Visa policy of Australia

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Australia Entry Stamp Hensley.png
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Entry and exit stamps.

The visa policy of Australia deals with the requirements which a foreign national wishing to enter Australia must meet to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel to, enter and remain in the country.[1] Visa rules are set out in the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations, which are administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Australia maintains a universal visa regime, meaning that every non-citizen in Australia must have a visa, either as a result of an application, or one granted automatically by law. As of 2015 there is no intention to provide visa free access for any country,[2] however Australia gives a visitor visa exemption to:

In addition to the citizens of 45 eVisitor and ETA eligible countries and the citizens of New Zealand who may need to apply for a Visitor visa, the citizens of all other countries may apply for the Visitor visa online, except citizens of 4 ineligible countries. Citizens of 34 countries are officially considered low risk.[4]

Recent changes in visa procedures mean that almost all visas (including permanent residency visas) are issued electronically by default, unless if a label is required (for example to board an airplane). That means that a visa is not normally endorsed on the passport but confirmation of approval is provided.

Visa types[edit]

There is a large range of visas that may be applied for, for a variety of purposes, including:[5][6][7]

An Australian higher education visa label in a passport. Australia Immigration is now using an electronic visa system and visa labels are no longer available.[8]
  • Visitor visa - for people who need to come to Australia for a short duration for tourism or business purposes. They are issued for periods up to 3, 6 or 12 months. Selected Chinese citizens can be issued 10 year visas from the end of 2016.[9][10][11]
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)1 - for people who wish to transit through Australia and who do not qualify for transit without a visa or people travelling to Australia to join a vessel as crew.[12]
  • Medical treatment (subclass 602)2 - for people to have medical treatment or medical consultations, donate an organ or support the person who is having medical treatment in Australia but not to have medical treatment for surrogate motherhood.[13]
  • Working holiday visa (subclass 417)1 - for people aged 18 to 30 years of age, who are interested to have an extended holiday while supplementing their funds with short-term work of up to 12 months and who come from Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan or the United Kingdom.[14]
  • Work and holiday visa (subclass 462)1 - for people aged 18 to 30 years of age, who are interested to have an extended holiday while supplementing their funds with short-term work of up to 12 months and who come from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the USA or Uruguay.[15]
  • Student visa (subclass 500)2 - for people to study full-time in a recognised education institution.[16] This single type of visa replaced student visas with subclass numbers 570 to 576 on 1 July 2016.[17]
  • Special program (subclass 416)1 - for people to participate in approved programs that provide opportunities for cultural enrichment and community benefit.[18]

1 – must apply for this visa outside Australia.
2 – can apply for this visa in or outside Australia.

  • Permanent residency visa - authorises the permanent resident to remain in Australia indefinitely and to work, as well as many other benefits such medical health coverage under Medicare.
  • Resident Return Visa (RRV) (subclasses 155 and 157) - allows current and former permanent residents to travel to another country and re-enter the Australian migration zone as a permanent resident. RRVs allow the holder to re-enter Australia as often as they wish during the validity of the visa. RRVs may be issued with five years' or three months' validity.[19]
  • Special Category Visa (subclass 444) - issued under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement to citizens of New Zealand who present a valid New Zealand passport and authorises the holder to enter Australia, live and work indefinitely. The visa is subject to the following conditions: no criminal convictions, no untreated tuberculosis and have not been deported, excluded or removed from any country. The visa is given on arrival at any Australian port, unless they already hold another type of Australian visa.[20][21]
  • Special categories for residents of the Norfolk Island: The Norfolk Island became a part of the Australian migration zone on 1 July 2016 and all Norfolk Island immigration permits are no longer valid. Instead, its non-citizen residents are accorded the following categories of visa depending on their previous status (except for New Zealand citizens who were automatically given the Special Category Visa):
    • Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159) - issued to former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits (Temporary Entry Permit (TEP) or General Entry Permit (GEP)). Holders of this visa may live and work on Norfolk Island and live in other parts of Australia only for education purposes. They may apply for the Confirmatory (Residence) visa after they meet the residence requirements on Norfolk Island.[22]
    • Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808) - issued to former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits who were either holding an unrestricted entry permit (UEP) or who held a TEP or GEP and have fulfilled the residence requirements. Holders of this type of visa are Australian permanent residents and may live and work in Australia indefinitely, and they may freely leave and enter Australia within the visa's validity (same with the Resident Return visa). This type of visa replaced the UEP, and the Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa (PRNIV) which was issued to permanent residents of Norfolk Island at an Australian airport.[23]

