FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Visitor and eVisitor visas

The eVisitor visa is usually processed and granted within one to two working days. Visitor visas, on the other hand, can take much longer: processing times of two working days to several months are possible (depending on the purpose of travel and personal circumstances). In any case, we recommend that you do not wait too long to apply for a visa, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

You can easily apply online via our website.

It’s up to you. As long as you make sure that your visa is valid for a period of 12 months (eVisitor Visa), you can be flexible. In general, however, it makes sense to apply for a visa prior to booking a trip, to avoid the risk of having booked your trip then ending up without a visa – lack of a valid visa does not generally entitle you to free cancellation of your flight and other bookings.
You will receive a so-called IMMI Grant Notice by e-mail. This visa is electronically linked to your passport and can therefore be checked easily by the immigration authorities. Passport stamps and labels are not required. You only need your passport when entering Australia. Nevertheless, we recommend that you have a printed version of your visa grant notification with you when you enter Australia.
If you have provided passport information which does not match your actual passport, in the worst case, you may be denied entry. Therefore, please pay close attention to entering the correct information on our form.

In some cases, customers may not receive our e-mail messages – and thus their visas – as they end up in the spam folder. Please check your spam folder regularly or include us in your contacts list.

No. A Visitor visa is not a work permit. Thus, as the holder of such a visa, you may not pursue any paid activity in Australia.

If you hold a Business Visitor visa, you are only entitled to undertake the following activities:

  • making general business or employment enquiries
  • investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract
  • activities carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit
  • participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, as long as you are not being paid by the organisers for your participation

Yes. As a holder of a Visitor visa you can study, take part in a course or advanced training for up to three months.

eVisitor visas are granted for a period of three months and do not allow longer stays. If you want to stay longer in Australia as a tourist or visitor, you must apply for a Visitor visa and provide details regarding the length of your stay and reasons for your visit. The final decision as to whether a longer stay is possible is up to the Australian immigration authorities.

If you hold an eVisitor visa, you are allowed to leave and re-enter Australia during the validity of the visa. If you hold a Visitor visa, it depends on the terms of your visa grant.

No. It is not necessary to send original passport documents. The eVisitor and Visitor visas are granted electronically and are linked to your passport number. All visa records are stored in a central database, which enables the Australian immigration authorities to easily check your visa status. Passport visa labels are no longer required.
In this case, the data on which the visa grant is based do not match the information in the passport. The result may be that you do not have a valid visa and will have to re-apply, thus incurring double costs. In the worst case, you may also be denied entry into Australia. Please make sure that your information is accurate and complete, to avoid unnecessary complications.

You have 12 months to activate your visa. The visa is activated upon your entry into Australia. For this reason, you will not be asked for the planned entry date when applying, but you must ensure that you meet the relevant deadlines.

In the case of a criminal record, application for an eVisitor visa is not possible. In this case, you must apply for a Visitor visa and provide the Australian immigration authorities with further information. Whether the visa is subsequently granted is a case-by-case decision.

In this case, you will need to apply for a Visitor visa and must explain the reasons for the extension of your stay. It is not possible to extend an eVisitor visa.

The Australian entry requirements are very strict and detailed. For further information, visit our Australian entry requirements page.

FAQ about Working Holiday visas and Work and Holiday visas

These are different visa classes with different regulations. The most important difference is that the eligibility for one of these visa classes depends on your citizenship. There are distinct lists of countries eligible for these visas. There are no nationalities which are eligible for both visa classes. Consequently, provided that you do not have dual citizenship, you are eligible either for a Working Holiday visa or a Work and Holiday visa (or for neither of these because you are a citizen of a country that has no agreement with Australia regarding these visa classes).

Generally, yes, provided the study or course does not exceed a total duration of four months. However, you should check advance whether the desired training institution accepts participants with Working Holiday visas or whether they require Student visas. This is often the case with universities.

You can apply for a Working Holiday visa if you are aged between 18 and 30. This means that the date on which you submit your visa application must be after your 18th birthday and before your 31st birthday. You have to enter Australia within 12 months following the visa grant date. Once you enter Australia, your visa allows you to stay for the 12 months following the entry date.

The Working Holiday visa was introduced in 1975 with the objective of promoting youth exchange between countries that have concluded a corresponding agreement. The basic concept behind this agreement is to enable young people to broaden their horizons and gain intercultural experience. For this reason, this visa is not available to persons aged over 30.

