Visitor Visas allow people from overseas to visit Australia for different purposes and for different periods of time. Applicants may obtain visitor visas to visit Australia as a tourist, to see family, partners or friends, as part of business trips, for organised tours or for working holidays.   

Visitor Visas are separated into a number of streams including:

  • the Tourist Stream;
  • Sponsored Family Steam;
  • Business Visitor Stream;
  • Approved Destination Status Stream; and
  • Frequent Traveller Stream.

These are all streams under the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600). The different streams represent different purposes for travelling to Australia. 

Streamlined visa options exist for visitors holding particular passports under the Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) and eVisitor (Subclass 651). Eligible passport holders may also take a holiday in Australia while working to fund their stay under the Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462). Each visa and stream has different rules. 

Genuine Temporary Entrant 

Applicants must demonstrate that they only intend to stay in Australia temporarily and comply with the conditions on a granted Visitor Visa. Depending on the circumstances, applicants may provide written submissions and evidence to the Department of Home Affairs regarding their visa history, incentives to return to their home country and other circumstances. This may also be supplemented with evidence such as support letters from family you will be visiting and assets you own in your home country. 

Other requirements  

The Department of Home Affairs may request that an applicant undertake health examinations to detect any illnesses that may adversely affect Australia or provide documents relating to criminal history checks or previous military experience. The documents requested will depend on the circumstances of the case. Occasionally applicants who hold certain passports will need to carry out biometrics in their home country. Where there are any debts to the Australian Government, there must be adequate arrangements to make payment.  

Family sponsorship 

Family members in Australia may formally sponsor a visiting family member. In some circumstances, the Department of Home Affairs may require that an applicant is sponsored by an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. Sponsors may be required to have resided in Australia for certain periods and/or pay a security bond. Individuals sponsored under the family sponsored stream will always attract a ‘no further stay’ condition. 

Business activity  

Applicants visiting for business reasons should provide documents about their visit. For example, an invitation from an organisation, registration details for a relevant conference or a letter from an employer stating the reasons for the visit. Only certain activities are allowed for a visitor visa in the ‘business activities’ stream. 

Health Insurance 

Applicants may need to have adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of this visa in certain circumstances. Family members that are travelling with the applicant will also need to have adequate health insurance. Your health insurance must meet minimum thresholds, for example the per-person, per-annum benefit must not be less than one million Australian Dollars. Applicants will need to provide evidence of adequate coverage, for example, a certificate of insurance from a valid provider. There are some exceptions to the requirement to provide evidence of adequate health insurance, for example, if the applicant is from Belgium and covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. 

Eligible passports 

Applicants for streamlined Visitor Visas should ensure they hold eligible passports. 

Sufficient funds  

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient money to support themselves while they are visiting Australia. Depending on the circumstances, applicants may wish to provide evidence of assets they own, money in the bank or evidence of ongoing employment.  

Eligible Passports 

Applicants must hold an eligible passport, for example from Uruguay or Estonia.  


Applicants must be between 18 to 30 years old when they apply. There are exemptions for citizens of specific countries, such as Canada, who may be up to 35 years old when they apply.  

Education requirements 

In some circumstances, applicants must demonstrate that they meet certain education requirements. For example, Austrians must demonstrate they hold a diploma level qualification, whereas applicants from the United State of America (USA) only need to show they have a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.  

English language requirements 

Applicants may be required to meet certain English language requirements, for example by providing evidence that they have achieved minimum scores of 4.5 in any of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test taken in the previous 12 months. There are circumstances where applicants will be exempt from providing this evidence (for example, where an applicant holds a passport from the United Kingdom).  

Letter of support 

Some applicants may require a letter of support from the Government of their country. For example, applicants from Luxembourg or Vietnam must provide a letter of support, whereas Austrians do not need to do this.  

Other requirements 

Applicants must meet Australian security requirements, debt requirements and health requirements. This means applicants may have to provide police clearance certificates from each country they have lived in for a long period (to show they have no serious criminal history), provide military services documents and undertake health examinations to ensure they do not have any illnesses that would negatively impact Australia. Where there are any debts to the Australian Government, there must be adequate arrangements to make payment. 