Visitor visa policy map[edit]

  Australia
  eVisitor
  ETA visa
(Special rules apply for holders of Taiwan passports or British National (Overseas) passports)
  Electronic Visitor visa

Electronic visas[edit]

eVisitor and Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) are authorisations for entry to Australia available to holders of certain passports. Established in 1996 to remove the need for some people to apply for full visas, they can be applied for online, or in certain ETA cases through travel agents, airlines, specialist service providers or Australian visa offices. Electronic tourist visas (class 600) are processed by Australian visa offices and consulates outside Australia but the citizens of certain countries can apply online and their applications, if a requested period of stay is three months or less, and no further information or checking is required, may be granted in a matter of minutes. In other cases, the application will be manually processed by a case officer.[24]

eVisitor (subclass 651)[edit]

The eVisitor was introduced on 27 October 2008, replacing an older eVisa system, to create a reciprocal short stay travel arrangement for nationals of Australia and the European Union, while still maintaining the universal visa system. On 23 March 2013 the business and tourist purpose eVisitors visas were merged into a single application.[25][26] The eVisitor is available to citizens of all[27] 28 European Union member states and 8 other European countries that are part of the Schengen Area.

The eVisitor is issued free of charge and allows a stay of up to 3 months at a time in a 12-month period for tourism or business purposes. At the time of travel to, and entry into, Australia, all holders of an eVisitor must be free from tuberculosis and must not have any criminal convictions for which the sentence or sentences (whether served or not) total 12 months or more.[25]

Holders of the following passports are eligible:[28]

The grant rate of eVisitor has been consistently high over the years, never dropping below 98.7%. In the last quarter of 2014 the lowest approval rates for tourism applications were for the citizens of Romania (74.5%), Bulgaria (80.8%), Croatia (80.8%), Latvia (91.9%) and Lithuania (94.3%) with all other countries having a grant rate above 95%.[29][30] The eVisitor in 2013 was granted automatically to 85.8% of applicants but the rates differed significantly among countries. The lowest automatically granted rates in the 4th quarter were for the citizens of Bulgaria (16.2%), Romania (18.3%), Czech Republic (58.6%), Lithuania (59.3%), Slovakia (66.3%), Latvia (62.4%), Poland (71.6%) and Hungary (77.7%) with all other countries having an automatic grant rate above 80%.[31]

In 2014 Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania notified the European Commission that they consider Australia requires a visa for their citizens.[32] If the notification is accepted, the EU may suspend the visa exemption for certain categories of Australian nationals and may suspend the reciprocal visa-free access to all Australian citizens.[33]

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601)[edit]

Development of the ETA system commenced in January 1996. It was first implemented in Singapore on a trial basis on 11 September 1996, for holders of a Singapore and US passport travelling on Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Implementation of online applications began in June 2001.[24][34] The current ETA came into effect on 23 March 2013 replacing older ETAs (subclass 976, 977 and 956) and offering a single authorization for both tourist and business purposes.[35]

The ETA allows the holder to visit Australia for unlimited times, up to 3 months per visit, in a 12-month period for tourism or business purposes. There is no visa application charge but a service charge of AU$20 applies. At the time of travel to, and entry into, Australia, all holders of an ETA must be free from tuberculosis and must not have any criminal convictions for which the sentence or sentences (whether served or not) total 12 months or more.[36]

Holders of the following passports can apply online:[37]

Nationals of  Taiwan holding passports with National ID number[38] can also apply for the ETA but solely through one of the approved travel agents in Taiwan or an Australian visa office outside Australia.[39] Holders of United Kingdom British National (Overseas) passports may apply only through Hong Kong travel agents and airlines, or an Australian visa office outside Australia.[39] Citizens of Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (British citizen only) and the Vatican City may also apply for the ETA instead of eVisitor but solely through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia.[36]

