How to get an Australian visa

How can you get a visa for Australia? Is it easy to move to this country? The quick answer is no, it is not easy. Even rather difficult I would say. Yet it is possible. If you’re interested in getting an Australian visa – all the information you need is below.

Australia has been – and still is – a dream country for a lot of people. Whilst the USA (46.6 million migrants, or 14.5% of the population) or Canada (7.8 million migrants, or 21.8% of the population) might be more common destinations for those striving to make their dreams come true, Australia is a more exotic location. According to 2017 statistics, 28.2% of the population (6.8 million people) are migrants. So how did they get an Australian visa?

How to get an Australian visa

  1. Short or Long Stay Tourist Visa

The easiest way to get an Australian visa is to apply for a tourist visa. The Short Stay Tourist Visa (ETA) is given for a maximum duration of 3 months and there is a straightforward visa application online. There’s also a Long Stay Visitor Visa category which allows you to stay in the country for up to 12 months. Rules and regulations might differ from country to country, however all the required information can be found on the Australian Visa Bureau website. There are a few things to note if you are planning to get a holiday visa. First, ideally apply in advance of your trip. The application process is rather strict and visa processing time can take a while, especially if your country of residence does not have any special entry related agreements with Australia. Secondly, prepare for a visa handling fee of £30 – 185. The exact sum is determined by the duration and type of your visa. Third, get the Australian visa and enjoy your trip!

  1. Student Visa

Getting an Australian Student Visa is the second easiest (if you can call anything related Australian border rules ‘easy’) way to get the doors open to this country. It allows you to stay in the country for up to 5 years.

Australia has a number of highly ranked universities across the country and for those looking for some quality studies in an exotic location – well, Australia might be the place. The only downside of studying in Australia is the price of studies. One year of undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne for international students costs around £15,000. This fee can be higher or lower, depending on the discipline. The fee for master’s study is also rather high. For example, an MBA at Murdoch University will cost around £19,500.

If you need an Australian visa for the purpose of extended living (or travel) in the country and the tourist visa is not sufficient, a study visa might be still an option for you. There are plenty of colleges at which you could study a short course (as opposed to an entire degree). It is still not cheap (e.g the General English course at Sydney Business College costs around £110 a week). However, this is the price you pay for getting the Australian visa and access to this unique country.

Regulations for study visas vary based on your nationality, however in any case, be prepared to pay around £320 for the visa processing fee. Besides the visa application, there might also be other checks required (e.g. a health check). Bear in mind that if you’re planning to support yourself by working in Australia, the study visa allows only 20 hours of work per week.

How to get an Australian visa - student visa

  1. Working Holiday Visa (“Young person under 31 visa”)

If you’re under 31 years old and hold a passport from an eligible country (such as the UK, US, Germany, Canada), you might be lucky and get easy access to the country. Australia has a special agreement with these countries, allowing young citizens to work and travel in Australia for up to 12 months. In certain circumstances, you might also be eligible to apply for a second Australian Holiday Visa.

If you fall into this category of lucky-young-people, you can get Australian visa by submitting the application online. The fee for visa processing is around £250 and it takes up to 8 weeks to complete. However, this visa type does not allow full flexibility: you’re not allowed to work for the same employer for more than 6 months and you can’t engage in training or studies for more than 4 months. kill

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Work-Sponsored Visa)

TSS 482 is the most common visa type for those in a full-time employment. International companies, academic institutions and some non-governmental organisations in Australia offer visa sponsorship for highly valued/educated/experienced hires from foreign countries. Simply explained, you need to find an organisation which wants to employ you and sponsor your visa application. Depending on your profession, the likelihood of you getting hired (and sponsored for visa) might be anywhere from high to pretty much impossible. Visas in this category might be of a different length – short (2 years) or medium (4 years).

Getting an Australian visa for work is good, however it is rather expensive. The employer will pay the sponsorship and nomination fees however the applicant is required to pay for the visa processing. For example, the fee for TSS-482 visa processing is around £620-1300, depending on whether you apply for a short- or medium-term visa. Visa processing time is around 2 months and you’ll need hell loads of documents to submit with your applications. But all about that in another article…

How to get an Australian visa - work visa

  1. Skilled Independent Visa (sponsorship free work visa)

As I mentioned before, there is a lucky category of young people who can get an Australian visa (for work and travel purposes) rather easily. Well, there is a second stream of lucky people who can obtain a visa without the need to find a company to work for. Those people can apply for the Skilled Independent Visa (189).

Australia has a list of ‘eligible skilled occupations’ and if your profession falls into this list then happy days! This means that you could apply for a Skilled Independent Visa, pending you passing of the ‘points score test’. You are also required to have a fluency in English and have documents confirming your experience in a required profession.

Note that visa processing time for this type of visas is up to 12 months and is costs around £2080.

  1. Partner Visa

If your spouse or de facto partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can get an Australian visa stemming from this relationship (Partner visa, subclasses 820 and 801). This visa is rather expensive, costing around £3950. However, once the permanent 801 visa is approved, you can stay in Australia permanently.

Alternatively, if your wife/husband/de facto partner/other family member has a sponsorship for a work visa in Australia (i.e., TSS-482), they can add you into their application as a family member. This would grant you exactly same rights for work as for the primary visa holder. The same visa processing fees apply and there is a fee for each applicant.

How to get an Australian visa - partner visa


Until last year and the unexpected announcement of Brexit, I was accustomed to visa free travel and work throughout most of Europe. I was prepared for a little hustle, however both finding sponsorship and going though the pain of getting an Australian visa for work proved to be challenging. If you’re planning a big move to Australia, get yourself ready for a time, energy and cost intensive journey. The things you do for new unconventional experiences!

Author: fitontrip

I’m Vita – Founder of The Fit on Trip and co-founder of TwoFit. I have two massive passions in life that I am obsessed about – travel & fitness. Fit On Trip blog is for all those interested in how to stay fit whilst traveling, what to do (and what to avoid) and what fitness activities are out there in various countries. Welcome to the place where fit travel nomads hang out!

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