According to the current legal situation, the age limit of 30 still applies to all countries.

As a rule, most Working Holiday visas (subclass 417) are processed and granted within a few working days. However, processing times can differ significantly. According to the Department of Home Affairs, 75% of applications are decided within 18 days, and 90% within 36 days.

Processing times for a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) can be longer, especially if you hold a passport from a country in which the application process is still paper-based. 75% of applications for a subclass 462 visa are processed within 28 days, and 90% within 46 days.

In all cases, we recommend applying for your visa as early as possible, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

You can leave and re-enter Australia during the validity period of the visa.

From the date of the visa grant, you have 12 months to enter Australia. From the time of entry, you can stay in the country for a maximum period of 12 months.

You can only apply for a second Working Holiday visa (subclass 417), if you have worked at least 88 days in rural Australia in specified occupations during your first working holiday stay. Rural areas are areas outside major metropolitan areas, with low levels of population growth. The Department of Home Affairs determines these areas and adjusts them as needed. Currently, all postal code areas in Tasmania, South Australia, and the Northern Territory count as rural areas. In addition, the areas outside the major cities in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia are also considered rural.

No. It is not necessary to send original passport documents. Your visa is granted electronically and is linked to your passport number. All visa records are stored in a central database, which enables the Australian immigration authorities to easily check your visa status. Passport visa labels are no longer required.

In this case, the data on which the visa grant is based do not match the information in your passport. The result may be that you do not have a valid visa and will have to re-apply, thus incurring double costs. In the worst case, you may also be denied entry to Australia. Please make sure that your information is accurate and complete in order to avoid unnecessary complications.

If the visa has not yet been granted, it may be possible to make corrections. In this case, please contact us.

You will receive a so-called IMMI Grant Notice by e-mail. This visa is electronically linked to your passport and can therefore be checked easily by the immigration authorities. Passport stamps and labels are not required. You only need your passport when entering Australia. Nevertheless, we recommend that you have a printed version of your visa grant notification with you when you enter Australia.
The Australian entry requirements are very strict and detailed. For further information, visit our Australian entry requirements page.

FAQ about other visa classes

Before you start packing your suitcase, first determine which visa classes you are eligible for and make a realistic assessment as to what your chances are for obtaining a visa.

Only when you know what options are realistically available and whether you can actually meet the requirements should you start preparing for a visa application and planning all the next steps.

We recommend our initial consultation services for this purpose: Visa Quick Assessment, Visa Consultation, Visa Expertise.

When applying for a visa, many details have to be taken into consideration since Australia’s immigration laws are extremely complex and constantly changing. Not only can mistakes prove very expensive (the Australian Immigration Department does not reimburse fees for failed visa applications), but the whole process is extremely time-consuming – and above all, a failed visa application can have a negative impact on future visa applications. In some cases, a rejected visa application may result in the suspension of new visa applications.

It is important that the visa application be handled correctly, and thorough preparation is crucial. The supporting documents you submit also play a vital role in the success of your application. Often, evidence is not sufficiently clear and comprehensible for the immigration authorities, including badly translated documents or insufficient or irrelevant evidence. This can lead to major problems. The Australian immigration authorities are not obliged to ask for clarification or amendments, but can reject an application due to insufficient justification or documentation.

A migration agent can protect you from such mistakes. Visapath will examine your case thoroughly in advance and develop the most appropriate application strategy along with you. We will compile the required documentation and evidence for submission to the Department of Home Affairs, and check for plausibility and consistency. Our team of registered migration agents are specialists in Australian immigration law. Learn more about us here.

By the way: When hiring a migration agent, it is imperative you make sure that the agent is registered and has a MARN number. Under Australian law, only registered migration agents are authorised to advise on Australian visa matters and immigration issues, and they are required to comply with defined standards.

For some visas, especially in the case of points-test-based visa classes, an expression of interest must be submitted as a first step. If this is successful, you will receive an official invitation to submit a visa application. For other visas, the visa application can be made directly. The visa application is then reviewed by the Department of Home Affairs and eventually approved or rejected.

The amount of preparation required prior to a visa application or an expression of interest varies considerably depending on the visa category and is often very extensive. In some cases you will need a skills assessment; in others a sponsorship from relatives or Australian states; in some cases partnerships must be formally proven. These preparatory steps are crucial. You should plan enough time in advance to do this.

