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Australian Visas

Sydney appartments

A visa is required by all backpackers except New Zealand passport holders, in order to enter Australia. Here we have outlined the visas available to tourists and backpackers, and exactly who they are aimed at and how to obtain one.

Most backpackers opt for a Working Holiday Maker Visa, as it is the most flexible visa allowing a stay of up to 12 months, and it also allows you to work to help fund your visit.

There are several types of visa:

ETA (Electronic Travel Authority):

For: Visitors from 33 countries including UK, USA, Canada (more). Who will stay in Australia for 3 months or less
How: This visa can be applied for via travel agents with ticket purchase, or by applying directly to the Australian immigration authority.
Cost: Travel Agents may charge a fee to obtain this visa. Online applications through the Australian immigration web site are $20.
Valid for: Valid for multiple visits within 12 months of application. With a maximum of 3 months for each visit.

Tourist Visa:

For: The tourist visa is for visitors from countries not covered by ETA and people who want to stay longer than 3 months
How: Visit the official Australian visa web site
Cost: A$70
Valid: Can allow a visit (or multiple visits) of up to one year.

Working Holiday Maker Visas (WHM):

For: The working holiday visa is for people aged 18 to 30, who want to visit Australia for an extended time and to earn money to cover their stay. Minimum - You must have turned 18 at the time of applying for the visa. Maximum – you must not be over 30 at time of applying. Must be from these countries
How: Australian Immigration Website, or by post: print off the application form and send to:
Australia House
United Kingdom
Website: www.uk.embassy.gov.au
Online: http://www.immi.gov.au/...
Cost: A$185
Valid: Up to 12 months from date you enter Australia (you must enter Australia within 12 months from date the visa was received.)
Conditions: You must be able to provide proof that you have sufficient funds to fund part of your trip if asked. – A$5000. Bank Statement and onward ticket is suitable.
You’re allowed to work up to 6 months with each employer.
Leave and re-enter Aus any number of times.
Collection: If you arrive at Sydney Airport, you can have your visa label printed before you leave the airport. When your passport is stamped on entry; ask for directions to the visa label desk. If you arrive at any other Australian airport you can go to any office of the department to have your visa label printed.
Apply: 6 months in advance is usually a good time. They can only issue a certain amount each year, so don’t leave it too late. As soon as you know you’re going and have the plane ticket, apply.

Second Working Holiday Visa:

For: A working holiday visa extension for people who have worked 3 months or more doing Seasonal Work while on first WHV. Work doesn’t have to be paid or continuous. Must be aged 18 to 30 inclusive.
How: Online through the Australian Government web site: -
Click here if you're applying from outside of Australia.
Click here if you're applying from inside Australia.
Valid: For an extra 12 months on top of existing visa i.e. 24 months altogether If outside of Australia when applying can enter Australia within 12 months of applying and stay for 12 months.
Finance: Proof of funds - $5000 and onward ticket if asked.
Proof: Supply proof of work – payslips, group certificates, payment summaries, tax returns, or employment references or a completed employment verification form.
Apply: When you have done the 3 months work and are sure you want to extend your existing visa. Or, after being back at home for a while you want to go back to see all the bits you missed out on the first time round.

For more details visit: www.immi.gov.au


Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
For people from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom.

Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)
For tertiary educated people from Chile, Iran and Thailand to holiday up to 12 months in Australia.

Seasonal work

Seasonal work is any type of work that is undertaken as the employee of a primary producer, including:

  • plant and animal cultivation
  • harvesting and/or packing fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees
  • general maintenance crop work
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • immediate processing of plant products maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning manufacturing dairy produce from raw material fishing and pearling
  • conducting operations relating directly to taking or catching fish and other aquatic species
  • conducting operations relating directly to taking or culturing pearls or pearl shell
  • tree farming and felling
  • planting or tending trees in a plantation or forest that are intended to be felled
  • felling trees in a plantation or forest
  • transporting trees or parts of trees that were felled in a plantation or forest to the place where they are first to be milled or processed or from which they are to be transported to the place where they are to be milled or processed.

Note: The work does not need to be paid work. Work undertaken as a volunteer or through the Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) scheme can also count towards the three months of seasonal work.