- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Australia Guide (PDF)
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, providing comprehensive 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 avoid complications.
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.
The standard Australian visit visa is divided into several subtypes according to the purpose of the visit, including tourism, business, or visiting family. Stays of three, six or 12 months may be granted.
Some nationalities are eligible for an eVisitor visa. Valid for 12 months, holders of this visa can visit Australia for up to three months at a time. They can only be applied for online, and the application must be made outside of Australia. There is no charge associated with an 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.
Australia has a partnership with a number of 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 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. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and can be from a number of accepted countries. Irish, Canadian and French applicants are eligible to apply up to the age of 35.
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.
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.
Those not eligible for the Working Holiday Visa may be eligible instead for the very similar Work and Holiday Visa.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.