Online Visitor visa (e600)[edit]

Since November 2012, visa labels in passport have not been required, but were issued at a request for a fee. As of September 2015 the possibility to obtain a visa label is no longer available and records are accessible only online through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service.[40]

On 23 March 2013, a new Visitor visa (subclass 600) replaced the previous Tourist visa (subclass 676).[41]

Since August 2014, in addition to countries eligible for the eVisitor and ETA, online applications for the Online Visitor visa can be made by citizens of all countries except those of the following 4 countries:[42]

Citizens of these countries need to apply at the nearest Australian consular office or Australian Visa Application Centres (run by VFS Global).[24] There is a plan to expand the electronic visa application to citizens of Indonesia from 2017.[43]

In the 4th quarter of 2013 the automatic grant rate for electronically lodged applications outside Australia stood at 28.3%. Previously the rate ranged from 20.4% to 63.2%.[31]

Visa exemptions[edit]

Special purpose visa[edit]

A special purpose visa is a visa exemption given by operation of law to certain non-citizens in Australia to whom standard visa and immigration clearance arrangements do not apply. It effectively exempts certain persons from the normal processes for entry into Australia. These include members of the Royal Family and the members of the Royal party, guests of Government, SOFA forces members including civilian component members, Asia‑Pacific forces members, Commonwealth forces members, foreign armed forces dependents, foreign naval forces members, airline positioning crew members and airline crew members, eligible transit passengers, persons visiting Macquarie Island, eligible children born in Australia and Indonesian traditional fishermen visiting the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.[44][45]

Transit without visa[edit]

Some travelers do not need a transit visa if they depart Australia by air within 8 hours of the scheduled time of their arrival, hold confirmed onward booking and documentation necessary to enter the country of their destination and remain in the transit lounge at an airport (i.e. they do not need to personally re-check their luggage).[46]

Holders of the following passports can transit through Australia under this arrangement:

  • eVisitor eligible passports
  • ETA eligible passports
  • Citizens of these countries:

A Transit visa is required for Gold Coast airport and for Sydney airport if staying overnight. Transit without a visa through Adelaide applies only to passengers departing on the same aircraft.[48]

Torres Strait[edit]

Residents of thirteen coastal villages in Papua New Guinea are permitted to enter the 'Protected Zone' of the Torres Strait (part of Queensland) for traditional purposes. This exemption from passport control is part of a treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea negotiated when PNG became independent from Australia in 1975. Full list was determined in 2000 and includes the following 13 villages – Bula, Mari, Jarai, Tais, Buji/Ber, Sigabadaru, Mabadauan, Old Mawatta, Ture Ture, Kadawa, Katatai, Parama and Sui. They can make traditional visits (free movement without passports) as far as 10 degrees 30 minutes South latitude (near Number One Reef). Australian traditional inhabitants come from the following villages – Badu, Boigu, Poruma (Coconut Island), Erub (Darnley Island), Dauan, Kubin, St Pauls, Mabuiag, Mer (Murray Island), Saibai, Ugar (Stephen Island), Warraber (Sue Island), Iama (Yam Island) and Masig (Yorke Island). They can make traditional visits to the Papua New Guinea Treaty Villages and travel north as far as the 9 degrees South latitude (just north of Daru).[49] Vessels from other parts of Papua New Guinea and other countries attempting to cross into Australia or Australian waters are stopped by Australian Customs or the Royal Australian Navy.

External territories[edit]

Norfolk Island passport stamp
  • Australian Antarctic Territory – an environmental authorisation must be obtained, based on an environmental impact assessment (EIA) submitted by the organiser of the activity. In some cases, where an activity organised in another country party to the Treaty and Protocol, Australia will recognise an authorisation provided by that country. As well as an environmental authorisation, permits are required for certain activities.[50]
  • Christmas Island – Passports and visas are not required when travelling from the Australian mainland. However, photographic identification must be produced for clearance through Customs and Immigration. Normal Australian Customs and Immigration procedures apply when entry is made from outside Australia.[51]
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands – Passports and visas are not required when travelling from the Australian mainland. However, photographic identification must be produced for clearance through Customs and Immigration. Normal Australian Customs and Immigration procedures apply when entry is made from outside Australia.[52]
  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands – a permit to enter and undertake activities in the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands is required and is issued by the Australian Antarctic Division.[53]
  • Macquarie Island – a written authorisation of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife is required.[54][55]
  • Norfolk Island – From 1 July 2016 all movements between Norfolk Island and Australian mainland are considered as domestic movements, however all passengers are still required to carry passports or, for Australian citizens, some type of photographic identification and pass Customs and Immigration.[56] Normal Australian Customs and Immigration procedures apply when entry is made from outside Australia.[57] Passengers not carrying their passports are not eligible to purchase duty-free goods on Norfolk Island.[58]

