Visitor visas or tourist visas are temporary visas which are valid for 3, 6 or 12 months. Visitor visas are available to tourists, business visitors or anyone wanting to visit family and friends in Australia. Visitor visas may be granted with single or multiple entry to Australia.
There are five types of visitor visas available. These include:
- Tourist Stream
- Sponsored Family Stream
- Business Visitor Stream
- Approved Destination Status Stream
- Frequent Traveller Stream
Each of these visas has specific eligibility criteria and conditions attached. Generally, to be eligible for a visitor visa, applicants must be genuine visitors to Australia and have enough funds to support their stay and leave when their visa expires. In the case of the Approved Destination Status Stream, holders must be on a tour with a registered travel agent from the People’s Republic of China.
Once a visitor visa is granted, the holder may enter and remain in Australia until the visa expires as long as the conditions of the visa are met. The most common condition attached to these visas is the inability to work. Study on these visas is also limited.
As is the case with most visas, holders are expected to comply with all visa conditions and obey Australian Laws. Failure to comply with visitor visa conditions can result in visa cancellation. In most cases applicants will also have to meet character and health requirements.
It is recommended that anyone visiting Australia on a visitor visa take out health insurance in case any unexpected medical issues should arise. Certain countries have a reciprocal health care arrangement with Australia entitling them to Medicare benefits, but it is important to check if your country has this agreement in place.
If the visa applicant has used a travel agency to organise their travel to Australia then the travel agent can organise the visitor visa. In circumstances where the application may be complicated, a migration agent may need to step in and assist with the visa application process. A fee is payable for the application of a visitor visa and processing times can vary from two days to two months depending on the type of visitor visa you are applying for.
If you would like more information on visitor visas or any other aspect of migration speak to one of the Visa Solutions Australia team today. It is a complex issue so it is important to speak to someone in the know.