What You Need to Know about Australia Visas
A visa is a document or a pass that allows you to enter a country. For foreigners, especially tourists, this is the primary requisite before they can be permitted to enter a country. Visas are registered with the government and the rules that govern them vary from country to country.
In Australia, non-citizens who want to live, visit, or work in the country will need this special pass. This entry requirement in Australia applies to all foreign citizens except New Zealanders; they do not need visas, as they will be issued these documents upon their arrival in Australia.
If you are planning to travel to Australia, you can apply for a visa in different places. The most accessible offices are the Australian embassies located in many countries. You may also visit the offices of High Commissions and Consulates, airlines, and travel agents.
There are four types of Australian visas. One of them is the electronic travel authority or the ETA visa. This type gives you permission to stay in the country for a minimum period of time. You can get this type for business and tourism purposes and it is free of charge.
Another type of visa is the tourist visa. Usually valid for a year, this type of visa allows you to travel to and from the country for a maximum period of three months. This, however, is not free.
If you want to do business, secure a business visa. The length of stay granted depends on what is agreed upon as you consult the Australian visa office. It is normally valid for five years.
For special activities like entertainment shows, company assignments for a time period, and sport competitions, temporary visas are usually issued.
For the ETA visa, you must secure photocopies of your passport’s personal details page. The application documents must be posted or faxed along with a stamped and self-addressed envelope with your contact details to the Australian consulate or embassy in your country along with a fee.
Tourist and business visitors (non-ETA) must submit the tourist visitor visa and business visitor visa application forms, along with a stamped and self-addressed envelope. You must also present a valid passport and pay the fee.
All applicants, regardless of visa type, must initially pass the health requirements.
Tourist ETA’s can be used within twelve months, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. Multiple entries are allowed, with each entry lasting for up to three months. Business ETA’s are valid until your passport expires. ETA’s of Canadian, Spanish, American and French nationals last for twelve months, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. For more information on Australia, read The Guide To Australia.