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There are five types of Australian visas, find out which is the best option for you

Understanding The 5 Types of Australian Visas

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Australia's world renowned landscapes, thriving economy and diverse population has made the country one of the most popular places in the world to visit or live in. Considering there are over 100 Australian visas available to foreigners, finding the one that suits your needs the most can be a slightly daunting task. Thankfully, we're here to simplify the process for you.

Today, we look into the five types of Australian Visas in a bid to help you better understand which one may be the best option for your individual circumstances. Read on to find out more.

Visitor Visas

A visitor visa will allow you to visit Australia for both tourism and business purposes, depending on which visa you qualify for. A visitor visa is only intended for temporary stays in Australia and is not a substitute for a permanent visa. It is important that you obtain professional visa legal advice if you are thinking of staying in Australia long term.

However, if you are someone who is planning a short adventure down under, you will need to apply for one of the many different types of visitor visas before you land in Australia. Two of the most common visitor visas include:

ETA Australia (subclass 601): The 601 visitor visa is an electronically granted visa valid for passport holders from the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. It is valid for 90 days within a 12-month period for tourism or business purposes.

eVisitor (subclass 651): This visa is similar to the ETA in that it is valid for 90 days within a 12 month period. However, it is only valid for passport holders of EU member states, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417): This visa allows foreigners to stay and work in Australia for up to 1 year. It is a great option for young people between the ages of 18-30 with the exception of some passport holders (French, Irish, and Canadian) who are eligible from ages 18-35. It is also possible to obtain a second and/or third working holiday visa to extend your stay if you meet certain criteria.

For all other visitor visas, please visit this page.

Student Visas

Student visas are a subclass of visas intended for foreigners who plan on studying in Australia. The Student Visa (subclass 500) allows you to participate in eligible courses of study in Australia and to bring your family members along with you, if applicable. This visa grants you a stay of up to 5 years depending on your needs and can be applied for on-shore or off-shore. Do keep in mind that you will have to meet certain academic entry requirements which you can find out about here.

To be eligible for a student visa in Australia, an applicant must be 6 years old or over, and if under the age of 18, have a welfare arrangement in place. Alternatively, parents or guardians may apply for the Student Guardian visa (subclass 590) to accompany their dependents in Australia.

Working and Skilled Visas

If you are someone who is looking to work in Australia, you will be required to obtain some form of working and/or skilled visa. There are currently over 20+ working and skilled visas available to skilled migrants, ranging from Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) to Global Talent visa (subclass 858) and everything in between.

Because there are so many work visas on offer, it is absolutely vital that you obtain the help of an immigration lawyer if you are considering migrating to Australia for work. A migration lawyer will be able to help you better identify which visa suits your needs the best and will be able to examine your case and present you with multiple choices for a smoother immigration process.

Family and Partner Visas

Family and partner visas are Australian visas that can be granted to partners or family members of Australian citizens or Permanent Residents. Depending on the specific circumstances of the applicant, there are a number of various temporary and permanent family/partner visas offered. Some of the most common family/partner visas include:

Partner visa (subclass 820 801): The partner visa 820 allows the spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia temporarily. Obtaining the 820 is the first step towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 801). The permanent partner visa will allow a spouse or de facto partner to live in Australia permanently.

Aged Parent visa (subclass 804): This is a permanent visa that allows an aged parent of a settled Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to gain permanent residency in Australia.

Family and Partner visas can be a complicated affair, and it is always a wise idea to consult with an immigration lawyer if you are considering moving to Australia to live with a partner or family member permanently. For the entire list of 20+ Family and Partner visas, please visit this page.

Refugee and Humanitarian Visas

Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Program assists people in humanitarian need overseas, who need to resettle to Australia when there are no other durable solutions available. This also applies to refugees who are already onshore and are seeking protection after arriving in Australia. As such, refugee and humanitarian visas offer resettlement to individuals who are in need of protection. Some of the most common of these visas include:

Protection visa (subclass 866): This visa is for those refugees seeking asylum due to the fear of persecution in their home country due to religion, race, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

Refugee visas (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204): This subclass of visas are for individuals who arrived in Australia on a valid visa and want to seek asylum. It lets you stay in Australia permanently if you engage Australia's protection obligations and meet all other requirements for the grant of the visa.

For all other refugee and humanitarian visas, please visit this page.


And there you have it - everything you need to know about the five different types of Australian visas. Regardless of which visa type is required for your travels, it is always advised to submit an application in advance of making other arrangements for your trip. Additionally, getting in touch with an experienced migration lawyer is also recommended if you are planning on permanently moving to Australia.

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