Why Do I Need an Australian Visa?
Travelling to Australia can be for a variety of reasons, from visiting family and friends to scouting for job opportunities in the country. Whatever your purpose, Australia mandates that all visitors to its territory apply for a visa. A visa is an endorsement from a particular country allowing the individual to visit or reside in the country for a specified period of time for a specific purpose.
Depending on the purpose and duration of your stay, Australia has certain classes of visas. Australia adheres to a strict code when granting visas to individuals travelling to the country.
Most visa applications to Australia fall under the visitor visa category, which permits applicants to visit the country for a vacation, to meet family/friends or for a short business trip.
Immigrant visas permit the applicant to live and work in the country on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, and Australia has different categories and classes of these which it issues on a case by case basis.
Types of Australian Visas
Australia offers a number of categories and classes of visas for foreign nationals who wish to visit, work or stay in the country.
The various categories of Australian visas are mentioned below:
Immigrant Visa- this visa category permits applicants to reside and work in Australia permanently. Applicants can apply under the following categories to immigrate to Australia:
- Migration Programme
- Humanitarian Programme
Non-Immigrant Visa- this visa category permits applicants to visit, work and study in Australia for specified periods of time. The various sub-categories under the non-immigrant visas issued are given below:
- Visitor Visa- this visa permits the holder to travel to and stay in Australia for a specific period of time for leisure and business purposes.
- Student Visa- this visa permits the holder to pursue a higher education course in Australia.
- Work Visa- this visa permits the holder to stay and work in Australia for a specific period of time. Work visas can be issued for skilled individuals for up to 4 years or for those wishing to work on holiday.
- Temporary Entry Visa- preferentially issued to promote cultural and socials relations, skilled work and international relations, this visa allows holders to live and work in the country for a limited period of time.
- Business Visa- this visa permits the holder to conduct or prospect for business sin Australia for specified periods of time, up to a maximum of 5 years.
In addition to these, there are nearly 77 sub-classes of visas for transit, medical treatment, partner visas, training and research, women at risk visa, distinguished talent visa, superyacht crew visa, refugee visa, carer visa, orphan relative visa, recent graduate visa, defence sector visa, maritime crew visa, protection visa and special program visa among others.
Applying for an Australian Visa
When applying for an Australian visa, you can choose to submit your application either online or offline. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a different form for every visa type, which are available on its website as well as at its Visa Application Centres.
Applications submitted online will have to be filled in through the ImmiAccount portal and all necessary documents uploaded on the site in the resolution specified.
Offline applications can be sent by post to any of the Visa Application Centres.
When applying for an Australian Visa, you will have to follow the below procedures:
- Ensure all documents and supporting evidence are in order before applying.
- Obtain police clearance and any other clearance if specified (depending on the type of visa being applied for).
- Select the type of visa and ensure you match the eligibility criteria.
- Fill in the visa application form and submit the same along with all required documentation.
- Complete the mandatory medical test conducted by doctors approved for the purpose.
- Pay the visa processing fee through any of the methods provided.
- Book your appointment for the form submission and interview.
- Select the type of visa you are applying for and check your eligibility against the provision listed.
- Fill in the form for the visa type you have selected and upload or send all the supporting documents along with your form.
- Pay the processing charge for your visa application.
- Schedule your application with the Visa Application Centre to lodge your visa application.
Documents Required for Australian Visa
Individuals who wish to apply for an Australian visa are required to submit a certain set of documents at the time of visa application. The list of documents are mentioned below:
- Valid passport
- Proof of current residential address
- Colour photographs
- Job offer letter (in case of work visa)
- Police clearance
- Proof of admission to institution (in case of student visa)
- Proof of financial holdings
- Marriage/divorce certificate (if applicable)
- Documents establishing relationship between applicant and petitioner (in case of s=partner or marriage visas)
- Proof of age document such as birth certificate
- Military service documents (if applicable)
- Criminal record documents (if applicable)
Eligibility Criteria for Australian Visa
A foreign national will have to fulfil the following eligibility criteria in order to apply for a visa to Australia:
- Should have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end date of the visa being issued.
