Planning your Australia holiday: before you book your flights…

… probably a good idea to make sure you’re eligible for a visa!

Unless you have an Australian passport already (which I am guessing unlikely if you’re reading this!), then you will need a visa to visit Australia on holiday. It’s not a headache — don’t worry — and the good news also is that for a lot of visitors it’s free!

Every person travelling to Australia on holiday (or on business) needs a visa and this also includes babies and children (even if they are on the same passport as you). Everyone (I may repeat this a few times!) needs a visa for Australia.

If you’re looking to stay in Australia for 3 months or less on holiday, visiting relatives, or for business meetings or a conference (not ‘working’) and if you’re a passport holder of one of these countries:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom – British Citizen
  • Vatican City

You can apply online for the free eVisitor visa. This process literally takes a few minutes (about 3 minutes if you’re typing speed is half decent) and all you need is your passport details and an email address. Here’s the online application form.

The eVisitor is for visits of up to 3 months each for tourism or business.

NOW what’s the difference between an ETA and an eVisitor you ask? (and I had to look up!) Well… if you’re a citizen of one of the above countries and your travel agent applies for your Australian visa then its an ETA (not an Estimated Time of Arrival, but an Electronic Travel Authorisation). BUT if you apply for it yourself online then you get an eVisitor… following me? BUT if you are a citizen of one of the following countries you can apply for an ETA yourself online (but not an eVisitor):

  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • United States of America

If you want all the official whys and wherefores about ETAs please do read this from the Australian department of immigration . In fact always check with the Australian Immigration website when you are travelling in case this info is out of date when you read it —  www.immi.gov.au/visitors/

If you want to stay in Australia for longer than 3 months you can apply for a different tourist visa (or a take a trip to New Zealand for a couple of days and come back! – your eVisitor is valid for 12 months with repeat visits but none longer than 3 months at a time).

Lots more info on the different types of Australian visa you can apply for here.

If you’re under 30 remember you can stay, live and work for a year in Australia on a working holiday visa (my first ever Aussie visa!).

But if you really don’t want to get a visa…you can spend less than 72 hours in Australia without a visa in transit… but that’s what I would call a wasted opportunity 🙂

2 Responses to “Planning your Australia holiday: before you book your flights…”

  1. Hillery Cope says:

    Lucy

    Thank you SO much for the fantastic website and service you provide… I have booked tickets to Pert for Nov with Cathay Pacific, as per your recommendations – great price and I’m so grateful for the info ref the visitor’s visa because I didn’t realise I’d need one!

    Thanks for all, Hillery

  2. Lucy says:

    You are most welcome Hillery and have a fantastic time in Perth in November (great time of year to visit).
    I’ll be reporting back on Cathay Pacific when I fly with them next month!
    Lucy

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