Visitor visa (subclass 600)

Features

This visa lets you visit Australia:

  • to visit or for business purposes
  • for up to three, six or 12 months.

The base application charge for this visa ranges from AUD130 to AUD335.

If you hold a certain passport, you might be able to apply for a free or cheaper visa.

The eVisitor (subclass 651) visa is free. You must be a passport holder of a certain country.

The Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) visa has an AUD20 service charge. You must be a passport holder of a certain country.​​

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you are travelling to Australia:

  • as a visitor
  • for business visitor activities
  • to visit family
  • on a tour with a registered travel agent from the People’s Republic of China.

Only cer​tain passport holders ​can apply for this visa online. 

If you cannot apply online you can lodge a paper application

About this visa

This visa has four streams:

Tourist stream: for people travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends and for other purposes not related to business or medical treatment.
  • If you are in Australia, your application must be made in Australia. If you apply for this visa in Australia, you must be in Australia to be granted the visa.
  • If you are outside Australia, your application must be made outside Australia. If you apply for this visa outside Australia, you must be outside Australia to be granted the visa.
Business Visitor stream: for business people travelling to Australia for a short business visit. This includes making a general business or employment enquiry, negotiations or participating in a conference.
  • You must be outside Australia when you apply, your application must be made outside Australia, and you must be outside Australia to be granted the visa.
Sponsored Family stream: for people travelling to Australia to visit their family. You must have a sponsor who might be asked to provide a bond.
  • You must be outside Australia when you apply and you must be outside Australia to be granted the visa.
Approved Destination Status stream: for people from the People’s Republic of China who are travelling in an organised tour group.
  • You must be in the People’s Republic of China at time of application and to be granted the visa.

What this visa lets you do

This visa lets you come to Australia to:

  • have a holiday or visit family and friends in Australia
  • engage in business visitor activities while in Australia that do not include:
    • working for or supplying services to an organisation or other person based in Australia
    • selling goods or services directly to the general public.

The department will tell you how many times you can enter Australia on this visa:

  • You might be allowed to enter only once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia again after you leave.
  • You might be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid, but the total time you spend in Australia cannot be more than the period of stay that you have been granted.

Before you apply

Other visas

If you have a:

It will still be valid for the period you were given when the visa was granted.

You should not apply for this visa if you intend to visit for medical treatment or to transit through Australia.

Your passport

If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. In most cases, you and your family members must have valid passports to be granted this visa.

Cost

There is an application charge for this visa. We do not usually refund the visa application charge if you apply for the 600 visitor when you are eligible for a cheaper visa, or if the visa application is refused or withdrawn.
See: Fees and Charges.

Other costs

You could have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments and police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements yourself.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600).

There are four streams to this visa:

  • Tourist stream - you can apply for this visa while you are in or outside Australia
  • Business Visitor stream - you must be outside Australia to apply for this visa
  • Sponsored Family stream - you must be outside Australia to apply for this visa
  • Approved Destination Status stream - you must be a citizen and in the People's Republic of China to apply for this visa.

You should apply for the stream that best suits your situation.

Who could get this visa

To be granted this visa, you must:

  • meet health and character requirements
  • have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Australia
  • intend to do the activities in the stream you are applying for.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your period of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in another country during the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Health insurance

You are responsible for all your health costs while you are in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia's national health scheme (Medicare) unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

We recommend that you take out health insurance each time you travel to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Provide biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

Tourist stream

You must also be able to show that you are travelling to Australia as a genuine visitor, for example as a tourist, for recreation or to visit your family and friends.

  • If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is decided.
  • If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.

If you are visiting your family, we will tell you whether you need a sponsor or need to pay a security bond when you apply.

You could be asked to prove that you hold 12 months of health insurance cover.

