Visitor Visa – Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a visa to come to Australia?

Yes. Everybody who comes to Australia who is not an Australian citizen must have a valid visa to enter Australia.

If you are a New Zealand citizen travelling on a New Zealand passport and you do not have criminal or health issues, you may be eligible for a 'Special Category Visa' which can be granted to you on arrival, so you may not need to arrange a visa before you fly.

If you are not a New Zealand citizen or an Australian citizen you will need to make sure you have a valid visa before you come to Australia. Most airlines will not let you board your flight unless you have a valid visa to enter Australia.

If you are a New Zealand citizen and have a criminal record you should contact us for advice prior to making any travel arrangements.

Can I apply online for my Australian Visitor Visa?

This will depend on your country of passport. When you take an online assessment for a visitor visa on our website it will quickly and accurately determine whether you can apply for your visa online or whether you will need to lodge a paper based application at your nearest embassy. To take an online assessment for a visitor visa go here.

Can I extend my stay in Australia?

Applying to extend your stay in Australia can be quite complex and depends on many things in your personal situation. These can include:

  • Your total length of time in Australia
  • The conditions on your current visa
  • Your intended activities in Australia
  • Whether you can demonstrate that you have 'sufficient funds'.

If you would like to see if you may be eligible to extend your stay in Australia as a visitor, you could start by taking an online assessment. If you are eligible you will be provided service options.

I used to come to Australia on an ETA but I have heard that this is not the right visa anymore. Which visa should I use?

The answer to this question depends on your intended activities in Australia.

If you are coming to Australia for a holiday or a family visit for up to 3 months, the 601 Visitor Visa is still the appropriate visa for you, provided you hold an eligible passport.

If you are planning on coming to Australia as a short stay business visitor and have previously used the ETA for this purpose, then the ETA may or may not be appropriate for you now. In March 2013 the Australian government made some changes to ETA visas and brought in some new short stay business visitor visa. As a result, some of the activities that were previously acceptable on an ETA are now no longer appropriate.

Fortunately, our website is able to quickly and easily determine the most appropriate visa for you.

All you need to do is take an online assessment for a visitor visa and answer the questions accurately. If you have any questions or concerns, once you purchase the service you can discuss your situation with one of our registered and experienced migration advisors.

I don't have a visa label (sticker) in my passport. Do I need to get one?

No. You do need to arrange your visa, but you don't need a physical sticker or label in your passport.

Australia is moving to a 'label free' visa system. If your visa is approved you will be sent a visa confirmation e-mail (approval letter). A visa confirmation email is equivalent to a visa, but there is no stamp or label in your passport and there is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office.

Your visa will be electronically linked to your passport number, so when you arrive at an airport for check-in on a flight to Australia, the airline check-in staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia.

I have a boyfriend or girlfriend from overseas. How can I get them here for a visit?

Bringing your partner to Australia for a visit can be very simple in some cases and very complex in others. There are a number of critical factors to consider such as the applicant's country of passport, their travel history to Australia, whether they are employed and a number of other factors.

Some applicants can apply for an online visitor visa quickly and easily. Others must lodge a paper application at their nearest Australian embassy and provide a lot of supporting documents. In some cases, there may be specific government policy supporting the grant of a visitor visa (for example if you have lodged a partner visa application also).

The best thing to do is start the process by taking an online assessment for a visitor visa. You will then be presented with service options. Once you proceed you can discuss your case with our registered migration professionals who will guide you through your situation and advise on how to proceed.

You can take an online assessment for a visitor visa here.

Does my passport need 6 months validity to travel to Australia?

The Australian government advises that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months when entering Australia. However this is advisory only. You may enter Australia if you have a valid passport at the time you enter. There is no requirement to have 6 months validity on your passport.

Please also note that the decision on whether to admit a person to Australia ultimately rests with the border staff. There is never a guarantee that you will be allowed entry no matter how long your passport is valid for.

National Visas support the government's position that you should have at least 6 months validity on your passport when coming to Australia. However we appreciate that there are times when it is impossible to obtain a new passport prior to your need to travel.

If you travel to Australia on a passport which has less than 6 month's validity you need to ensure that you either:

  • Depart Australia before your visa expires (temporary visa holders only), or
  • Obtain a new passport while in Australia;
  • Inform the department of immigration immediately of any change of passport.

I note that some other countries do strictly adhere to a minimum passport validity rule, so if you intend on visiting or transiting through any other countries, you will need to confirm with them that your passport validity will be acceptable.

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