General visa requirements
Anyone who is not an Australian citizen needs a valid visa to enter and spend time in Australia.
Before travelling to Australia
With the exception of New Zealand citizens travelling on New Zealand passports, all foreign nationals must obtain a visa before travelling to Australia. (New Zealand citizens are issued with a visa on arrival in Australia.)
Visas are available from Australian visa offices such as Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. They are also available from travel agents and airlines in certain countries.
Please note that:
People who want to work need to apply to an Australian visa office for a temporary residence visa. Penalties apply for people who breach work conditions.
Types of visas
The type of visa you will need depends on how long you wish to stay in Australia and what you want to do during your stay.
For example, you may want to make a visit as a tourist, or business person, or you may want to live temporarily in Australia to play sport, train or work.
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
An ETA is an electronically stored authority to travel to Australia for a short stay.
ETAs are generally available to passport holders from 31 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, through participating airlines and travel agents. The Australian Government does not charge external service providers to offer this service to travellers.
ETAs are available for tourism and business purposes. Tourist ETAs are free of any Government charge, but credit card payments are required for long validity business entry ETAs.
For more information, see the ETA website.
Normally valid for 12 months, during which time you may make as many visits as you like for up to 3 months stay at a time.
It is possible to obtain tourist visas which allow you to stay for more than 3 months at a time, or which are valid for travel longer than 12 months.
Note that a fee is charged for tourist visas.
For people wishing to undertake business in Australia for short periods. The length of stay in Australia, number of journeys permitted and period of validity of the visa should be discussed with an Australian visa office.
In some circumstances, the visa can be valid for at least five years (or the life of the passport - whichever is the longer) and allow any number of business visits of up to 3 months each during the five years. There is a fee for all business visas.
For more information, see the Immigration web pages for Business People.
Temporary residence visas
For those who intend to come to Australia temporarily to undertake specific activities. People involved in a range of activities such as employment, study, amateur and professional sporting, entertainment or cultural activities can use this type of visa.
Those seeking temporary residence may need to be sponsored by an Australian organisation or prospective employer in Australia.
If you are making a number of visits to Australia, apply for a long-term validity multiple entry visa.
There are temporary residence visas available to cover the following:
For information on visa fees, please visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs website.
Don't overstay your visa! If your visa is about to expire, you should leave Australia or seek advice from a Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs office. Serious penalties apply for people who have an expired visa.
This information has been sourced from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs website and should serve as a guide only. For up to date information on Visas and Immigration, please visit the nearest Immigration office, or the Department's Website.