European Union citizens will need to get an eVisitor Visa before they can travel to Australia. This type of visa allows you to visit Australia as many times as you wish within a year as long as each trip is shorter than three months. The best part is that you can the eVisitor entirely online.
What Is the eVisitor Visa?
The eVisitor is a travel authorization, similar to a visa, which allows the holder to visit Australia. You can apply for an eVisitor online and will receive the confirmation via email. Your confirmed eVisitor is then saved on an online database which can be accessed through your passport number, which is how Australian immigration knows that you have been granted a visa.
Because it is a facilitated type of visa, you can usually expect to get the eVisitor within a couple of days.
Who is Eligible for an eVisitor?
Citizens from the following European countries are eligible to get the eVisitor visa for Australia:
|Switzerland||United Kingdom||Vatican City|
How to Apply for an eVisitor for Australia?
You can apply for an eVisitor online, through the official visa application portal of Australia:
- Create an ImmiAccount.
- Enter your personal details, passport information, and the purpose of travel.
- Attach any required documents.
- Submit the application.
- Wait to hear back. You will receive an email confirming your visa application within one to two days. The letter includes your visa grant number, the date on which it starts, and how long it is valid.
When applying for the eVisitor visa, you need the following:
- Passport, valid for at least six more months.
- A valid email address.
- A credit or debit card to pay the fee.
Although the eVisitor is a type of Australian visa, it is a facilitated one, which means that the requirements are much more lenient than they are for a regular tourist visa. However, the visa officers assessing your application may decide you need to provide additional documents, in which case you may be asked to submit electronic copies of the following documents:
- Your passport’s bio page. The page which includes your picture and name.
- A copy of your ID Card (front and back).
- Proof of the reason you are visiting Australia.
- A travel itinerary.
- Proof of accommodation in Australia, such as a hotel booking or letter from a friend/relative who will host you.
- Your flight reservation.
- Proof that your trip is indeed temporary. This can be a letter from your employer or school, stating the date on which you are expected to return. It can also be proof that you have family obligations and dependent family members back home.
- Your bank statements from the last three months.
- A list of your travel companions.
Who Assesses the eVisitor Application?
The authority in charge of processing your eVisitor application is the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Regardless of the manner in which you apply – online or using the help of a visa or travel agency – your application is forwarded to the Department of Home Affairs who has the final say on the outcome.
How Much Does the eVisitor Cost?
The eVisitor for Australia is issued free of charge. In some cases, you may be required to pay an AUD 20 processing fee.
After Getting the eVisitor
Once your application has been approved, you will receive an email confirmation. Make sure to save this email – you can even print it out – and keep it with you when you travel. This has all the necessary information about your eVisitor.
Once you arrive in Australia, the immigration officer at the entry point will ask for your passport and check your eVisitor on the online database where it is recorded before allowing you through.
How Long Can I Stay in Australia with an eVisitor?
Your eVisitor Visa is valid for 12 months from the date it is issued. During this time, you can enter the country as many times as you want and stay up to three months per each visit. You cannot work during this period.
Can I Extend my Stay?
If you are in Australia with an eVisitor and it is about to expire, you can approach the nearest immigration or visa office and request a new eVisitor (Subclass 651) Visa. Be sure to do so at least two weeks before your current eVisitor expires.
If you are about to approach the end of your 3-month-per-trip period of stay, you could also simply leave the country and re-enter in a few days’ time, which would give you another three months – provided that the eVisitor is still valid.
What If I Overstay My eVisitor Visa?
It is important to keep track of your visa’s validity and how long you have been in Australia. If you overstay without strong grounds, even by just a few days, it could impact your chances of getting another eVisitor in the future. If you stay past your eVisitor expiry by more than 4 weeks, then you may be stopped by immigration as you depart the country and be taken for an interview. In some cases, you could even receive a three-year travel ban.
Normally, if you have strong grounds for having overstayed, such as a sudden illness or accident, then you can notify the Department of Home Affairs and be advised on how to proceed.
How Can I Check My Visa Validity?
You can check your eVisitor’s validity through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). You can access VEVO by using one of the following:
- Transaction Reference Number (TRN) – which you will receive when you start the online visa application.
- Visa Grant Number – which you receive once your eVisitor visa application is successful.
- Your Immigration Card (ImmiCard).
When signing up for a VEVO account, you also have to provide your birthdate, passport number, and country of nationality.
Can I Work With an eVisitor Visa?
No, you are not allowed to take up any sort of paid employment while you are in Australia with an eVisitor permit. You may only engage in business activities such as attend meetings, sign contracts, hold or attend seminars and presentations, etc.
If you want to work in Australia, you will need the relevant type of Australian work visa.
Can I Study With an eVisitor?
With an eVisitor, you can take a short-term study course of up to three months. If you plan to take a course longer than three months, then you will need to apply for an Australian student visa instead.
Can I Volunteer With an eVisitor Visa?
You can do volunteer work while you are in Australia with an eVisitor as long as it is truly voluntary and you do not receive any salary or wages for it. You may be reimbursed for accommodation, food, and living expenses.
Do I Need an eVisitor If I Enter Australia on a Cruise?
Yes, if you are on a cruise that is scheduled to enter Australia at some point, you will have to get an eVisitor.
What If My eVisitor Visa is Denied?
If your eVisitor is denied, you will usually receive the reason on the email by the Department of Home Affairs. They will also notify you on whether you have the right to appeal or ask to review the decision and if you need to approach a visa office or Australian Embassy to submit a paper application. In some cases, they may simply request for you to submit additional documents before they grant you your visa.
What If I Gave the Wrong Information?
If you accidentally entered the wrong information during your application, you may be able to log back into your ImmiAccount and update them. You have to:
- Select the ‘Update details’ option on the portal
- Select ‘Notification of incorrect answer(s)’.
- Add the correct information.
If the Department of Home Affairs is already assessing your application or have finished doing so, then your application could be rejected and you might have to submit a new application.