Types of Australia visa

If you are willing to visit Australia and are not a holder of a passport allowing you to enter this country visa-free, you need to get a visa.

There are different Australian visa types according to travel purposes and the intended period of stay. Still, the easiest way for eligible citizens to get a visa to Australia is to apply online.

Two electronic visa types to Australia are available: ETA and eVisitor. Both these types let their holders visit Australia for purposes such as tourism, business activities, or visiting relatives and friends. A permitted period of stay is three months at a time, but you can visit the country as often as you wish within a year.

If you want to travel to Australia for an extended time, other purposes, or can't apply electronically, you should attend an embassy and get other visas, some of which are mentioned below.


Electronic Travel Authority (ETA, subclass 601) allows travelers to enter Australia to visit their family and friends, have a vacation, or participate in some business activities, such as attending conferences or negotiating a business contract.

With ETA, you can travel multiple times in 12 months and stay for up to three months at a time. In order to apply for Australian ETA, you must be outside of Australia and have a valid passport.


With an eVisitor (subclass 651), you are able to visit the country for a holiday, meet your friends and relatives, undertake some business activities (doesn't include working), and study or train.

It is allowed to stay in Australia for 90 days at once and visit the country as much as you want within a one-year period.

Transit visa

You need a Transit Visa (subclass 771) if you are transiting through Australia to get to your next destination or entering the country by air before joining the crew of a non-military ship (if you have a Maritime Crew visa, subclass 988).

To apply, you must have a confirmed booking to another destination within 72 hours of arriving in Australia, as well as the documents required to enter that destination or the necessary crew documents.

Visitor visa

A Visitor Visa (subclass 600) is presented in several visa streams.

Tourist visa stream (apply in Australia)

This Tourist Visa stream permits you to enter Australia to explore the country, see close people, or for purposes other than business or medical treatment.

You must be in Australia when applying; with this visa, you can stay there for up to 12 months. It's perfect if your current visa is expiring and you wish to stay longer.

Tourist stream (apply outside Australia)

This visa stream serves the same purposes and for the same period as the one above, but applicants must be outside Australia when applying and waiting for approval.

Sponsored family stream

This visa is for people applying from outside of Australia and being sponsored by an eligible family member who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. A sponsor might be asked to pay a security bond.

Business visitor stream

A person with a business visitor visa can visit the country for business reasons and stay for up to three months. It is not allowed to work.

Approved Destination Status stream

This visa lets citizens from certain areas of China visit Australia with an organized tour group. The permitted period of stay is specified in the grant letter.

Frequent Traveler Stream

Frequent Traveler Stream is for Chinese citizens often traveling to Australia for business or personal reasons. It is granted for up to 10 years with stays up to 3 months. Before applying, applicants must provide biometrics within China.

Student visa

A Student Visa (subclass 500) lets its holders take part in an eligible course of study, bring family members to Australia, and work unlimited hours in any sector.

You can stay in Australia for up to 5 years and travel outside the country and return as many times as you want.

You are able to apply electronically in or outside Australia but must comply with the following requirements:

  • be enrolled in a study course in Australia
  • hold Overseas Student Health Cover or be exempted
  • be 6 years or older
  • have proof of welfare arrangement for underage
  • have an eligible substantive visa if in Australia.

Working Holiday visa

Working Holiday type (subclass 417) is for people from 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries) wishing to have an extended holiday and work in Australia.

It is issued in different forms according to the time an applicant gets it (first, second, or third).

Other Australia visa types

There are also other visas permitting to enter Australia, such as partner visas, parent visas, working and skilled visas, refugee visas, bridging visa, medical treatment visa, etc.

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