Information is updated on 10 May 2019

A successful visa application starts with you identifying the correct Australian visa type depending on your specific purpose. Even as a tourist or visitor, there are more than one visa streams that may apply to your own situation.

Information contained here serves as a guide only and not to be taken as advice or instruction. Visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs for detailed information or contact a registered migration agent.

We have listed below 72 Australian visa types currently offered by Australia. Note that this list may change every year.

Visitor visas

Apply for this visa if your purpose in coming to Australia is for a holiday or cruise, visiting family or friends, volunteer work, attending an event, attending a conference or expo, or business visitor activities.

With this visa, you can stay in Australia for up to three months at each entry. You can even study or train for the duration of your stay. If, however, your main purpose of coming to Australia is study, it would be more appropriate to apply for a student visa.

The business visitor stream allows you to explore business opportunities or employment negotiations in Australia. This does not allow you to work or sell goods and services.

You can apply for this visa online and applicants must hold a valid passport from any particular country.

You must apply from outside Australia.

There is no cost to apply for an eVisitor visa and most of the applications are processed in 1 day.

This visa is very similar to eVisitor (subclass 651).

However, unlike eVisitor, you can apply for this visa if you hold a passport from these countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (excluding official or diplomatic passports), The Netherlands, United Kingdom (British Citizen), United Kingdom (British National, overseas), United States of America, and Vatican City.

This visa is free and can be obtained from some travel agents. There is a charge of AUD20 if you apply online. Application processing time cannot be determined.

This visa mainly applies to those coming to Australia by aircraft and leave within 72 hours via a non-military ship such as Maritime Crew visa holders.

It’s free to apply for this visa and the processing times vary from 7 days to 15 days for 90% of applications.

You do not need this type of visa if you are only transiting to Australia by aircraft with a connecting flight to another country, leave within eight hours and doesn’t need to clear immigration.

Visitor visa is granted to genuine visitors either as tourists, visiting relatives or for business reasons. You must have enough funds to support your stay while in Australia.

This visa is classified into six different streams:

Tourist stream (apply outside Australia) – Apply for this visa as a tourist, go on a cruise or visit friends and relatives with the intention of staying for 3, 6 or up to 12 months. Eligible parents of Australian citizens may be allowed to stay for even longer period. Processing period usually takes 18-28 days and will cost you AUD140.

Tourist stream (apply in Australia) – You may apply for this visa if you are currently in Australia holding another visa that is about to expire. If granted, you may be able to stay for another 3, 6 or 12 months. The processing period also takes around 18-28 days. Processing fee is AUD 355.

Sponsored family stream – This visa is best for visiting relatives of Australian citizens or permanent residents. You must be sponsored by your relative who might be asked to pay a security bond. If granted, you will be allowed to stay up to 12 months. The cost for this visa is AUD140 which will take 50-69 days to process.

Business visitor stream – If you’re a business person intending to visit Australia for business reasons, the Visitor (subclass 600) will allow you to stay here for up to 3 months. You may be able to enter and exit Australia multiple times while the visa is valid.

Application costs AUD140 and you may have to wait for 9-16 days for the visa to be granted. Just remember that this visa does not allow you to work or sell goods and services during your stay.

Approved destination status stream – This visa stream is for applicants coming from China and are part of a group tour organised by an approved travel agent. You must remain with the group for the duration of your visit to Australia.

Not included in this group are those from special administrative regions (SARs) of China such as Hong Kong and Macau.

The visa fee is AUD140 and it will take just 1-2 days to process the application.

Frequent traveller stream – If you are a Chinese citizen (except for SARs) and you visit Australia frequently either for personal or business reasons, you may apply for Visitor visa under this stream.

This visa can be granted to you for up to 10 years. However, you will only be allowed to stay in Australia for up to 3 months each visit.

It will take only 5-7 days for the application to be processed at the cost of AUD1,045. You must provide biometrics within China before you are allowed to apply for this visa.

If you are 18 to 30 years old and want to work in Australia to fund their holiday for up to 12 months, you may apply for the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462). The application fee is AUD455 and you need to wait for 38-55 days if your visa is granted.

You may apply for renewal of this visa subject to recent changes in policy by the Australian government.

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) is similar to subclass 462. This visa is granted to young adults 18 to 30 years old with the exception of citizens from Canada and Ireland whose age limit is extended to 35 years old. The processing period is between 23 and 77 days.

Studying and training visas

If you intend to attend a course of study in Australia, the Student visa (subclass 500) is the visa you should apply for. This visa allows you to travel in and out of Australia and the privilege to work up to 20 hours per week when the course starts.

