Australia Visitor Visa is the only option to visit Australia as a tourist for many nationalities. If you don’t qualify for either the Electronic Travel Authority(ETA) or the eVisitor Visa, then you will need to get a Visitor Visa.
Australia no longer accepts paper applications for the visitor visa. All applications must be lodged online through the Australian Government Immi Portal.
The Visitor Visa has subclass 600 in Australia’s visa documentation and the subtype we’re interested in is the “Tourist stream (apply outside Australia)”.
- Eligibility: All nationalities are eligible
- Validity: Valid for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years with single or multiple entries
- Duration of stay: Generally, 3 months allowed stay, but up to 6 or 12 in some cases
- Visa fee: Visitors visa fee is 190 AUD
- Processing time: 50% of applications are processed in 7 days and 90% in 21 days.
If you haven’t already, read the Australia Visa Guide to familiarize yourself with Australian tourist visa types, requirements, eligibility and entry procedures at the border.
Table of Contents
Understanding Australia Visitor Visa
Visitor visa validity
The Australian Visitor visa is valid for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years from the date of issue. The validity of the visa depends on your nationality and circumstances. For example, most Indian passport holders get a 3-year valid Australian visa, whereas Phillippine passport holders get a 1-year valid visa. Pakistan nationals get a 6-month validity.
You must visit Australia within the validity of your visa.
Duration of stay
Most Visitor visas granted allow for 3 months of continuous stay in Australia. Depending on circumstances, you might be granted a stay of 6 months or even 12 months.
Allowed number of entries
Most Visitor visas are multiple-entry, but Home Affairs also issues single visas in certain circumstances for certain nationalities.
When to apply
Since the tourist visas are valid for at least 3 months, it’s a good idea to apply well in advance. Most applications get processed in 3 weeks or fewer.
Australia Visitor visa is non-extendable. If you need to extend your stay in Australia, you are allowed to apply for another Visitor Visa (onshore) from within the country.
Australia Visitor Visa Requirements
Who requires a Visitor Visa?
Australia Visitor Visa is REQUIRED for all nationalities to enter Australia as a tourist, except for the below.
- New Zealand passport holders
- Nationalities eligible for visa types:
- Those transiting in Australia for less than 72 hours and can get a Transit visa.
To support your application, you can attach as many as 60 documents online. You don’t have to attach that many but the more documents you provide, the better your chances of approval.
You have to satisfy the Home Office that:
- You are who you say you are
- You are a genuine visitor who will not overstay or work illegally
- You are of good character and not have a criminal record
- You won’t be a burden to Australia’s healthcare system
To do this, attach as many of these documents as you can:
- Valid passport (must be valid for the duration of the stay)
- Valid National ID card (if from a country that issues them)
- Proof of change of name (if applicable), such as:
- marriage or divorce certificate;
- change of name documents;
- documents that show other names you have been known by
- Residence Permit/Visa (if residence and citizenship differ)
- One passport-size photo
Genuine visitor documents
- Proof of enough funds for your stay in and departure from Australia, such as:
- Itemized personal bank statements for the last 3 months. Aim to have at least 5000 AUD in your bank account. The money cannot be deposited suddenly and inexplicably – it should be from legitimate sources and savings over time.
- Pay slips
- Tax returns
- Credit card statements
- A letter of invitation from a relative or friend in Australia, stating:
- their relationship to you
- the purpose of your visit and length of stay
- if you will be staying with them
- Proof of their funds (if they will be paying for your stay)
- Your plans or travel itinerary while in Australia
- Proof of any reasons to return home, for example:
- a letter from your employer stating you plan to return to your job
- proof that you study at a school, college or university in your home country
- proof that you have immediate family members in your home country
- proof that you own a house or other major assets in your home country;
- Confirmed return flight ticket;
- Health Insurance
At a later date, you may be required to obtain and submit the following:
- Medical Certificate
- Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
All non-English documents (except for police certificates) must be translated into English and all documents’ copies (both original and translations) must be certified.
You need one passport-size digital photo for the Visitor Visa application. The photo must meet the following requirements.
- Taken in the last 6 months
- Showing your head and shoulders against a plain background
- Neutral facial expression with mouth closed, eyes open, and looking at the camera
- Religious head coverings are allowed but must not obscure the face
- Piercing is allowed but must not cause any reflections or shadows
There is no official guidance for the size and resolution of pictures uploaded online but the file type must be JPG. You will get to move the photo to position your face within a frame.
As long as the picture is clear, crisp, and not excessively big, it will be accepted.
Visitor visa fee
The Australian Tourist Visa application fee is 190 AUD, payable online.
