90-day consecutive stay in Australia within a 12-month period, for tourism, transit or business purposes. The eVisitor is only valid for passport holders of European Union member states, as well as citizens of Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City.
The Tourist visa (subclass 676) has recently been replaced by the new Visitor visa (subclass 600) for tourism. Those who want to get a visa online for touristic purposes can apply for the ETA or the eVisitor, if from an eligible country.
The Visitor visa (subclass 600) can be obtained by eligible citizens from an Australian Embassy or Consulate, for purposes of tourism or business.
Those visiting Australia as a tourist, to go on a cruise, or to see family and friends can be granted a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months, while eligible parents of Australian citizens might be granted a longer validity period. The maximum period of stay with the Australian Visitor visa for business is 3 months.
The transit visa (subclass 771) allows eligible passport holders to transit through Australia on the way to another destination. The transit visa allows travellers to stay in Australia for up to 72 hours until their connecting flight, as long as they have a confirmed booking and permission to travel to their final destination.
However, those who obtain some type of Australia visa online (either the ETA or eVisitor for Australia) will not need to apply for a separate transit visa. The Australia online visa allows for multiple entries, including for transit, during a 12-month period of validity.
No matter which Australian visa type is required, it is advised to submit a visa application in advance of making other arrangements for the trip, such as booking flights or arranging accommodation.