SmartGate[edit]

Main article: SmartGate

SmartGate is an automated border processing system being introduced by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and New Zealand Customs Service. The SmartGate is available to eligible to holders of ePassports issued by the following jurisdictions aged 16 or over:[59]

APEC Business Travel Card[edit]

Holders of passports issued by the following countries who possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) which states on the reverse that it is valid for travel to Australia can enter visa-free for up to 90 days.[60]

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[61]

Temporary entrants statistics[edit]

The number of temporary entrants and New Zealand citizens physically present in Australia is estimated every three months by identifying those who have entered Australia and those who have neither left nor granted permanent residency.[62]

Temporary visa holders 30 September 2014 30 September 2015 % Change % of Total
New Zealand (Special Category 444) visa 657,210 661,550 0.7 35.4
Student visa 387,800 425,740 9.8 22.8
Visitor visa 226,010 258,910 14.6 13.8
Temporary Skilled visa 196,930 186,810 -5.1 10.0
Working Holiday Maker visa 151,220 144,450 -4.5 7.7
Bridging visa 94,840 114,390 20.6 6.1
Other Temporary visa 47,210 52,190 10.5 2.8
Temporary Graduate visa 21,970 25,520 16.2 1.4
Total visa 1,783,190 1,869,550 4.8 100

Overstaying visas[edit]

Non-citizens who remain in Australia after their visa has expired are termed overstayers. Official government sources put the number of visa overstayers in Australia at approximately 50,000. This has been the official number of undocumented immigrants for about 25 years and is considered to be low. Other sources have placed it at up to 100,000, but no detailed study has been completed to quantify this number, which could be significantly higher.

The government calculates a "Modified Non-Return Rate" of the people who arrive on a Visitor visa granted outside Australia, but do not depart before their visa expires. It is considered when assessing visa applications as an indicator of Visitor visa compliance.[63]

