Choosing a visitor visa to suit your circumstances

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Over the years, many people have applied for a visitor visa to Australia in the hope of entering Australia for a short holiday or to visit family and friends. However, because of the country’s particular and strict visitor visa requirements for Australia, many applicants have been denied the visa.

Choosing a visitor visa to suit your circumstances

As part of Australia’s aim to allow greater access to tourists wanting to visit Australia for a holiday in the Land Down Under, Australia has continued to implement its government’s visa simplification and deregulation project. This includes the visitor visa, which will undergo some major changes to become simpler on March 23. Those who are currently holding existing visitor visas need not worry, as their visas will remain valid until they expire.

This means certain visas will no longer be available beginning on March 23. These visas include the Business (Short Stay) (subclass 456) visa, Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) (subclass 459) visa, Tourist visa (subclass 676) visa, Sponsored Family Visitor (subclass 679) visa, Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (Business—Long Validity) (subclass 956) visa, ETA (Business—Short Validity) (subclass 977) visa, ETA (Visitor) (subclass 976) visa, Medical Treatment visa (Short Stay) (subclass 675) visa, and the Medical Treatment visa (Long Stay) (subclass 685) visa.

In most cases, these changes will not affect your eligibility, and applicants who were able to apply for a visitor visa prior to March 23 will continue to be eligible under the simplified visitor visa program after March 23.

The new Visas that are available after March 23 are:

    1. Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Subclass 400 visa. Holding this temporary visa will allow you to come to Australia and stay for up to three months to engage in short-term, highly specialized, non-ongoing work, or to participate in an event on a non-ongoing basis.
    2. Visitor Visa (Subclass 600). This visa is for those individuals who would like to come to Australia as tourists for either business or visiting a family.
    3. Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601). This Visa is for applicants with passports from certain countries. It is granted with multiple entries over a 12-month period for applicants wanting to visit for tourism or business. On each entry, you are permitted to remain in Australia for up to 3 months. You must be outside of Australia at time of application and time of addition. The ETA is linked electronically to your passport and can be seen by Australian border agencies, as well as by airline staff and travel agencies.
    4. eVisitor (Subclass 651). This visa is similar to an ETA and is also available to applicants from certain countries. Like the ETA, this Visa is for tourism and business purposes. Tourism includes holidaying, recreation and visiting family and friends. Allowable business activities include exploring business opportunities and attending seminars. To apply for this visa, you must hold a passport from an eligible country and must be outside of Australia at time of application and grant of the visitor visa.Similar to the ETA, you do not require a visa label in your passport and can retain confirmation simply for your own records.Airline staff, travel agencies, and Australian border agencies will be able to see this electronically stored travel authority for Australia.
    5. Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602). If you have medical treatment or a medical consultation to be done in Australia, wish to donate an organ, or simply want to support someone who will undergo medical treatment in Australia, you may apply for this visa. However, medical treatment for surrogate motherhood is not one of the eligible types of medical treatment this Visa is designed for. You can apply for this visa from inside or outside Australia. However, if you apply from inside Australia you must also be inside Australia for the Visa decision. Similarly, if you apply from outside Australia, you must also be outside Australia at time of decision.

What has actually changed?

There is now a clearer delineation between work and business visitor activities which determine the appropriate visa to apply for.

The Visitor (subclass 600), ETA (subclass 601) visa, and eVisitor (subclass 651) Visas will have a “no-work component” but business visitor activities such as the following will be permitted:

  • making a general business or employment enquiry
  • investigating, negotiating, entering into, or reviewing a business contract
  • an activity carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit
  • participating in a conference, trade fair or seminar in Australia unless the person is being paid by an organiser for participation.

(as stated in http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/2013/03/13/simpler-visitor-visas/)
A business visitor visa holder is not allowed to work for a person or organization that is based in Australia. It is also not permitted to sell goods and services directly to the public.

If the new changes seem difficult and confusing, you can let National Visas assist you with their wide breadth of experience and expertise. Talk to any of its registered migration agents, who will be more than willing to assist you.

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National Visas offers Personalised Services to help you apply for a visa. National Visas has developed into a world leader in online immigration services. Our Migration Agents are registered to provide Australian immigration advice, as required by Australian law.

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