Visitor VisasEven though the National Anthem states that "for those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share", whoever wrote that was either on drugs or had never witnessed the passion our politicians have for shutting the gates like a spoiled kid with the coolest toys. For some lucky travelers getting into Australia is a walk in the park. Just show up, flash your passport and hit the beach. For many however, the process is not so simple. If you're unfortunate enough to not be on the list of countries we want to be best friends with for some economic reason, then you may have a bit of a wait in front of you. All we can say is hang in there tiger, it'll be worth the wait. If you're heading to Australia for a good time and not a long time, then the Visitor Visa is for you. It gets you in for 12 months, but only 3 months at a time for some reason, meaning you'll have to jump a plane to New Zealand and come back. If you can get an ETA or an eVisitor, it's smooth sailing as these come through pretty much instantly. Everyone else has to apply the good old fashioned way - on the internet, do some medical checks to prove you don't have diseases, show some bank statements, and then wait for the green light.
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) systemThe ETA system is the VIP, red carpet, champagne service of Australian visas. For passport holders from a select group of countries, it's basically an electronic visa which let's you come for business or pleasure or business and pleasure for up to 12 months. You can register online or through travel agents and airlines worldwide. The best part is there is no racing around your home town/country to wait in a big-ass line at the embassy. I bet I know what you're thinking. "I hope those damn people from San Marino aren't on the list, they get everything!" Well sorry to disappoint, they're on the list: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan*, The Netherlands, United Kingdom—British Citizen, United Kingdom—British National (Overseas), United States, Vatican City.
eVisitorThis is pretty much the same thing as an ETA.
Extending Your Stay
Some people hate this country, and that's fine. But plenty fall in love with it (and/or its inhabitants) and want to stay. Whatever the circumstances, you can't just overstay your visa or you will be hunted down and fed to the crocodiles. You need to basically apply for a new visa.If you are refused a further visa, you must leave Australia before the expiry of your original visa. See: Tourist (e676) Visa – Online Applications
Ah yes, the old working holiday. Live the dream, fund some travels by getting a job. Sounds like a great idea eh? Better brush up on those dish washing skills!
The working holiday (417 subclass) visa let's you stay and work for up to 12 months. The guest list is even shorter this time, because there are obviously only 19 countries who have people with skills and work hard. So passport-holders of these countries and these countries only are allowed to work:Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom.
To make it complicated, the work and holiday visa (subclass 462) lets a couple of extras in to work for up to a year, but only if you're young (under 31) and good-looking (it can't hurt can it?), and from one of these fine nations: Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.