Citizenship 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Afghanistan 18.23 19.02 8.06
Albania 5.86 7.14 3.76
Algeria 1.03 0.91 0.82
Andorra1 3 6.79 0.00 0.00
Angola 0.00 0.00 0.00
Antigua and Barbuda 0.00 0.00 0.00
Argentina 0.66 0.53 0.47
Armenia 3.80 1.63 4.84
Austria1 3 0.44 0.45 0.34
Azerbaijan 0.00 0.94 0.81
Bahamas 1.82 1.47 1.96
Bahrain 4.95 6.19 5.23
Bangladesh 1.60 1.15 2.09
Barbados 0.00 0.00 0.00
Belarus 0.71 0.25 0.48
Belgium1 3 0.45 0.53 0.34
Belize 0.00 0.00 2.86
Benin 5.88 10.53 0.00
Bermuda 0.00 0.00 12.50
Bhutan 0.76 1.50 2.42
Bolivia 0.79 5.17 2.37
Bosnia-Herzegovina 0.98 0.85 1.27
Botswana 1.48 1.53 1.32
BPP 0.00 N/A4 0.00
Brazil 0.91 0.65 0.87
Brunei Darussalam2 3 0.74 0.35 0.62
Bulgaria1 3.73 3.97 4.61
Burkina Faso 4.18 0.00 0.00
Burma (Myanmar) 2.62 1.54 1.60
Burundi 16.67 16.13 0.00
Cambodia 1.95 4.95 2.03
Cameroon 9.47 1.89 1.30
Canada2 3 0.88 0.92 0.66
Cape Verde 0.00 0.00 0.00
Cayman Islands 0.00 0.00 N/A4
Central African Republic N/A4 0.00 0.00
Chad 0.00 0.00 0.00
Chile 1.18 0.81 0.66
China, People's Republic of 0.39 0.32 0.29
Colombia 1.15 1.44 1.71
Comoros 0.00 0.00 0.00
Congo 0.00 3.28 5.26
Costa Rica 1.96 0.50 0.85
Cote d'Ivoire 1.96 0.00 0.00
Croatia1 0.48 0.98 2.19
Cuba 3.37 4.88 2.22
Cyprus1 1.28 2.00 2.28
Czech Republic1 0.77 0.85 0.85
Democratic Republic of Congo 2.99 5.33 7.27
Denmark1 3 0.36 0.47 0.26
Djibouti 0.00 16.67 0.00
Dominica 0.00 0.00 0.00
Dominican Republic 3.85 1.30 0.85
Ecuador 2.39 0.99 0.73
Egypt 6.37 9.23 15.20
El Salvador 6.01 3.67 1.17
Equatorial Guinea 0.00 0.00 0.00
Eritrea 28.89 10.51 15.91
Estonia1 2.66 3.89 3.87
Ethiopia 9.24 10.92 12.23
Fiji 2.34 2.09 1.60
Finland1 3 0.40 0.52 0.36
France1 3 0.52 0.58 0.43
Gabon 0.00 0.00 0.00
Gambia 0.00 0.00 0.00
Georgia 4.55 15.89 10.45
Germany1 3 0.48 0.47 0.36
Ghana 3.57 3.46 4.03
Greece1 3 3.99 8.40 7.97
Grenada 0.00 0.00 0.00
Guatemala 1.13 1.39 4.20
Guinea 0.00 2.17 9.76
Guinea-Bissau 0.00 0.00 0.00
Guyana 4.57 3.05 4.11
Haiti 0.00 0.00 0.00
HKSAR2 3 0.57 0.72 0.65
Honduras 1.62 1.82 1.45
Hungary1 2.09 2.42 2.50
Iceland1 3 1.72 1.23 1.61
India 0.84 0.90 1.02
Indonesia 0.70 0.70 0.46
Iran 2.85 2.65 4.39
Iraq 8.79 6.46 7.60
Ireland1 3 1.39 1.28 1.27
Israel 1.02 0.70 0.41
Italy1 3 0.85 1.12 1.25
Jamaica 1.15 1.13 1.84
Japan2 3 0.19 0.23 0.16
Jordan 2.45 3.65 5.44
Kazakhstan 1.31 0.42 0.56
Kenya 0.62 1.34 1.03
Kiribati 1.97 1.60 1.50
Korea, Dem Peoples Rep Of 0.00 0.00 0.00
Korea, Republic of2 3 0.89 1.02 1.02
Kosovo 0.00 7.84 0.00
Kuwait 0.21 0.73 0.87
Kyrgyzstan 5.17 1.01 0.00
Laos 2.15 2.66 2.48
Latvia1 5.14 2.65 3.61
Lebanon 3.13 2.84 6.62
Lesotho 0.00 0.00 0.00
Liberia 22.38 13.75 4.55
Libya 2.60 4.35 2.56
Liechtenstein1 3 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lithuania1 4.34 3.45 2.99
