Australia is one of the most popular and premium tourist destinations in the world. There are around 5 – 6 million tourists visiting Australia each year. Before coming to the country however, the potential visitors must take into account the fact that the Australian immigration authorities require everyone who enters the country to have a valid visa. Therefore prospective foreign tourists must ensure that they have applied for the right type of visa. Fortunately it is not very hard to figure out which type of visa one should apply for.
Most of the tourist visas must be applied for from outside Australia. Depending on the type of visa the maximum duration of the allowed stay may vary from 3 to 12 months. An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA- Subclass 651 ) visa has 12 month validity and allows its holders to remain in Australia for up to 3 months. Furthermore ETA holders may leave the country and enter again for a second three-month stay, within the 12 month period for which the visa is valid. ETA visa can be applied for electronically. It is linked to its holder’s passport and replaces the visa label and the stamp which were previously used.
Another popular type of visa is the Long-term tourist visa (Subclass 676), which allows its holders to stay in Australia for up to 12 months. Similarly to ETA, it can be applied for online. It should be noted however, that sometimes Immigration authorities in Australia may ask for additional documents in support of a Long-term tourist visa application. This might extend the whole application period to up to 20 days. While some voluntary work is permitted for Long term tourist visa holders, undertaking paid jobs is not.
If someone wants to work while he is traveling in Australia, then an Australian Working Holiday Visa will be most suitable (subclass 417). The Working Holiday Visa allows people, aged between 18-30 and citizens of one of the countries with which Australia has signed working holiday agreement to work and travel in OZ for up to 12 months.