What are the different visa types in Australia
The thought of moving abroad could sound exciting and fun. But before we get to that part, let’s first learn about the Australian visa types and their application processes which are often one of the most important steps in the initial stage of relocating. Understanding these can also help to prepare you for the big move as you will know which type of visa is best suited for you and how you can go about applying for it.
In Australia, the visa application process is handled and operated by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). It is necessary to obtain official permission in the form of a visa before you visit or move to Australia – whether it is for just a few months, years or permanently. Anybody traveling to Australia without valid documentation may be denied entry or detained until their documentation and identity are confirmed. You can avoid these inconveniences by ensuring that your travel documents and visa are in order even before entering the country – and here is how you can do it.
Australian visa categories
1. Visitor visas
Fees: $150 AUD
You can apply for a business visitor visa if work is your primary purpose for visiting Australia. The types of work-related businesses can include negotiating, investigating, reviewing or signing contracts, conducting or attending meetings, conferences, and seminars, site inspection and exploratory visits.
Business travelers from ETA eligible countries can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) which is valid for 12 months. With this, you can stay for up to a period of 3 months each time you visit Australia. To obtain this visa, you will need to have an eligible passport and apply from outside Australia. Remember to also check if you meet the requirements before applying as there is an online application service charge of $20.
Business travelers from EVV eligible countries can obtain an EVisitor Visa (EVV) which is valid for 12 months from the date your EVV is granted. With this, you can also stay for up to a period of 3 months each time you visit Australia. To obtain this visa, you will need to hold a passport from a particular country and apply from outside Australia.
For business travelers who are neither from the ETA or EVV eligible countries, you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa (subclass 600) which grants you a stay in Australia for up to 3, 6 or 12 months. The cost of applying for this visa starts from $370.
Even if you are just transiting through Australia, you will probably need a transit visa. This visa allows you to be in Australia for up to 72 hours before you will need to leave the country. But not everyone is required to have one. So, do check whether you need to apply for this visa before planning your trip because you wouldn’t want to have any delays or problems arising amid your traveling!
2. Training and studying visas
a) Student visa
Fees: $650 AUD
Student visas are offered to international students who wish to study in the country. This visa allows you to stay up to 5 years and in line with your enrolment. To apply for a student visa, you must already be enrolled in a course of study in Australia and follow other requirements as stated. Some of the relevant documents necessary for a student visa application include a valid passport, visa application form, civil records, parental consent and health insurance. Cost for applying starts from $630 unless you have exemptions and processing time varies from 82 days to 8 months.
b) Training visa
Fees: $325 AUD
A training visa is a temporary visa offered to individuals attending a work-related training course focused on improving their skills in their current field of study or occupation. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 2 years and cost starts from $315 for the main applicant. Do check if you have met the strict requirements and prepare all necessary documents before applying for this visa.
c) Student guardian visa
Fees: $560 AUD
A student guardian visa is a temporary visa offered to the student’s parent, custodian or relative aged 21 years or older who will provide care and support to the child. The length of your visa will be determined by the student visa holder’s stay and their age. Cost for applying for this visa starts from $630 and processing time takes about 6 to 8 months. Do check if you meet all criteria and conditions before applying.
3. Family and partner visas
There are many kinds of visas within this category alone and they are all family and partner related. Several types of these visas include:
a) Sponsored Parent visa
Fees: $4155 AUD
A sponsored parent visa is a temporary visa that allows a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to enter Australia for up to 3 or 5 years. However, parents on this visa are not allowed to work in Australia. Cost varies depending on the duration of stay and processing time is between 5 to 9 months.
b) Aged Parent visa
Fees: $4560 AUD
The aged parent visa allows one of a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to stay in Australia permanently. If eligible, the parent can also apply for Australian citizenship using this visa. Cost for applying for the visa starts from $6,490. Do ensure you meet all the criteria stated before applying.
c) Partner visa
Fees: $1310 AUD
There are two kinds of partner visas – one that is applied from overseas and the other that is applied in Australia. Both visas allow the partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia provided they meet the basic criteria. It is also recommended to apply for both the temporary and the permanent partner visa together.
d) Child visa
Fees: $2790 AUD
Child visas are given to children who have a legal guardian or parent in Australia and plan to join them. There are two types of child visa: The first one allows a child outside of Australia to move to Australia to live with their parents and the second one allows a child to stay in Australia permanently and live with their parents. Both child visas are quite similar in terms of the benefits and cost for applying, but the duration of processing time varies, and the eligibility criteria differs slightly.
e) Adoption visa
Fees: $2665 AUD
An adoption visa is a permanent visa that allows children adopted outside of Australia to migrate to Australia as a permanent resident to live with their adoptive parents. With this visa, the child can study and access Medicare in Australia, as well as apply for Australian citizenship if eligible. However, the criteria is rather strict so make sure you read and check through that you are qualified for this visa before applying.
f) Prospective Marriage visa
Fees: $7850 AUD
The prospective marriage visa is a temporary visa (between 9 and 15 months from the date the visa is granted) that permits you to enter Australia with the primary purpose of getting married. To obtain this visa, you must be sponsored, be 18 years or older, be outside of Australia when applying and meet the accepted character and health requirements.