Your visa allows you to stay in Australia for the period of your study not exceeding 5 years. However, primary school children enrolled in years 1-4 can only be granted a Student visa for a maximum of 2 years. There is also an option to apply for a new Student visa if you wish to continue studying in Australia.

If you are planning to include your partner and your or your dependent’s child to come to Australia, you must declare such information when you apply for the Student visa. You must do the declaration even if your partner and dependent will be joining you at a latter period.

The cost of visa application starts from AUD575 unless you are exempt. Processing time varies depending on the sector you fall under. Refer to the Immi website for more information.

If you are a guardian of a Student visa holder under 18 years old (or over 18 years old under special circumstances), you may apply for a Student Guardian visa. The visa identifies you as guardian if you are a parent or step-parent, grandparent or step-grandparent, sibling or step-sibling, aunt, uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle, niece, nephew or step-niece or step-nephew, partner, child or stepchild.

As guardian, you must be 21 years old or over, must have enough fund to support yourself and the student during your stay. This includes being able to provide accommodation, welfare and other support.

This temporary visa allows you to travel in and out of Australia and stay for the duration specified in the visa grant letter. You may even undertake a training or course of study for up to 3 months if you want.

It would cost you from AUD575 for the processing and you may have to wait between 88 days and 4 months to learn if your visa application is granted.

Training visa allows you to visit Australia to complete a professional development training program or workplace-based training to improve your skills for your current occupation, field of expertise, or area of tertiary study.

This temporary visa allows you to stay for up to 2 years. You can travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid. This visa does not allow you any extension. If you wish to extend your stay in Australia, you may explore other visa types.

You can also include members of your family when you apply or add after application is lodged but before visa is granted. Family members included in the application will be subjected to the usual health and character requirements.

The cost for the main applicant is from AUD285. Each family member included in the application will also incur additional charge. Refer to the Visa Pricing Estimator for the visa charges. Other costs that you need to consider are health checks, police certificates and biometrics.

Family and partner visas

This visa applies to an adopted children to migrate to Australia as permanent residents to be with their adoptive parent. The visa allows the recipients to access Medicare, study, and become Australian citizens when they become eligible.

The visa costs from AU2,470. Refer to the government’s Immigration and Citizenship page for a detailed information.

If you are a single older person who relies on your relative living in Australia for financial support, you can apply for this visa to be able to move to here permanently.

You will need to be sponsored by your relative and, if your visa application is approved, you will have most of the privileges of a permanent resident. You can enrol in Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare program. You will be able to work and study in Australia, sponsor your relatives to come to Australia and even apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

The visa costs AUD6,100 payable in 2 installments plus other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics. Application for the visa is subject to capping and queueing hence, processing times for this visa cannot be determined.

You must be outside Australia when you apply and when your application is decided.

Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838) is almost the same as subclass 114.

The only difference is that you must be in Australia, but not in the immigration clearance, when you apply and when your application is decided.

This visa allows you to stay permanently in Australia.

You may apply for this visa if you are old enough to receive an aged pension, have an eligible sponsor, must meet the balance-of-family test and must pass other requirements such as health and character tests. Your eligible sponsor must be able to provide you an assurance of support.

An eligible sponsor have an eligible child who is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

This visa costs from AUD6,100 and payable in 2 installments.

The Carer visa entitles you to stay permanently in Australia and be a carer for your relative or a member of their family who have long-term medical condition and don’t have reasonable access to care.

You have to be sponsored by your relative or their spouse or de facto partner for your first 2 years in Australia. You can include in your visa application members of your family subject to eligibility requirements.

You must be in Australia when you apply for the visa and when your application is granted. Processing cost is from AUD1,665.

If granted, you are entitled to benefits as would any other permanent resident.

Carer visa (subclass 116) is identical to subclass 836 except that you must be outside Australia when you apply and when your application is decided.

Working and skilled visas

Refugee and humanitarian visas

Other visas

Final words

For most visa applications, you must meet Australia’s health requirement as well as character requirement.

Make sure you fill in the application form accurately and completely to avoid delay in the processing. To start an online application on your own, log in to ImmiAccount and complete the form.

If you are not confident in lodging a visa application, consider using the services of a registered migration agent.

We recommend getting travel insurance and/or health insurance to limit your financial liability if an unfortunate thing happens while you are in Australia on a temporary status.

You must also have enough money to support yourself while in Australia to last until your departure.

Finally, make sure you have a passport that will remain valid for at least six months when a visa is granted.

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