All visitors, except New Zealand nationals, require a visa before arriving in Australia. For peace of mind, discuss your visa application with your travel agent when planning your trip.
Your visa is linked to the passport number in your visa application, so you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. Application forms for several visa types are available from travel agents, online at the Department of Immigration, or from Australian embassies and consulates.
The Department of Immigration has an easy to use Find a Visa tool on its website. This will help you check which visa you will need before you arrive in Australia and show you how to apply.
The Australian Visitor visa (Subclass 600) is for people travelling to Australia as tourists, for business or to visit family. It is a temporary visa, usually for a three month stay. The estimated time required to process this visa is a minimum of 15 working days, or three weeks.
Depending on their travel circumstances, visitors can apply for a single or multiple entry Visitor visa for up to 12 months. Travellers holding a Visitor visa cannot work while they are in Australia, and Visitor visas cannot be used to establish ongoing residence in Australia.
The Visitor visa has four streams: Tourist Stream, Approved Destination Status Stream, Business Visitor Stream, and Sponsored Family Stream.
For stays of up to three months convenient visa options are an Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) or eVisitor (subclass 651). Only certain passport holders are eligible for these visas. Check your eligibility at the Department of Immigration’s website.
There are also student visas for people who want to study. For young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year, there are two visas - the Working Holiday (subclass 417) and the Work and Holiday (subclass 462). The Department of Immigration’s website has more information on these visas.
Visitors from the People’s Republic of China
For people from the People’s Republic of China who are travelling in an organised tour group, the Approved Destination Status Stream visa application is lodged by your registered ADS travel agent. Valid Chinese ePassport holders are eligible to use the SmartGate self-service at international airports when entering Australia.
Information for Chinese citizens on applying for an Australian Visitor visa: