Australia has very stringent rules, especially for those who are planning to visit the country. Besides your passport you are required to present the right type of visa. Only those who are New Zealand citizens are exempted, though they also have to obtain a special type of visa the moment they step out of the plane.
Travel Documents You Need
The first travel document you should acquire is the ETA or the electronic travel authority. It can be provided by any registered or accredited travel agency or airline by the International Air Transport Association. You can already have your ETA at least 24 hours after filing of application.
The good thing about ETAs is that as long as your country is allowed to issue one, you may no longer have to get a separate tourist visa. With tourist visas, you need to wait more than a week before you can obtain it. For you to get the ETA, you simply need to apply online and pay the necessary charge of $20. You can also let the travel agency handle it for you, though expect the price to go up to as much as $25. This is non-refundable. ETA is already available in more than 30 countries all over the world, including United States, United Kingdom, Korea, Canada, Singapore, and Malaysia.
If your country is not covered by the ETA, you have to obtain a short-term visa. This also holds true if you’re planning to stay in the country for more than three months. The typical tourist visas will cost you $70. If you’re lucky, you will be stamped with multiple entries, which saves you time and effort from reapplying later on. Otherwise, the visa may be worth it within 12 months after its issue.
Another kind of visa you can obtain is the WHM visa. WHM stands for working holiday maker. There are certain limitations with this kind of visa. First your age should never be more than 30 years old. Not all countries are allowed to get this. Usually European countries and certain Asian nations such as Japan and Korea can avail of WHM visa to Australia. Third you cannot use the visa to apply for immigration. If you wish to immigrate, the only way is to apply for skilled worker’s visa, and the requirements are more complex.
The WHM visas are only meant for casual employment. For example, you’re spending a holiday in the country while earning some money on the side. You are not allowed to stay with an employer for over 6 months.
You cannot change your tourist visa into WHM visa when you’re already in the country. However, you can apply for it at least a year before your trip. For you to be issued with the visa, you have to present enough funds to cover for your return fare or your return ticket. The charge can be pretty hefty. It’s close to $200. You can receive your working holiday visas within 48 hours after it’s been approved.