Which Visa do I need for Backpacking around Australia?

Applying for a Visa to go Backpacking Around Australia - Part 2
Visas for Backpacking Around Australia

The visa you choose depends on what you want to do when you go i.e, holiday, study, work (maybe even all three) and the amount of time you want to stay. Here are some of the more common visas people apply for when visiting Australia.

  • Tourist Visas - These non-working visas are for people who wish to stay anywhere in Australia on holiday, visiting family/friends, sight seeing etc... from short term (up to 3 months) to long term (up to 12 months).

  • Working Holiday Visa - This popular visa allows you to travel and work anywhere in Australia for up to 12 months from the date you enter the country. It's available to citizens of all countries participating in the Working Holiday Program.

  • Working Holiday Visa Extension - For people who wish to extend their first Working Holiday Visa for an extra 12 months. To do this you need to have worked for 3 months (88 days) in any of the 'specified industries' in 'regional Australia' within your first Working Holiday Visa period.

Although some of the most common visas have been outlined, there are others for business, education and emigration purposes and you're advised to research them thoroughly to be sure of selecting the correct option (see the IMMI website).

Tourist Visas

Tourist visas are for going to Australia on holiday, to visit relatives, friends or for other short-term non-work purposes. There are a various tourist visas available depending on your intended length of stay and country of origin. Here you can read a description of each visa and follow the links for the full details from the Australian Immigration website.

Tourist visa (subclass 676)

A temporary visa allowing a stay in Australia of up to 3 or 6 or 12 months. Applicants can apply from both outside and inside Australia. Some tourists are eligible to lodge an online application for an e676 Tourist visa. This visa allows people to visit Australia for holiday or recreation, or to visit family and/or friends. This visa may also be used for other short-term non-work purposes including study for less than three months.

This visa is available to all passport holders who are:

  • outside Australia and want to apply for a visa to visit Australia

  • inside Australia and want to extend their stay as a visitor.

You may be required to pay a visa application charge (around $110AUD), this charge is usually not refunded if your application is unsuccessful. Read more about this visa (http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/676).

Certain tourists are also eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or an eVisitor (see below).

ETA (Visitor) (Subclass 976)

With this option you can stay for up to three months on each visit within the validity of the visa. The ETA is valid for 12 months from the date of grant, or for the life of the passport if the passport expires less than 12 months from the date the ETA was granted. It's designed for people who are outside Australia and want to visit Australia for holidays, tourism, recreation or for informal study. There is no visa application charge however a service charge of $20 does apply. Read more about this visa (lhttp://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/976).

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