Visitor visas for parents of Australians

Due to the length of the permanent Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 103) queue, and the desirability of family reunion, we might grant a more generous Visitor visa. You will automatically be considered for this if you are a parent or step-parent of:

We will consider these applications on a case-by-case basis. We can grant visas that last up to:

  • five years for parents outside Australia who are in the Parent (Migrant) visa (subclass 103) queue
  • three years for parents outside Australia who have had a previous Australian visa and complied with the visa conditions, and either:
  • 18 months for parents who have not previously travelled to Australia and either:

The visa will have three extra visa conditions:

  • Maximum 12 month stay in 18 months: You cannot stay in Australia for more than 12 months on any visit or for more than 12 months in any 18-month period.
  • Health insurance: You must maintain fully comprehensive health insurance while you are in Australia. You could be asked to provide evidence of 12 months health insurance cover when you apply. Reciprocal health arrangements are not adequate to meet this requirement.
  • No further stay: You cannot apply for a new visa while you are in Australia. You must leave Australia no later than the date on which your visa ends, except in extremely limited circumstances.

Business Visitor stream

You must be able to show:

  • your business background
  • you will be doing a business activity listed below
  • that you have a good business reason for  travelling to Australia
  • that you will be doing one of the following business activities:
    • making general business or employment enquiries
      investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract
    • activities carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit
    • participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, as long as you are not being paid by the organisers for your participation.

You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided.

You do not need a sponsor to apply for this stream.

Sponsored Family stream

You must be able to show that:

  • you are travelling to Australia as a genuine visitor
  • you will visit your family
  • you are sponsored by an eligible relative or an Australian government official.

Approved Destination Status stream

You can apply for the Approved Destination Status stream if you:

  • are a citizen of the People’s Republic of China
  • are in the People’s Republic of China when you apply and when the visa is decided
  • apply through an agent registered under the Approved Destination Status Scheme.

You do not need a sponsor to apply for this stream.

Including family in your application

Family members who want to travel to Australia with you must lodge separate visa applications. You cannot include them in your application.

If you are applying in the Sponsored Family stream, any family members who want to visit Australia with you must be included on the sponsorship form.

Family members who are accompanying Business Visitors and are not themselves intending to engage in business visitor activities while in Australia should apply for the Tourist stream.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600).

Applying for the Approved Destination Status stream:
Your application form will be completed and lodged by a travel agent who is registered with the Approved Destination Status Scheme.

Applying for the other streams:

Lodge your application online

You can apply for this visa online at: Application for a Visitor Short Stay Visa.

A list of countries eligible for online lodgement is available at Visitor e600 visa online applications.

You must pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply.

Lodge your application by post or courier

If you cannot apply online:

  • complete the correct form for the stream you are applying for
  • lodge your form and your documents with us
  • pay the visa application charge when you apply.

Tourist stream

Business stream

Sponsored family stream

  • Complete and lodge the following forms:
    • You complete Form 1418 Application for a Visitor visa—Sponsored Family stream (478 kB PDF).
    • Your sponsor completes Form 1149 Application for sponsorship for Sponsored Family Visitors (223 kB PDF).
  • Lodge your completed forms together at one our offices below:

Sponsor's location

Where to send your application

New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania or ACT

Sydney office in New South Wales

 

Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia or Western Australia

Brisbane office in Queensland

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

This visa allows only temporary visits to Australia. If you are from a country with a high rate of Visitor visa non-compliance, it is in your interests to provide additional documentation that shows your intention to comply with the conditions of the visa.

We use the Modified Non-Return Rate (MNRR) as an indicator of likely compliance and the level of scrutiny to apply to your application. The MNRR is a statistic showing the proportion of people from various countries who arrive in Australia on a Visitor visa but fail to leave before their visa expires, other than people who are granted certain other visas while in Australia. If you are from a country with a high rate of Visitor visa non-compliance, it is in your interests to provide documentation as outlined in the visa application to establish your intention.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged the your application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

If you applied online, you can track and manage your online application using your ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Outside Australia:
If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa.

In Australia (Tourist stream only):
If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Visa application requirements differ from country to country.

If you are applying outside Australia, your nearest immigration office outside Australia will tell you exactly how to lodge your application and what documents to provide.

Approved Destination stream:
Contact your travel agent. Your travel agent prepares your documents and lodges your application for you. If you apply for this visa with an approved travel agent for a tour that is part of the Approved Destination Status scheme in China, your approved travel agent will lodge the application form for you.

Forms

  • A completed application form.