- Should not have a criminal record or any pending criminal cases against him at the time of application.
- Should have a clean bill of health and noncommunicable diseases such as tuberculosis.
- Should have the financial resources to support himself and any dependents during the tenure of stay in Australia
- In case of non-immigrant visa, the applicant should have strong ties to his/her home country, such as a job, assets or enrolment in an institution in your home country.
- If travelling with children/spouse, the dependents should travel on separate visas.
- Should submit to a medical test by an approved physician.
Points to Note Before Applying for an Australian Visa
Before applying for an Australian visa, you should make sure you have completed the following steps:
- Choose the type of visa you are applying for based on the purpose of your trip.
- Carefully go through the eligibility criteria for that particular visa and check if you are eligible.
- Fill in the application form (either online or offline, depending on the visa type) and submit all relevant documents and supporting information.
How to Pay Australian Visa Fees
The fee for an Australian visa depends on the type of visa application. The visa fee can be paid through Demand Draft (favouring the Australian High Commission) or by cash. The fee has to be paid in Indian Rupees (INR) only.
Australian Visa Refusal
Your Australian visa application could be rejected for the following reasons:
- Inadequate financial resources to sustain you during your stay in Australia
- Incomplete visa application form
- Lack of supporting documents
- Fraudulent/incorrect documentation
- Past criminal record
- Not enough blank pages on your passport
- No legitimate reason for your trip to Australia
- Not enough incentive to return to your home country
- Do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the visa type you have applied for
- Applying for the wrong sub-class
- Not meeting the prescribed health requirements
- Entering the wrong occupation (in case of skilled worker visas)
News About Australia Visa
Australia Grants 1.5 Lakh Visitors Visas To India
Australian High Commissioner, Harinder Sidhu, announced that in a landmark move, Australia had granted 1.5 lakh visitors visas to indians as part of the 2015-16 program. The previous high was hit in 2013-14 when about 1 lakh visitors visas were approved for Indians. This new number represents a growth of about 19% in the number of visas granted to Indians and, according to Mr. Sidhu, is an important landmark in the collaboration between the two countries. The visas that brought the numbers to 1.5 lakhs were received by Mrinal Dutt and his wife Kanika.
Australian Labor Tightens Temporary Protection Visas
The Australian Labor Immigration has stated that temporary protection visas will be issued to individuals who are currently waiting in Australia for their visas to be processed. For those waiting in offshore processing centres, visas will not be offered. Visas will be issued to those who are found to be genuine refugees, but the offer of temporary protection visas will not be attracting asylum seekers. There are 3,000 visas to be processed currently and will be issued to those who are waiting for it to be processed in Australia. Earlier claims started that the temporary protection visa will act as a pull factor and attract a flood of people. These claims were dispelled stating that it is clear that for people who are not yet in Australia, these visas will not be issued. So for anyone thinking about rowing over to Australia on a boat, resettling in Australia under the Labor government will not be a possibility.
Tourism Industry of Australia Calls for Slashing of Visa Costs
Ahead of the election in Australia, the tourism department are reminding politicians of the tourism industry's importance for Australian economy and are asking for visa expenses to be reduced. The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF), in particular is requesting all political parties of Australia to announce positive policies that will enhance the growth of Australia's tourism industry.
The TTF will work very actively during election campaign so as to encourage the adoption of numerous policies to attract international tourists to travel to the Land Down Under. Among other policies, the TTF wants visa costs to be reduced, a freezing of the Passenger Movement Charge and wants the backpacker tax to be removed. In addition to this, the want more investment in public transport and destination marketing so as to make regions and cities more attractive destinations.
It was pointed out that 3 percent of Australia's GDP was being generated by the tourism industry and is growing three times faster than the Australian economy. Over 500,000 direct jobs are being supported by the industry and also employs backpackers and international students within the country.