Applicants may also face complications where they have previously had a visa cancelled, have had a visa expire while in Australia (been unlawful) or previously provided false and misleading information in relation to an application for a visa, amongst other things.  

Subsequent working holiday requirements 

Once on the First Working Holiday Visa, applicants may apply for subsequent Working Holiday Visas (up to three), if certain criteria are met. Applicants are generally required to complete work in particular industries in particular areas. For example, to be eligible for a Second Work and Holiday Visa, applicants may complete three months of work in the tourism and hospitality industry in specific postcodes of Northern Australia.  

Sufficient funds  

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient money to support themselves while they are visiting Australia. Depending on the circumstances, applicants may wish to provide evidence of assets they own, money in the bank or evidence of ongoing employment.  

No. Family unit members must lodge their own visa applications and, for Working Holiday Visas, applicants cannot be accompanied by children.

A few of the common mistakes that we see with this visa include:  

  • Failing to understand the 6-month employment limitation and the circumstances in which the limitation does not apply 
  • Not completing the required period of specified work before applying for a subsequent Working Holiday Visa;  
  • Not completing work in an eligible postcode before applying for a subsequent Working Holiday Visa;  
  • Not understanding visa conditions that block applicants from pursing further visa pathways while onshore;  
  • Not discussing pathways and eligibility with sufficient time before the expiry of a current visa; and 
  • Using the time in Australia under the Working Holiday Visa ineffectively and therefore being unable to link with subsequent visa pathways.  

Depending on the circumstances and particular visa subclass, the following costs may be incurred:

  •         $145 to $1,065 in visa application charges;
  •         $700 subsequent temporary application charge;
  •         English language test (about $340);
  •         Health checks (about $250 for minimum required checks);
  •         Police checks (about $45 in Australia, but overseas checks can vary significantly);
  •         Health insurance; and
  •         Funds to support the trip.

The total costs will depend on the circumstances, including visa stream selected any exemptions that apply and other circumstances.

Note: The costs above are in Australian Dollars. 

The streamlined online Visitor Visas can be granted in a matter of days, other Visitor Visa applications can take between one to two months. 

These processing times are averages only and individual cases can be processed in longer or shorter periods.

Visitor Visas can be granted for a number of different periods. For example some Visitor Visas may be granted for 12 months but visa holders must leave the country every three months. Working Holidays Visas are generally granted for 12 months.

Visitor Visas may be necessary for a nice holiday but they can often present a valuable opportunity to pursue a longer-term pathway to Permanent Residency. When planned correctly, Visitor Visas can be used to link with Student Visas, Temporary Graduate Visas and Employer Sponsored or General Skilled Visas such as:

  •         Student Visas (Subclass 500);
  •         Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485);
  •         Skilled Independent Visas (Subclass 189);
  •         Skilled Nominated Visas (Subclass 190);
  •         Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visas (Subclass 491);
  •         Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visas (Subclass 494); and
  •         Temporary Skill Shortage Visas (Subclass 482) (particularly under the Labour Agreement Streams involving Designated Area Migration Agreements for semi-skilled workers).

Many different long-term pathways can be linked with a Visitor Visa as long as care is taken and long-term plans are made as early as possible.

We can assist you to obtain your Visitor Visa for a holiday or as part of your pathway to Permanent Residency and Citizenship by:

  •          Providing you with detailed advice about your eligibility for a Visitor Visa; 
  •          Advise on the the applicable stream or subclass that applies to your circumstances;
  •         Discuss any complications with your case, highlighting any risks and strategies that can be used to overcome these risks;
  •         Provide detailed document checklists so that you provide the best evidence to support your application;
  •         Draft all required forms on your behalf, assist in applying for police checks and health checks; 
  •         Provide a detailed plan to meet your long-term migration goals, all the way to Permanent Residency and Citizenship; and
  •         Assist you from preparing the visa, all the way to a decision being made on your application. 

If you are interested in obtaining assistance with your migration matters, the first step is to book a consultation using the link below.


Applying for a visa can be confusing but we are here to help. Now that you have a basic understanding of how this visa works, book in a consultation so that we can discuss how we can help you start your new life in Australia. 




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