An Australian Visitor visa (also known as a Tourist visa) is a travel visa that allows a foreign citizen to visit Australia. The visit can be for purely tourism purposes, or to visit family, spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends or just friends. They are valid usually valid for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months. You can also study for up to 3 months on a Visitor visa, but you cannot work.
All foreign nationals are required to have a visa to enter Australia, even for the purposes of visiting. There are three main types of Australian Visitor visa: the ETA visa, the eVisitor visa and the Visitor visa. The first 2 are only available to persons from a select group of countries which are considered to be “low risk” by the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). If you are not form one of these countries then you must apply for a Visitor visa. For example: citizens from the USA, the UK, Japan, France, Germany, and Switzerland can apply for either an ETA or eVisitor visa. On the other hand, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Cambodian citizens have to apply for an Australian Visitor visa.
If you are from a country that is eligible to apply for an ETA or eVisitor visa but you are already in Australia, or you have a criminal record or have previously been refused an ETA or eVisitor visa, then you will also be required to apply for a Visitor visa.
Applicants for an Australian Visitor visa are required to fill in a detailed application and include considerable amount of supporting documentation. A Visitor visa once prepared and submitted, does not usually take very long to process. If you are planning on visiting Australia you need to make sure you give yourself time to prepare and obtain your Visitor / Tourist visa before booking your ticket to Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) is concerned with the risk of a visa holder overstaying their visa, the risk that they might want to work while in Australia, and the financial position of the Applicant. Unless strict guidelines are followed and all enquiries are satisfied it is highly likely that an Australian Visitor / Tourist visa application will be refused. A large percentage of self-prepared applications are refused either because of poor preparation or because the Applicant has mistaken or misinterpreted their eligibility for the visa. It is always advisable to speak to a trained and experienced Australian Migration Agent whom can guide you and, in the long run, save you previous time, effort and money. It does not matter which country you come from – you can contact us and we can advise you about which visa you can apply for.