You may also have to pay for:
- Health checks
- Police certificates
Australian immigration reports that 50% of applications are processed in 7 days and 90% are processed in 21 days. These periods start after you submit your biometrics (if required).
Visitor Visa Application Process
How to apply
You must apply for your tourist visa online through the Immi Portal. Applying on paper is not possible for the visitor visa anymore. Follow the below steps:
- Go to the ImmiAccount portal and create an account
- Click on “New application” and pick “Visitor Visa (600)”.
- Enter your personal information, passport details, employment details and financial information
- Upload your documents such as passport, photo, etc.
- Pay the required visa fee
- Submit the application
The Visitor Visa is part of Australia’s biometrics program. If you apply for a Visitor Visa from any of the below countries, regardless of your nationality, you must give your biometrics.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
If you apply from one of these countries, you will receive an email informing you that you need to visit an Australian Biometrics Collection Centre (ABCC) to have your biometrics collected. The biometrics are usually a face photo and fingerprint scan.
You must complete the biometrics procedure within 14 days of getting this email otherwise your application becomes void without a refund!
AABCs are typically managed by VFS Global. They charge a service fee for biometric collection. This fee depends on AABC and the country you are applying from.
For example, the biometric service at AABC in Dubai, UAE is AED 109.17. The biometric service fee at AABC in Manila, Philippines is PHP 557.
How to schedule biometric appointment?
Within 24 hours of applying for your Visitor Visa, you will receive an email with a biometric request letter from Home Affairs. Follow these steps to schedule your biometric appointment.
Find the nearest ABCC to you and follow the prompts to schedule your biometric appointment.
How to attend biometric appointment?
Follow the below steps to attend your biometric appointment at an AABC.
- Arrive at the AABC at least 15 minutes before your appointment time
- Bring the following documents to your appointment
- Original passport
- Biometric appointment confirmation
- Biometric fee receipt and
- Biometric request letter received in the email from Home Affairs
- Your facial photo is taken and your 10 fingertips are scanned
What if you can’t attend your appointment?
If you can’t make an appointment, you can reschedule your appointment up to 24 hours before your scheduled appointment date and time. You can reschedule up to 2 times.
What if you miss your appointment?
If you miss your scheduled appointment, you will lose the fee paid as the biometric fee is nonrefundable. You will also have to wait 24 hours to schedule a new appointment.
How to track status
You will receive the status of your application in your email. You can also track the status of the visa in your ImmiAccount.
How to download approved visa
When your Visitor Visa is approved, you will receive a grant letter in your email from Home Affairs. The grant letter is your Visitor Visa.
The Visitor visa is electronically linked to your passport, so you don’t need to download or print your Visitor Visa.
If you’re ever asked to show any proof, you can use the Grant Notification you received in your email. You can also download it from your ImmiAccount under “Visa Grant Details”.
How to check the validity of your Visitor Visa
The expiration date of your Australia eVisitor visa is indicated as “Must not arrive after” on the visa letter. If you lost your grant letter or don’t have a copy of your Visitor Visa, you can check the validity details on the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) portal by using either your Visa Grant Number or Transaction Reference Number.
Refer to the Self-help Guidelines for information to troubleshoot any issues. If facing issues with your ImmiAccount or the Visitor visa application, contact customer service using the below webform
Procedure at the border
The Visitor Visa is digitally attached to your passport so you don’t need to print anything. When you enter Australia, simply present your passport and be ready to answer a few basic questions about your visit.
Eligible passport holders can use the Smart Gates for faster arrival and departure procedures.
All visitors including Australian citizens are required to fill out an Incoming Passenger Card on arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to get an Australian tourist visa?
It can take up to 3 weeks to get an Australian tourist visa, especially if submitting your biometrics. It can be faster or slower depending on where you are applying from, your circumstances and the number of documents you submit.
How hard is it to get a tourist visa to Australia?
It is easy to get a tourist visa to Australia if you submit a complete application with as many documents. You must convince the Home Office that you won’t overstay or break the conditions of the visa.
How much bank balance is required for Australia tourist visa?
Australian Home Office doesn’t specify the minimum bank balance required for a tourist visa. Your bank account must show continuous cash flow and not a lump sum deposited recently.
Based on the reports from travelers reports and recommendations from embassies, you should aim for at least 5,000 AUD in your bank account when you apply.
Can you get a 3-year visitor visa to Australia?
Yes, you can get a 3-year visitor visa to Australia if are from an eligible country and meet the requirements. Australian Visitor Visa is issued for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years depending on your nationality and circumstances. For example, Indian nationals can get an Australian tourist visa valid for 3 years.