Visas are a legal form of document that gives a person permission to enter a country different than their own country of citizenship, or passing through a foreign country.
To obtain an Australian visa, you must first determine what kind of visa do you want (whether a student visa, family visa, tourist visa etc.) and then apply for one.
Visa applications are made at the nearest Australian embassy or office or online where applicable, with all the required documents (visa application form, photographs, photocopy of your bio data page, visa fees etc). In most cases, the visa is attached and put on your passport, or attached to the passport number electronically. The passport you are applying with must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of application.
There are several types of Australian visas, and the most common ones are:
- Working Holiday Visa – This visa is for people aged from 18 to 30 years, who want to work and travel in Australia for up to twelve months. The purpose of this visa is to prolong your holiday, with the opportunity to work temporarily on a short-term basis. You can leave and enter to Australia indefinitely, while the visa is valid.
- Student Visas – This class of visas is for young people who want to study in Australia. Your application for a student visa is assessed in accordance with the legal requirements of assessing the level within the visa subclass. Your assessment level is determined by the country of the passport you hold. To find out the Assessment Level for your visa application, you need to match the nationality of your passport with the visa subclass for the education sector of your main course. With student visa you have a permit to work up to 40 hours a fortnight.
- Partner Visas – Partner visas are for people who wish to migrate to Australia and are married, plan to get married or are in a relationship with an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen. The applicant must be sponsored for at least 2 years by their Australian independent or de-facto partner aged over 18 years. You have to provide a proof that you’re married or have been in a relationship with your partner over 12 months. A temporary visa is granted first followed by a permanent visa after two years.
- GSM (General Skilled Migration) Visas – The GSM program offers many and very good opportunities for skilled workers to live and work in Australia. Skilled migrants and skilled workers can use their experience, work, qualifications and language ability to express their interest for obtaining an Australian visa to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and this can often be used as a pathway for obtaining a permanent residency in Australia.
- Family Visas – if you have relatives or family members in Australia (parent, child, brother, sister, partner, grandparent, niece etc.) and you want to visit them or live and migrate in Australia, you can apply for few different Family visas, and the principal condition is that your Australian relative must be your sponsor. You can apply at first for a temporary and than for permanent family visa.
- Tourist Visas – They are designed for people who wish to visit Australia for recreation, vacation, visit their relatives and friends, for business and for different short-term purposes. There are several tourist visa subclasses: Tourist visa – subclass 676, Sponsored Visitor Family Visa – Subclass 679, eVisitor- Subclass 651, Visitor (ETA) visa – 976 etc. The type of tourist visa you need to apply for depends mostly on the reasons you want to visit Australia for and your personal circumstances.
- Business Visas – There are many different business visas that business people can apply for. The Business Visit Stream is for business people who want to visit Australia for short-term business (e.g. attend a conference, training etc.) This visa is valid for up to 3 months. The Business Development Stream is designed for business people who want to manage an existing or new business, establish a new business or invest in various business opportunities in Australia.