From the preparation stage, to the application, to the approval of your visa: We will guide you step by step through all stages of your application for an Australian visa.

The processing time depends entirely on the visa you are applying for. Some Australian visas are approved within a few days or weeks; others require several months of processing time.
When applying for an Australian visa, you will always be asked whether you have ever had, applied for, or been denied a visa for Australia in the past. This is your so-called visa history. This is important if your previous visa contained any conditions that would not allow you to apply for another visa (e.g., a No Further Stay Condition 8503).

Australian visa fees vary considerably and are periodically adjusted by the Australian authorities. Further costs can be incurred, depending on the visa type: costs for skills assessments, sponsorship, translations, health checks, English language tests and the like may be incurred if these processes are required. The total sum of these expenses depends on the visa category and your personal situation.

When you use the services of Visapath Australia, we will provide you with a detailed list of fees as well as all other expected costs prior to your visa application.

This depends on the visa. For some temporary visas, the Australian Government requires the applicant to confirm that they have sufficient funds for the planned stay in the country and for subsequent departure. These include, for example, Student visas, Working Holiday visas or, in some cases, Visitor visas.

Even with permanent visas for private individuals, proof of sufficient funds can be requested. These are mostly state-sponsored visas. Some Australian states will only agree to nominate an applicant if they have sufficient funds to start their new life in Australia. The amount is determined by the state and may differ from state to state.

In addition, there are statutory minimum values for assets for Business visas and Investor visas.

A sponsor in the context of Australia’s immigration laws is a person or institution that formally supports an applicant’s visa application. The sponsor nominates a person by name for the respective visa.

The requirements for acting as a sponsor depend on the respective visa class. For example, a sponsor of a Family visa must have a family relationship with the applicant; a Work visa sponsor must be a standard business sponsor.

Sponsorship is mandatory for some visa classes, such as for certain Work visas, Business visas and Investor visas, as well as Family and Partner visas.

The points test is mandatory for General Skilled Migration visas.

By means of the points system, the application is examined according to certain criteria and is allocated points in the categories of age, language skills, work experience, and education. You have to score a certain total point sum in order to be invited to apply for the respective visa class.

If you are in the advantageous situation of being able to choose between multiple job profiles, this obviously gives you more flexibility. In making your decision, you should consider the following points: Can the requirements of the respective skills assessments be met? Which visa can be applied for with which job? Which points can be achieved in the points test?

For some categories of visa, a minimum knowledge of English is required (e.g., for most Skilled visas). The level of English proficiency required varies depending on the visa class.

Also, in the points test, your English language skill level is taken into account. Often, proof of a certain level of proficiency is required to achieve the required minimum points.

There is no English language requirement for Family visas.

More information can be found on our information page about the recognised language tests.

The Australian authorities accept the following English language tests for visa purposes:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Academic and General
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • CAE Cambridge Test: Certificate in Advanced English

More information can be found on our information page about the recognised language tests.

That depends on the visa. The corresponding minimum levels are specified for each visa class. In the case of a points-based visa, a higher English proficiency result is sometimes required to qualify for the invitation to submit a visa application.

More information can be found on our information page about the recognised language tests.

Rural areas are generally understood to be areas outside major metropolitan areas, with low levels of population growth. The Department of Home Affairs determines the areas and adjusts them as needed. Currently, all postal code areas in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory count as rural areas. In addition, the areas outside the major cities in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia are also considered rural.

Most permanent visa classes have an age limit of 45 or 55.

For persons over the age of 55, there is the option of a Family visa.

Access to the Investor Retirement visa was closed in 2018 for new applicants.

That depends on the chosen course, its duration, and the respective provider. For most language courses, a Tourist visa or Working Holiday visa is sufficient (as long as the course does not exceed a duration of three or four months). For certain courses, a Student visa may be required. This is the case if the course lasts longer than three or four months or the course provider requires participants to have a valid Student visa.

No. It is not necessary to send original passport documents. Your visa is granted electronically and is linked to your passport number. All visa records are stored in a central database, which enables the Australian immigration authorities to easily check your visa status. Visa passport labels are no longer required.
You will receive a so-called IMMI Grant Notice by e-mail. This visa is electronically linked to your passport and can therefore be checked easily by the immigration authorities. Passport labels are not required. You only need your passport when entering Australia. Nevertheless, we recommend that you have a printed version of your visa grant notification with you when you enter Australia.

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