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Obtaining an Australian Travel Visa

Aug 12, 2008
Australia is an amazing country, and the mainland itself comprises most of the continent of Australia. Due to the country's beauty and popularity, many people like to go there for holidays and business purposes alike. Since Australia is a foreign country, one must apply for a visa to go there. There are many requirements for acquiring a visa, and depending on why you want to visit Australia, a different kind of visa will be necessary.

For those who want to move permanently to Australia and become a worker of some sort, a skilled immigration visa is appropriate. To apply for this visa, you should be forty five years of age or less, be proficient in English, know what occupation you are going to apply for, and be able to prove that you are competent in that profession. To do this, you must pass an exam and show documentation of experience in the field. Also, if English is a secondary language of an applicant, they must pass an additional test showing they are fluent in the language.

If you have an Australian family member who is willing to sponsor your visit to Australia, and usually allow you to take residence with them, then obtaining a visa can be somewhat simpler. The sponsor guarantees that the visitor will leave Australia before the visa expires, and if they fail to ensure this, stiff penalties apply. This visa should be used for anyone visiting family, and if there is no business or medical activity occurring. The family member pays the application fee (upon which the visitor can reimburse their family upon arrival), and may also need to cover a security bond. The terms of this visa allows the holder to visit once, but stay between three and twelve months. Only under special circumstances are people allowed to stay for a full year on this visa.

The Electronic Travel Application has made getting a visa to Australia easier than ever, as the process can be done on the Internet. There are three kinds of ETAs, known as holiday and visiting, short stay business, and long stay business. Holiday ETAs allow people to enter the country multiple times over a period of a year. However, each visit is supposed to be limited to three months or shorter.

Short stay business visas are for businesspeople that come to Australia occasionally for meetings or other things of that nature. Those who travel frequently would not be suited to this type of ETA, as it only permits one visit every three months. Long stay ETAs are actually quite similar to short term ETAs, except you are allowed to stay for at most three months on your trip.

Since ETAs can be obtained online, many people take this route, as it is the simplest. Several websites offer ETA processing, and all they require is a valid passport, credit card, and some other identifying information. After completion of an application, a reference number is provided so the user can go back to the website later to check their status, as well as print materials.

A basic visa application, for most types except sponsored family, is around $55. If you go through a website and utilize ETA, there may be additional fees that are contingent on the site itself. Most people are willing to pay these fees in exchange for the convenience of being able to get a visa online.
About the Author
Traveling to Australia? Get your Australia Visa here, you can also purchase Australian Visas for your entire family.
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