Luxembourg1 3 0.33 0.38 0.17
Macau 1.03 1.13 0.29
Macedonia 1.93 1.17 2.97
Madagascar 0.00 1.72 0.00
Malawi 1.14 1.04 0.00
Malaysia2 3 1.05 1.58 1.01
Maldives 2.15 0.00 0.64
Mali 0.00 0.00 0.00
Malta1 3 2.09 1.24 1.61
Marshall Islands 3.39 0.00 0.00
Mauritania 0.00 0.00 0.00
Mauritius 1.17 1.56 1.56
Mexico 0.85 0.78 0.77
Micronesia 0.00 7.93 1.95
Moldova 1.15 1.05 1.01
Monaco1 3 2.16 0.00 0.00
Mongolia 2.54 1.44 3.08
Montenegro 3.09 1.03 2.27
Morocco 3.40 0.49 1.91
Mozambique 0.97 1.42 0.51
Namibia 0.71 0.59 0.00
Nauru 0.97 0.68 0.55
Nepal 5.26 1.24 2.32
Netherlands1 3 0.46 0.49 0.37
Netherlands Antilles N/A4 0.00 N/A4
New Zealand 0.74 1.09 0.44
Nicaragua 7.41 2.83 11.11
Niger 0.00 0.00 0.00
Nigeria 3.70 4.42 4.40
Norway1 3 0.63 0.50 0.36
Oman 1.15 1.10 0.42
Pakistan 3.94 4.44 4.39
Palau 0.00 9.74 0.00
Palestinian Authority 10.84 4.22 13.18
Panama 1.34 0.74 0.00
Papua New Guinea 1.31 0.86 0.82
Paraguay 1.31 1.72 1.61
Peru 1.59 1.80 1.15
Philippines 1.50 1.91 2.00
Poland1 1.76 1.60 1.75
Portugal1 3 1.68 2.22 2.29
Qatar 0.52 0.36 0.17
Romania1 4.03 4.01 4.77
Russian Federation 0.47 0.61 0.48
Rwanda 2.78 0.00 8.33
Samoa 1.97 2.41 1.99
San Marino1 3 0.00 0.00 2.42
Sao Tome & Principe N/A4 0.00 N/A4
Saudi Arabia 4.93 5.18 5.39
Senegal 2.94 0.00 2.56
Serbia 1.13 1.06 1.34
Serbia and Montenegro 0.00 0.00 0.00
Seychelles 1.38 1.55 1.34
Sierra Leone 0.00 5.34 4.63
Singapore2 3 0.32 0.33 0.26
Slovakia1 0.67 1.01 0.87
Slovenia1 0.60 0.66 0.82
Solomon Islands 1.59 1.63 1.19
Somalia 0.00 0.00 0.00
South Africa 0.91 0.72 0.65
Spain1 3 0.95 0.94 1.05
Sri Lanka 1.23 1.26 1.25
Stateless 5.11 4.31 5.79
Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.00 0.00 0.00
Saint Lucia 0.00 0.00 0.00
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sudan 4.06 2.34 4.96
Suriname 0.00 12.00 0.00
Swaziland 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sweden1 3 0.61 0.61 0.60
Switzerland1 3 0.47 0.39 0.24
Syria 2.70 13.23 20.68
Tadjikistan 0.00 0.00 0.00
Taiwan2 3 0.58 0.72 0.73
Tanzania 0.69 0.19 0.79
Thailand 0.85 1.02 0.92
Timor-Leste 0.59 1.53 2.76
Togo 0.00 0.00 8.33
Tonga 3.54 5.60 2.88
Trinidad and Tobago 0.95 0.31 1.04
Tunisia 1.44 0.88 0.83
Turkey 1.80 1.15 1.55
Turkmenistan 6.25 0.00 0.00
Tuvalu 1.26 0.64 0.40
Uganda 4.16 2.95 1.92
Ukraine 1.40 2.08 1.32
UN Convention Refugee 9.19 4.40 2.63
United Arab Emirates 0.31 0.38 0.34
United Kingdom1 3 0.68 0.69 0.58
UN Agency 2.78 1.08 0.00
United Nations Organisation 0.00 0.97 0.00
United States of America2 3 0.74 0.73 0.51
Uruguay 2.97 0.77 0.37
Uzbekistan 3.83 0.00 0.76
Vanuatu 0.91 1.17 0.85
Vatican City1 3 0.00 0.00 0.00
Venezuela 1.61 1.24 0.68
Vietnam 1.99 1.18 1.44
Yemen 3.85 4.37 2.86
Yugoslavia 3.77 0.00 0.00
Zambia 1.61 1.77 0.42
Zimbabwe 3.12 2.02 2.79
Global average 0.74 0.79 0.69

