Australia introduced the eVisitor Subclass 651 in 2008 to comply with reciprocity requirements from the European Union. The Australia eVisitor visa is a temporary visa that can be obtained online.
The eVisitor visa is almost identical to the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), the only difference is that it’s free of charge to apply.
- Eligibility: 36 European nationalities are eligible
- Visa validity: eVisitor visa is valid for 12 months, multiple-entry allowing each entry up to 3 months
- Visa fee: eVisitor visa is free of charge to apply
- Processing time: 90% of the applications are processed within 1 day
If you haven’t already, read the Australia Visa Guide to familiarize yourself with Australian visa requirements, visa types and entry procedures at the border.
Table of Contents
Understanding Australia eVisitor Visa
eVisitor visa validity
The eVisitor visa is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
The eVisitor visa is electronically connected to your passport. If your passport expires within the 12-month validity, then your eVisitor visa ceases or becomes invalid.
Duration of stay
With an eVisitor visa, you can stay up to 3 months each time you enter Australia. There is no maximum time you can spend in Australia per year. There’s no minimum time outside of the country before you can visit Australia again.
If you make frequent visits to Australia, you may be asked about your reasons for traveling, you may be refused entry or your eVisitor visa may be canceled.
Allowed number of entries
Australia eVisitor visa is a multiple-entry visa. You can visit Australia as many times as you want within the validity of your eVisitor visa.
When to apply
The majority of eVisitor applications are processed within 1 day but may take longer in some instances. Since the eVisitor visa is valid for 1 year, it’s wise to apply as early as you can.
Extensions to the eVisitor visa are not allowed. If you need to stay longer than 3 months in Australia, you are allowed to apply for a different visa such as an Australian Visitor Visa from within the country.
Australia eVisitor Visa Requirements
eVisitor visa eligibility
The following 36 European countries are eligible for the Australian eVisitor visa:
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
- United Kingdom (British Citizen)
- Vatican City
British nationals holding non-citizen passports are not eligible to apply for the eVisitor visa. If you hold a passport of a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National Overseas, British Protected Person or British Subject passport, you are not eligible to apply for the eVisitor visa.
Many of the above 36 countries are also eligible to apply for Australia Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). ETA is much simpler to apply as it requires no documentation. ETA is also free, but it can only be applied using the Australia ETA app which has a 20 AUD service fee.
If you do not meet the health and character requirements set by the eVisitor visa, you are not eligible to apply for this visa. In such a case, you must apply for a regular Australia Visitor Visa.
To apply for the Australia eVisitor visa, you need the following documents.
- Valid passport from an eligible country
- Valid National Identity Card (if your country issues one)
- Supporting documentation
The passport must be from one of the 36 eligible countries. It must be valid during your stay in Australia. There is no 6-month validity requirement for Australia.
National Identity Card
You will need to enter your National Identity Card information in the application.
Applications without any supporting documentation are mostly refused. Unfortunately, there is no official guidance about which or how many supporting documents must be submitted.
You can submit supporting documents that prove that you’re a genuine visitor and have enough money to support yourself while in Australia.
To increase your chances of success, submit one or more of the following supporting documents.
- Proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in Australia, such as bank statements or payslips
- Proof of employment such as an employment verification letter or leave approval letter
- Details of your itinerary in Australia, including return flight tickets and hotel bookings
- Previous travel history in the form of visas and passport stamps
Simon from Backpack Moments has personal experience applying for an Australia eVisitor visa. Simon says:
eVisitor visa fee
The eVisitor visa is completely free. If for some reason your application is rejected and you apply again, it’s still free.
90% of the applications are processed within 1 day, whether approved or rejected.
Australia eVisitor Visa Application Process
How to apply
Applying for an eVisitor visa is a straightforward process. To apply, follow the below steps.
- Go to the ImmiAccount Portal and create an account
- Click on “New application” and pick “eVisitor (651)”.
- Enter your personal information, passport details and residential address
- Attach any supporting documentation
- Submit the application (no fee is required)
How to track status
You will be notified about the eVisitor visa result by email. You can also check the status on the ImmiAccount Portal. You would need your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) to track the status.
How to download approved eVisitor visa
Once your eVisitor visa application is approved, you will receive a grant notification email from the Australian Department of Home Affairs. The visa letter will have your visa grant number, visa validity dates and duration of stay period allowed.
You don’t need to download or print the eVisitor visa because it’s electronically attached to your passport.
If you’re ever asked to show any proof, you can show the approval email or the grant letter. You can also download your approved eVisitor visa from the ImmiAccount Portal under “Visa Grant Details”.
How to check the validity of your eVisitor visa
The expiration date of your Australia eVisitor visa is indicated as “Must not arrive after” on the visa letter. If you don’t have the Grant Notification or a copy of your eVisitor visa, you can check the validity details on Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) portal by using either your Visa Grant Number or Transaction Reference Number.
How to contact the customer service
The Self-help Guidelines have most of the information to troubleshoot any issues. For problems with your ImmiAccount or the eVisitor visa application, use the following.
Procedure at the border
The eVisitor visa is digitally linked to your passport so you don’t need to print anything. Eligible passport holders can use the Smart Gate system that allows for faster arrival and departure procedures.
All visitors must fill out an Incoming Passenger Card on arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between an eVisitor and a tourist visa?
The eVisitor is available to only 36 countries in Europe. It’s free, valid for 1 year, and allows unlimited entries of up to 3 months each time. Getting one is in most cases simple and quick.
Regular tourist visas on the other hand cost 190 AUD, are valid for 3, 6, or 12 months and allow single or multiple entries depending on what’s granted. As part of the application process, you’ll need to attach several documents and the processing time is 1-3 weeks in most cases.
What is the difference between ETA and eVisitor visa?
The ETA and the eVisitor visa for Australia have no differences in specifications: both are valid for 1 year for unlimited entries of up to 3 months each.
Whereas the ETA is for select countries around the world, the eVisitor is for countries of the EU, Schengen, the European microstates, plus the UK. The ETA costs 20 AUD because of the use of the special app.
Some countries are eligible for both. It’s up to you which one you apply for.
What if your eVisitor visa application is denied?
If your eVisitor visa is denied due to not meeting the requirements, then you are not eligible to apply for an eVisitor visa. In that case, you must apply for a regular Visitor Visa.
If your eVisitor visa is denied due to insufficient information or documentation, you can reapply with as many supporting documents as possible.
Do you need an eVisitor visa if I arrive on a cruise?
Yes. Except for Australian and New Zealand citizens, all cruise passengers require a visa to visit Australian ports. If you are from one of the 36 eligible countries, you can apply for an eVisitor visa for your cruise trip.
Round-trip cruise trips originating from Australia are not considered as leaving Australia, so your time on the cruise counts towards your time in Australia. For example, if you spend 1 month in Australia and go on a round-trip cruise for 15 days, then you are allowed only another 1.5 months in Australia.
Do you need an ESTA to travel to Australia?
ESTA is a requirement to travel to the US. Australia has its own systems in place, namely the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and the eVisitor, both acceptable ways to travel to Australia.