So you’ve decided to head to the land down under? You couldn’t have picked a better place! The views are beautiful, the cities are lively, the locals are friendly. At this point, you’re getting everything planned out, and now there’s a big question: how long to actually get permission to go? The answer depends on the reason for your trip.
The most common reason to visit Australia, of course, is a vacation. The good news is, things have gotten much, much simpler when it comes to applications and turnaround time. At this point in time, there are three different types of visa to enter Australia, each with their own unique features.
1. Standard Visitor Visa (subclass 600)
- Allows you to stay for either three, six, or twelve months
- Has a cost between AUD135 and AUD1000
- Official turnaround time is 2-20 days
- Average turnaround time is 18-34 days
2. eVisitor (subclass 651)
- Expires in 12 months, allows you to stay three months in that time
- Can study for three months under certain circumstances
- Only available to passport holders of certain countries (not the US)
- Average turnaround time is 1-2 days
3. Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)
- Allows you to visit up to three months, as many times as you want, for up to one year.
- Online application costs AUD 20
- Only available to passport holders of certain countries (US included)
Smile and Eat Your Vegemite
Perhaps you’re a student looking to study abroad? Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, and Gold Coast boast excellent programs from Marketing to Psychology to International Relations. Some programs also have financial available aid to help cover some of your expenses. Once you have everything arranged and filed properly, the time for application approval is based on the type of program you’re majoring in. The shortest range is 8 to 15 days and the longest 48 to 73. So make certain you plan ahead!
Of course, there are also Work Visas and Immigration visas. Those processes are more complex than we can consider here, but the Australian government makes the information easy to find and easy to follow.
Whatever your reason for traveling, careful planning is necessary. Your first stop should be the Australian Department Immigration and Border Protection website. There you’ll find handy tools to help you determine which of these visas is best, the documents you need, what fees are associated, how to pay, and the steps to apply.
So plan ahead, be smart, travel safe, and have a wonderful trip!