How to get a visa for Australia

So you’ve decided you want to head to Australia. That’s great! Now you’re going to need to organise your visa.

In all honesty, you can apply for your visa at any stage of planning your trip but I would recommend that it is the first thing you do. Why? Well, imagine you have saved really hard, booked your flights and then you apply for your visa and it gets rejected. That’s a lot of money to lose out on. Also, you don’t want to leave it until the last minute. Although your visa could be granted very quickly (mine came back in just five minutes) there is a chance will be asked to send in additional documentation or attend a medical which will extend the time it takes process.

Now, the first thing you need to decide is what type of visa is going to be best for you. Let’s take a quick look at the most common visas for travelling or visiting Australia.

eVistor visa (subclass 651) – This visa is perfect if you are looking to visit Australia for a holiday or to travel for less than three months.

Pros:

  • Free! Yep, that’s right this visa doesn’t cost you a penny.
  • You can visit for up to 3 months within a 12-month period.
  • You can be any age to apply for this visa.

Cons:

  • You cannot work in Australia on this visa but you may be able to volunteer.

Can I apply for this visa?:

To apply you need to hold a passport from one of the following countries –  Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Vatican City.

You can’t apply for this visa if you have been convicted of an offence where you have been sentenced to more than 12 months, even if the sentence has already been served.

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) – Perfect if you are looking to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. This is the visa I have for my trip. 

Pros: 

  • You can work on this visa meaning you can top up your travel funds while you’re there. However, do keep in mind you can’t work for one employer for more than six months.
  • You can stay for up to 12 months starting from the date you enter Australia.
  • You can leave and re-enter the country as many times as you like during the 12 month period. Want to head home for Christmas – go for it! Want to take some time to go exploring New Zealand – go for it! You have the flexibility to come and go as you please.
  • You can apply for a second working holiday visa if you complete three months of specified work in regional Australia.

Cons: 

  • You need to be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application.
  • This visa costs 440AUD
  • You can’t apply for this visa more than once, so make sure you are certain you will be using this visa before you apply. Once it runs out you won’t get another chance!

Can I apply for this visa?:

To apply for this visa you need to hold a passport from one of these countries – Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden,  Taiwan and United Kingdom.

Working Holiday visa (Subclass 462) – This is pretty much the same as the subclass 417 visa so all the pros and cons are the same. 

Can I apply for this visa?: For this visa, you need to hold a passport from one of these countries – Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America and Uruguay.

You will also need to meet the educational requirements, have functional English, meet the character and health requirements and, in some cases, have a letter of support from your government.

None of these sound right for you? You can enter your details here to use the Visa Finder.  

You’ve decided which visa you want. What next? There are SO many sites out there that offer you the option to apply for your visa, some travel companies even give you the option to apply for your visa through them but beware the extra costs that they often add on. It’s really easy to apply for a visa so there is no reason you can’t  save some pennies by applying directly on the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website. 

Most people can apply online (there is an option for paper application but this will take longer) and you just need your passport details. The form is simple to fill out and should only take about 10 – 15 minutes to complete, then you can just hit submit and it’s all done!

You will receive an email to confirm your application has been received. Make sure to keep an eye on your inbox as you might be required to send in additional documents to support your application. Once your visa has been approved, which can take anything from five minutes to 4 weeks, you should receive another email with your visa information included. I have heard some people didn’t receive their email so it could be worth logging in to the website to check our application status.

And there you go! One step closer to your Australia trip.

Girl Seeking Sunshine

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