Visas for Australia
Expats looking to live and work in Australia will need a visa. The good news is that the Australian government makes it easy to understand the visa application process. The department of immigration's website has a tool where one can input their reasons for coming to Australia, the duration of the intended stay, their nationality and their age – the tool then effectively advises which visas they are eligible for. Furthermore, it provides information about how to apply for a specific class of visa, the associated costs, where to apply and more.
That said, though the application process may be streamlined and easy to navigate, it certainly doesn’t guarantee entrance into the country.
Australia claims an intimidating number of visa categories, and requirements vary immensely. Some merely require a passport from a certain country, some evaluate a person's skill level and education level, and some are based on familial connection.
Regardless, it’s always best to do as much research as possible prior to applying for a visa for Australia to simplify the process and to avoid complication.
Tourist visas for Australia
There are a number of primary categories of tourist visas for Australia, each suitable for a specific time period and for individuals of a specific nationality. It is advised that those applying for tourist visas do so at least two weeks prior to their intended date of travel.
Visitor visa (subclass 600)
This visa allows a person to visit Australia for business or visiting purposes. It is valid for up to three, six or 12 months.
eVisitor visa (subclass 651)
This visa is for European passport holders or UK passport holders who wish to visit Australia for three months or less. This visa allows a person to visit Australia for business purposes. It is valid for three months at a time, over a 12-month period. It can only be applied for online, and the application must be made outside of Australia. There is no charge associated with application.
Working holiday visas for Australia
If expats have a dream to live and work in Australia, there are many different temporary working visas that one might be eligible for.
Working holiday visas (subclass 417)
Australia has a partnership with several countries which allows young people to visit Australia and work temporarily to fund their travels. This type of visa is not intended for those interested in permanent relocation, but it is for those who want the experience of living abroad in Australia for several months to a year, so that they can supplement their travel funds with short-term work. It must be proved that travel is the primary reason for the visit, with working as a secondary intention to support the travel.
The duration of the visa is for 12 months, but visa holders are generally not allowed to work for more than six months with one employer. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and can be from a number of accepted countries, including the UK, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Belgium and Italy.
Applicants must have a passport which has at least a year of validity left on it as well as showing proof that they have enough funds to support themselves upon first arriving in Australia. Applicants must also not have any prior criminal convictions or any serious medical issues.
If working holiday visa holders complete at least three months of regional work, they may be eligible to apply for an extension to their original visa. Make sure to keep evidence of employment as this will be needed for those trying to extend the permit.
Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)
Those not eligible for the Working Holiday Visa may be eligible instead for the very similar Work and Holiday Visa. This includes expats from countries such as the USA, China, Spain and Portugal.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.