How to Apply for a Visa to Australia

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Australia is an attractive destination for work, travel and study but, in most cases, you’ll need a visa before you can visit. Visas are available in different categories, depending on your reason for visiting Australia. Staying organized and informed throughout the application process will help you get through the immigration process.

  • Check your eligibility for an evisitor pass. Citizens of most countries planning to visit Australia for less than three months as tourists or for business can apply for a visa waiver, known as an evisitor pass. The application is free and you do not need to visit an embassy or immigration office. Apply online through the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration website at www.immi.gov.au.

  • Select your visa category. If you plan to stay in Australia for more than three months or wish to work, study or obtain medical treatment in Australia, you will need to apply for a special visa. Visas are available in many different categories, each with specific requirements. Visit the Department of Immigration website and use the "Visa Wizard" to find the visa that suits you.

  • Prepare your application. Download your Australian visa application forms and documents online through the Department of Immigration website or pick them up from an embassy or consulate. Expect to provide proof-of-identity documents including your passport and birth certificate. Many working visas and all family reunification visas also require a sponsor in Australia.

  • Lodge your application online (in some visa categories) or with an Australian embassy or consulate. Most visas require an application fee, which is not refundable if your application is rejected. Check with the Department of Immigration for an up-to-date fee schedule.

  • Pass the required criminal and health checks. You may be asked for a criminal background check or health screening, especially if you are planning a long-term or working stay. The health check will include a chest x-ray, infectious diseases test and full medical examination. Visitors to Australia aged 75 or older will also need to pass an Aged Visitor Health Check.

  • Visit an Australian embassy or consulate for an interview. Applicants in most visa categories will need to pass an interview with immigration officials before being granted a visa. This interview may be short, only a couple of questions, or it may be longer, especially if you plan to work. Bring copies of your application form and original identity documents to the interview.

  • Keep your Transaction Reference Number (TRN), the unique number you are given when you lodge your application. Check your visa application status online using the TRN at the Department of Immigration Website.

References

  • Photo Credit passport image by isatori from Fotolia.com
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