Top Things You Need to Know About Getting Your Tourist or Business Visa for Australia

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Top Things You Need to Know About Getting Your Tourist or Business Visa for Australia

There are thousands of reasons to visit Australia. The way of life is amazing, the landscape completely unique and awe-inspiring and wildlife like nowhere else in the world. It is modern and forward thinking, with a thriving economy and large metropolitan cities.

So whether you are heading to Australia for that once in a lifetime bucket list holiday, preparing for a longer term move, or need to conduct some business with Australian companies, you will need to arrange a visa for Australia in advance of travelling. Here are some hints and tips to help you.

You can apply online and get it very quickly

Applying for a visa for most people is actually quite simple. You can submit an application form online. You will need to do this for each person travelling – even if that person is a child or baby who travels on their parents passport. If you do not have a visa for each person then the airline you fly with will simply refuse to allow you on the plane.

You also need to be resident outside of Australia when you apply, and should have your passport, email address and credit card to hand.

Just double check before you start that you are eligible for the online process, as there are some groups who are not. For example, anyone with tuberculosis, or with a criminal record could be refused a tourist or business visa. Or in some cases the visa is approved but then later the person is refused entry and deported.

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After submitting the application online, you can expect a response anything between a couple of hours to 3 days, on average around 25% of applicants don’t receive a reply for the full period. So although this is relatively quick compared to other countries visa processes, you still shouldn’t leave it to the very last minute to do!

Do not worry if you have applied for several visa – for family or colleagues travelling with you – and you get a reply for one and not the other. This is normal. Each application is assessed separately and it is not unusual for the visa to be granted hours or days apart.

Approval is by email, which you can print or save on a mobile device for your own peace of mind, but it shouldn’t be needed at check in because it is linked to your passport.

It is linked to your passport, so take care if you get a new one

Each visa is electronically linked to your passport, so you can easily be processed through immigration on starting your journey to Australia and on entering the territory.

The visa is valid for one year, and allows you to stay for up to 3 months per visit. This means that you can leave and return to Australia several times during the validity period. But to do this it is very important that you use the same passport and passport number to travel otherwise you will be refused entry.

For example if for any reason you order a new passport, because it is lost, stolen or expired, you will also need to get a new visa.

The only real exception to this is if you lose your passport while already in Australian territory and have to get a new or temporary one from your embassy. In that circumstance you will not need a new visa – after all you are already in the country. However you will need a new one if you wish to re-enter at a later date.

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There are two types you can apply depending on where you are from

Although very similar there are actually two types of tourist or business visa for Australia. Depending on the country you are a citizen of, as shown on your passport, will change which type you need. The online application process remains the same in both cases, as does the validity period of both.

For citizens of the USA, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia you can apply for the ETA visa, and then choose between tourist or business.

For citizens of the European Union, you can apply for the eVisitor. If you are not a citizen of either, then the ETA and the eVisitor are not for you, but you may be able to apply for a ‘Visitor Visa’, which is a different process. For example, citizen of of Great Britain are eligible for the eVisitor, as members of the European Union (for now), but if your passport is for a British National Overseas, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject then you are not eligible.

The visas allow you to do certain things while you are there – but not others

The rules for both the ETA and the eVisitor are actually very similar. The business visa allows holders to conduct matters of business such as identify companies you may wish to do business with in the future, undertake negotiations, reviews and signing of contracts, and also the signing of employment contracts. You can also attend seminars and conferences and look for work with the intention of returning to Australia at a later date on a more permanent basis.

But it is very important that you are not paid for any of this. Paid work is not permitted on the business visa.

With the tourist visa it is permitted to do the typical tourist things, such as sightseeing and travelling. You can also visit friends and family living in Australia and even study for up to six months.

There is one small difference between the ETA and the eVisitor. The eVisitor also allows travellers to do volunteering work, where the ETA does not.

So if you are looking to visit Australia for any of these reasons, and you think you are eligible then apply today for the visa for peace of mind, then start planning your trip to this amazing country.

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