1 - eVisitor eligible
2 - online ETA eligible
3 - officially considered low risk[4]
4 - N/A indicates that no arrivals were recorded for this citizenship during the reporting period

Enforcement of visa restrictions[edit]

On 1 June 2013, the Migration Amendment (Reform of Employer Sanctions) Act 2013 commenced and put the onus on businesses to ensure that their employees maintain the necessary work entitlements in Australia. The new legislation enables the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to levy infringement notices against business (AUD $15,300) and individual (AUD $3,060) employers on a strict liability basis – meaning that there is no requirement to prove fault, negligence or intention.[64][65]

Reciprocity issues[edit]

Whilst citizens of all Member States of the European Union and Schengen associated countries are entitled to use the eVisitor system since 27 October 2008, the European Commission is still assessing whether the eVisitor visa fully satisfies reciprocity requirements. In its Seventh report on certain third countries' maintenance of visa requirements in breach of the principle of reciprocity from 2012, the European Commission found that in principle, the eVisitor provides equal treatment of the citizens of all Member States and Schengen associated countries. However, while the average autogrant rate was high (86.36%), the quarterly reports on eVisitor application statistics showed that applications by citizens of some Member States are mainly processed manually. Autogrant rates for Bulgaria and Romania were at just 18% and 23%, as the majority of applications were sent for additional examination. The Commission therefore engaged to continue to closely monitor the processing of eVisitor applications. The Commission would submit its assessment of whether eVisitor is equivalent to the Schengen visa application process in a separate document in parallel with the assessment of the Final Rule on ESTA.[66] Currently the Schengen Area does not have visa requirements in place for short-term stays of Australian nationals.[67][68] The United Kingdom and Ireland are exempt from this particular EU policy, but still do not impose any short-term visa requirements on Australians.[69][70]

In 2014 Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, which are not yet part of the Schengen Area, have notified the European Commission that they consider Australia requires a visa for their citizens.[32] Implications are that if the notification is accepted the EU may suspend the visa exemption for certain categories of Australian nationals and at the latest six months after publication of the regulation, the Commission may decide to suspend the visa-free access to all Australian citizens.[33]

Some countries regard the ETA as being equivalent to visa-free travel when deciding whether to grant the same to Australians wishing to enter their territory. The United States, for example, offers their Visa Waiver Program to Australian passport-holders,[71] and one of the conditions for joining this scheme is that "Governments provide reciprocal visa-free travel for U.S. citizens for 90 days for tourism or business purposes".[72] However, United States require from January 2009 similar ETA from citizens of Australia and some more countries. This system is not called visa, but Electronic System for Travel Authorization, therefore the USA still allows visa-free travel for Australians. As of December 1998, Japan has also granted visa-free access to Australians.[73] Other ETA eligible countries and territories Canada,[74] Hong Kong,[75] Malaysia,[76] Singapore[77] and South Korea (90 days)[78] and Taiwan (30 days)[79] also grant visa-free access to Australians while Brunei grants Australians a 30-day visa on arrival.[80]

Future[edit]

In 2014 Australia announced that among the countries discussed for visa waiver extension are the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.[81]

On 19 November 2015, Australia Immigration and Border Protection Minister, Peter Dutton has announced that starting in 2016, Australia will issue three-year multiple entry visas for Indonesian visitors. Other than that, Australia also announced that they would expand the Electronic Travel Authority scheme to Indonesian citizens by 2017, after a successful trial through 15 travel agents.[82][83][84]

Visitor statistics[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Australia were from the following countries of nationality:[85][86]

Rank country 2015 2014 2013
1  New Zealand 1,309,900 1,241,400 1,192,800
2  China 1,023,600 839,500 708,900
3  United Kingdom 688,400 652,100 657,600
4  United States 609,900 553,000 501,100
5  Singapore 395,800 372,100 339,800
6  Malaysia 338,800 324,500 278,100
7  Japan 335,500 326,500 324,400
8  India 233,100 196,600 168,600
9  South Korea 230,100 204,100 197,500
10  Hong Kong 219,700 201,600 183,500

