All visitors, except New Zealand nationals, require a visa before arriving in Australia. The purpose of your visit and in some cases your nationality will determine which visa you require. Check the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website before you arrive in Australia to check which visa you require and be aware that some visas can take a while to process.
Your visa is linked to the passport number in your visa application, so you must use the same passport to travel to Australia.
The Australian Visitor visa (Subclass 600) is for people travelling to Australia as a tourist, as a business visitor or to visit family. It is a temporary visa, for stays of 3 – 12 months.
The Visitor visa has five streams: Tourist Stream, Sponsored Family Stream, Business Visitor Stream, Approved Destination Status Stream and Frequent Traveller Stream. The estimated time required to process this visa depends on which visa stream you apply for. More details can be found here.
Travellers holding a Visitor visa cannot work while they are in Australia, and Visitor visas cannot be used to establish ongoing residence in Australia.
For stays of up to three months convenient visa options are an Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) or eVisitor (subclass 651). Only certain passport holders are eligible for these visas. Check your eligibility at the Department of Immigration’s website.
If you wish to study in Australia, there are three visa options. A Student visa (Subclass 500) allows you to study in Australia for up to five years on a full time course, which must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
A Training visa (Subclass 407) allows you to take part in workplace-based occupational training activities or in a professional development training program in Australia. A Student Guardian visa (Subclass 590) allows a person to provide care and support for a student visa holder who is under 18. Find out more about student visas here.
Working Holiday Visas
For young people who want to holiday and work in Australia, there are two visas - the Working Holiday (subclass 417) and the Work and Holiday (subclass 462). The Department of Immigration’s website has more information on these visas. You can also find information on the Work Study Play pages.
Visitors from the People’s Republic of China
For people from the People’s Republic of China who are travelling in an organised tour group, the Approved Destination Status Stream visa application is lodged by your registered ADS travel agent. Valid Chinese ePassport holders are eligible to use the SmartGate self-service at international airports when entering Australia.
Information for Chinese citizens on applying for an Australian visa:
Information for visa applications in China