The Tourist Visa and Sponsored Family Visa – An In-Depth View

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The Tourist Visa and Sponsored Family Visa – An In-Depth View

The Tourist Visa and Sponsored Family Visa – An In-Depth View

Anyone wishing to visit family and friends or holiday in Australia will require either a Tourist Visa or a Sponsored Family Visa. These are temporary visas which allow holders to stay in Australia for three, six or twelve months. The length of stay granted is determined on a case-by-case basis and is specified on the visa grant letter.

Factors that are considered when determining the stay period are:
-          the reason for your visit to Australia and
-          how long you want to stay in Australia.

Family members cannot be included on these visa applications. A separate application must be made for each family member including those listed on your passport.

What is the Tourist Stream?
The tourist stream allows holders to visit Australia as a tourist, to see family and friends or for purposes other than business or medical treatment.

You may stay in Australia for the length of time granted on your visa and must have enough money to support your stay in Australia. You may study or train for up to three months but you may not work on this visa.

Eligibility
In order to be eligible for a tourist visa, you must meet the following criteria:
-          Meet health requirements
-          Meet character requirements
-          Have access to enough money to support yourself while you are in Australia
-          Be a genuine visitor

What Obligations Apply to the Tourist Stream?
Anyone on this visa must abide by all visa conditions and obey Australian laws. All conditions are outlined on the visa grant letter. 

You must also notify the Department of Immigration of any changes in your circumstances. These include:
-          Changes to your details (phone number, email, address or passport)
-          Changes in your relationship status
-          The birth of a child
It is also recommended that applicants take out health insurance in case any unforeseen medical issues arise while staying in Australia.

What Can You Do on This Visa?
This visa allows you to visit family or friends or cruise or have a holiday.
If you are granted a Tourist Visa with multiple entries, you can travel outside Australia and return as many times you like while the visa is valid.

Cost and Processing Times
A tourist visa costs AUD365 for each applicant. Additional costs may also apply for the following:
-          Health checks, police certificates and biometrics
-          A subsequent temporary application charge

Processing of Tourist Visa applications can take anywhere from 16 – 26 days. Longer processing times may apply if:
-          the application is not filled out correctly
-          you don’t include all required documents or more information about you is required
-          if it takes the department time to verify your information

What is the Sponsored Family Stream?
The Sponsored Family Visa allows people who are sponsored, usually by a family member to visit family in Australia.

Eligibility
In order to be eligible for a tourist visa, you must meet the following criteria:
-          Meet health requirements
-          Meet character requirements
-          Not have any debts owing to the Australian government or have arranged to pay back any money owing
-          Have enough money to support your stay in Australia
-          Be a genuine visitor
-          Have a sponsor (a family member or government official)


What Obligations Apply to the Sponsored Family Stream?
Anyone on this visa must abide by all visa conditions and obey Australian laws. All conditions are outlined on the visa grant letter.

You must also notify the Department of Immigration of any changes in your circumstances. These include:
-          Changes to your details (phone number, email, address or passport)
-          Changes in your relationship status
-          The birth of a child

It is also recommended that applicants take out health insurance in case any unforeseen medical issues arise while staying in Australia.

What Can You Do on This Visa?
This visa allows you to visit family or friends or cruise or have a holiday. You are unable to work on this visa.
If you are granted a tourist visa with multiple entries, you can travel outside Australia and return as many times you like while the visa is valid.

Cost and Processing Times
A sponsored family visa costs AUD145 for each applicant. The sponsor may also be asked to pay a security bond. Additional costs may also apply for the following:
-          Health checks, police certificates and biometrics

Processing of Sponsored Family Visa applications can take anywhere from 34 – 55 days. Longer processing times may apply if:
-          the application is not filled out correctly
-          you don’t include all required documents or more information about you is required
-          if it takes the department time to verify your information

If you would like to learn more about Visitor Visas or any other aspects of migration contact the VSA team. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.

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