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ s.29 Migration Act 1958
  2. ^ Doubts over Indonesia's plans to scrap tourist visa for Australians
  3. ^ "Visa Information - Australia". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) - Eligible passports
  5. ^ Visa listing
  6. ^ Information for Visitors
  7. ^ Fees and charges for visas
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Visitor visa (subclass 600)
  10. ^ Visas for Chinese tourists: Mainland Chinese enthused about longer visas included in FTA
  11. ^ New China visa set to boost visitor numbers
  12. ^ Transit Visa (Subclass 771)
  13. ^ Medical Treatment Visa (Subclass 602)
  14. ^ Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
  15. ^ Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)
  16. ^ Student visa (subclass 500)
  17. ^ Important changes to the student visa programme – from 1 July 2016
  18. ^ Special Program Visa (Subclass 416)
  19. ^ "Resident Return Visas (Subclasses 155 and 157)". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Special Category visa (subclass 444)
  21. ^ "Fact Sheet 17 – New Zealanders in Australia". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159)
  23. ^ "Fact Sheet 59 - Immigration Arrangements for Norfolk Island". Department of Immigration & Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c "Fact Sheet 53 – Australia's Entry System for Visitors". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "eVisitor (subclass 651)". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ Excluding British National (Overseas), British Overseas Territories citizen, British Overseas citizen, British protected person or British Subject passport.
  28. ^ "For eVisitor Applicants - Who can apply". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Report" (PDF). Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  30. ^ "Report" (PDF). Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "Report" (PDF). Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "Information from the Commission about notifications by the Member States of cases of non-reciprocity in accordance with Article 1(4)(a) of Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 as amended by Regulation (EU) No 1289/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council". European Commission. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  33. ^ a b EU gives US six months to come clean on visa policy
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  36. ^ a b "Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601)". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  37. ^ "For Electronic Travel Authority Applicants - Who can apply". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  38. ^ https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2014L01319 Migration Regulations 1994 - Specification of Class of Passports - IMMI 14/073
  39. ^ a b http://hongkong.china.embassy.gov.au/hkng/VISMG_ETA.html Visa and migration - Electronic Travel Authorities (ETA)
  40. ^ Electronic visa record
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  42. ^ "Visitor e600 Visa Online Applications". Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  43. ^ http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/international/2015/11/19/australia-encourages-indonesian-tourists.html#sthash.TdZi3wae.dpuf
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  46. ^ Do I need a visa to transit through Australia?
  47. ^ Not applicable to nationals of these countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Comoros, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, the Republic of Yemen, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Arab Non-National Passport Holders (ANNPH) or Taiwanese holding diplomatic or official passports.
  48. ^ KLM - Visa Information
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  50. ^ Environmental approvals for tour and expedition organisers
  51. ^ Christmas Island traveller information
  52. ^ Cocos (Keeling) Islands traveller information
  53. ^ Can I visit Heard Island?
  54. ^ Guidelines for Tourist Operations and Visits
  55. ^ Guidelines for Tourist Visits to Macquarie Island Nature Reserve and World Heritage Area
  56. ^ Norfolk Island
  57. ^ [3]
  58. ^ [4]
  59. ^ Arrivals SmartGate
  60. ^ [5]
  61. ^ ABTC Summary
  62. ^ "Temporary entrants in Australia (stock data) statistics". www.border.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  63. ^ Modified Non-Return Rate Quarterly Report Ending at 30 June 2013
  64. ^ "Employer Sanctions Legislation - vSure - Visa Checks Made Easy". vSure. 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  65. ^ "Fact Sheet - Employing Legal Workers". Immi.gov.au. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
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  73. ^ "Visa Free Entry to Japan for Short-term Visitors from Australia". Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 1998-11-05. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
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  76. ^ "Visa Requirement by Country". Immigration Department of Malaysia. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  77. ^ "Visa Requirements for Entry into Singapore". High Commission of The Republic of Singapore - London. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
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  81. ^ Australia mulls visa waiver for Gulf nationals
  82. ^ http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/international/2015/11/19/australia-encourages-indonesian-tourists.html#sthash.TdZi3wae.dpuf
  83. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/peter-dutton-eases-visa-rules-for-indonesian-visitors/story-fn59nm2j-1227616116886?sv=fc249eb65a326564046db35eda3d06c
  84. ^ http://www.afr.com/business/tourism/australia-lures-indonesian-investors-with-visa-relaxation-20151119-gl2rzd
  85. ^ [6]
  86. ^ http://www.tourism.australia.com/images/Statistics/ABSarrivals_December_2015.pdf

External links[edit]