Do you need a visa for Australia?

Unless you are an Australian citizen returning home, you'll need to apply for an Australian tourist visa (also known as an electronic travel authority) before arrival in the country, regardless of what country you're travelling from. This includes passport holders from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and China. The only exception to this is if you hold a passport from New Zealand - you can apply for an Australian tourist visa once you land.

Luckily, applying for and obtaining an Australian tourist visa is an extremely easy process as you can apply for it online without having to visit your nearest Australian Embassy or consulate (although you can do that too) and is usually granted within 24 hours. However, in some cases, visas can take a little longer so make sure you leave plenty of time between applying for the visa and the beginning of your trip. Once granted, you'll get a confirmation email of your visa but you won't need to print this out or show it to any Australian immigration official upon arrival to the country as the visa is automatically linked to your passport. In the case that your passport is stolen or you have to get a new one, you'll also need to reapply for an Australian tourist visa before your travels. 

The Australian tourist visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 12 months and you may leave and come back during those 12 months for a period of 90 days each time without having to reapply for another tourist visa. 

What documentation do I need to provide when applying for an Australian tourist visa? 

Because the visa application process is done online, you don't need to gather pages and pages of official documents. Instead, you only need to hold a passport that has at least 6 months of validity on it from the date you plan to enter Australia. Surprisingly, this is more for the airlines that fly to Australia and not for the Australian immigration officials themselves, however, you run the risk of not being allowed on the plane if your passport has less than 6 months on it. 

You may also need to submit to a medical exam as part of the visa process if you have an existing health condition, as well as provide financial statements (including bank statements, taxation records, and proof of employment) to support your travel plans. If this is needed, it will be communicated to you during the application process. 

How to apply for a visa to Australia 

All you need to do to apply for an Australian tourist visa is to head to the Department of Home Affairs website and follow the prompts to begin your visa application. Alternatively, you can also apply for a tourist visa by heading to your nearest Australian Embassy or consulate. As previously mentioned, the process of obtaining a tourist visa is generally an easy one. The only conditions that need to be met are that you don't have a criminal record, don't plan on working during your stay in Australia, and that you leave the country within the 90 days as stipulated as part of the tourist visa. 

There's no cost for the Australian tourist visa itself, but there is an application fee of AUD$103 that has to be paid at the completion of your application. Even if you are applying at your local Australian Embassy or consulate, the application fee has to be paid online (the official helping you with your application will direct you on how to do this). Because payment is taken online, there are several payment options to choose from including credit cards and PayPal. 

Please note that other charges may arise during the application process (such as when the visa is released) and the fee itself may change from time to time. 

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