4. Working and skilled visas
Like the family and partner visas, there are also many kinds of visas within the working and skilled visa category, and they are all business and work related. Several types of these visas include:
a) Global Talent Visa
Fees: $4180 AUD
The global talent visa is a permanent visa for those who have an internationally recognized record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field. This visa allows you to work, study and access Medicare in Australia, apply for Australian citizenship if eligible and even sponsor your relatives to come to Australia. Do check if you are eligible before applying as there are several criteria to meet.
b) Skilled Independent Visa
Fees: $4045 AUD
A skilled independent visa permits you to live in Australia indefinitely, and you must be invited to apply for the visa. However, you must meet the score points criteria to be eligible for this visa. Do also check through the types of documents required before applying.
5. Humanitarian and refugee visas
The government of Australia offers humanitarian resettlement under the special humanitarian and refugee program. The special humanitarian program is for individuals with family links in Australia who have been subject to gross violation of human rights and substantial discrimination in their home country. Types of visas found under this category include:
a) Refugee visa
The refugee visa is founded to protect individuals from the fear of prosecution should they decide to return or visit their home country. With this visa, you can stay, work and study in Australia permanently, and even propose family members for permanent residence. However, you have to meet all of the following stated requirements to apply for this visa. Though applying for this visa is free, the decision process could take many months, or even years.
b) Global special humanitarian visa
Fees: $3005 AUD
A global special humanitarian visa protects persons with family links in Australia from substantial discrimination and violation of human rights in their home country. You will be eligible for the visa if an organization or person in Australia has recommended you. With this visa, you can stay, work and study in Australia permanently, and even propose certain family members for permanent residence. However, you have to meet all of the following stated requirements to apply for this visa. Applying for this visa is usually free and the decision process could take many months, or even years.
6. Other visas
a) Medical treatment visa
Fees: $315 AUD
A medical treatment visa is a temporary visa that allows you to travel to or remain longer in Australia for medical treatment purposes or to support someone needing medical treatment who holds or has applied for this visa. It is also for those people who are donating an organ. This visa grants single entry or multiple entries to Australia depending on your situation, and you will also be allowed to study for up to 3 months (or longer if you meet the exemption criteria). As usual, check if you have met the criteria before applying for the visa.
b) Special category visa
The special category visa is a temporary visa that enables you to visit, stay, study and work in Australia. This visa is made available for New Zealand citizens that meet the eligibility criteria. It’s typically applied each time you enter or visit Australia. Cost for applying is free but processing time may vary depending on where you apply. This visa also requires you to remain a New Zealand citizen and continue to meet the character requirements.
7. Repealed visas
Information provided for this category is only for those who have already been granted the specific visa applied for, and it explains your rights and obligations.
a) Retirement visa
Fees: : $385 AUD
This visa is no longer available to new applicants other than partners of existing Retirement visa holders, former Retirement visa holders who have not held another substantive visa since last entering Australia. This retirement visa is made available for retirees and their partners who want to spend their retirement years in Australia. This is a temporary visa that allows you and your partner to visit, study, work or leave Australia at any time. However, this visa does not lead to permanent residence in Australia or to Australian citizenship and you’ll need to comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.
b) Labour agreement visa
Fees: $2770 AUD
The labour agreement visa is a permanent resident visa that allows you and your family members who have been granted access to the visa to stay, study, work and access Medicare and healthcare schemes in Australia indefinitely. Similarly, you are expected to comply with all obligations as stated.
c) Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
Fees: $450 AUD
The visitors who want to work to either fund their trip or gather experience to get a better chance in their profession by the special visa provided by the ministry of immigration of Australia. This visa is known as the holiday visa 417 or the Working Holiday Visa 417. The visa is applicable for the individuals who want to spend vacation time in the country of Australia and work under an Australian company during their stay. Unlike some other visas, this one has an age limit, which can change depending upon the country. Usually, this visa is valid for only a year.
The visa is also multi-application compliant, that is, the applicant can apply for the 417 Visa Australia for up to three times, one after another. The visa is usually granted if the entire required document is in place. The visa, however, does not allow for continuous work under one employer; the applicants have to work under the supervision of two different employers for six-month duration. There are many more rules and regulations in place which have to be carefully considered for the application and the consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agent Australia can be a much-needed first step.
If you want to apply for any of the above visa, then you can check the official website of the Australian Visa: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing
Disclaimer: You can always refer to the above official website for all the visa related concerns in the Australia.