Receiving assistance

Charges

Your identity

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • One recent passport sized photograph (45 mm x 35 mm) of each person included in the application.
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
    • Print the name of the person on the back of the photograph.
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.
  • Certified copies of birth certificates for you and any other person included in the application. The certificates must show the names of both parents of each person.

The character requirements

  • If anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of their military service record or discharge papers.

Documents to show you are a visitor

  • Evidence of sufficient funds, such as personal bank statements, pay slips, audited accounts, taxation records or credit card limit.
  • If you are visiting relatives or friends, a letter of invitation from your relative or friend in Australia. If your relative or friend is paying for your visit, evidence that they have the necessary funds.
  • If you are visiting under the Tourist stream: Your itinerary for your stay in Australia.
  • Other information to show that you have an incentive and authority to return to your home country, such as:
    • a letter from your employer stating your intention to return to your job
    • evidence of enrolment at a school, college or university in your home country
    • evidence of immediate family members in your home country
    • evidence of your visa or residence status in your home country, and your right to return
    • evidence of property or other significant assets owned in your home country.

Children younger than 18 years of age

  • If you are younger than 18 years of age: evidence that every person with a legal right to decide where you live consents to your travel to Australia on this visa. If one or both parents are not coming with you, provide:
    • astatutory declaration giving their permission
    • Form 1229 Consent form to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years (125 kB PDF).
      If you use this form, you will have to attach a certified copy of your parent’s or guardian’s government-issued identification document (such as a passport or drivers licence) with their photograph and their signature.
  • If you are younger than 18 years of age and you will stay in Australia with someone other than a parent, legal guardian or relative: a declaration signed by the person who will be responsible for you in Australia
    • Form 1257 Undertaking declaration (125 kB PDF).
  • Evidence of enrolment at school, college or university.

Additional documents for the Sponsored Family stream

  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and anyone else included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
  • If you are living in a de facto relationship: independent evidence that you have been in the relationship for at least 12 months (for example, joint bank account statements or billing accounts in joint names).
  • If you or anyone included in the application has been widowed, divorced or permanently separated: a certified copy of the death certificate, divorce decree absolute, or statutory declaration/separation certificate.
  • Evidence of financial dependency for all dependants aged 18 or older (such as evidence of current studies):
    • a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
    • proof that they live in your household
    • proof that they have been dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.

Additional documents for the Business stream

  • Evidence of why you need to visit Australia on business, such as:
    • a letter of invitation from the host organisation in Australia
    • conference registration details
    • a letter from your employer stating the reasons for your visit
    • your itinerary, with contact details of the business parties involved.
  • Your educational or professional qualifications.
  • Your current employment and your role during your visit to Australia.
  • Details of previous contacts with Australian businesspeople or organisations.
  • Documents to show that the company you work for is an actively operating business, such as a business registration certificate or annual report.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted a Visitor visa (subclass 600). It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

When your visa is granted, we will tell you how long your visa lasts and how many times you can enter Australia.

  • You may be allowed to enter only once. If so, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to return to Australia again after you leave.
  • You may be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid, but the time you spend in Australia cannot be more than the period of stay that you have been granted.

What this visa lets you do

Tourist stream

This visa lets you:

  • have a holiday or visit family and friends in Australia
  • study in Australia for up to three months
  • work as a genuine unpaid volunteer, but only if an Australian resident would not otherwise be paid to do the work (you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and accommodation).

Business stream

This visa lets you:

  • engage in business visitor activities while in Australia, provided you:
    • do not work for or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia
    • do not sell goods or services to the public.
  • study in Australia for up to three months.

Business visitor activities include:

  • making general business or employment enquiries
  • investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract
  • activities carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit
  • participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, as long as you are not being paid by the organisers for your participation.

Sponsored Family stream

This visa lets you:

  • visit family and friends in Australia (your sponsor might have to pay a bond)
  • have a holiday in Australia as a tourist
  • study in Australia for up to three months.

Approved destination stream

This visa lets citizens of the People’s Republic of China travel in Australia with a registered tour group.

Your obligations

You must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Tourist stream

  • You must not work in Australia (you might be allowed to work as an unpaid volunteer).
  • You must not study or train in Australia for more than three months
  • If you are sponsored by your family, you will need to meet same the obligations as someone who is granted this visa in the Sponsored Family stream.

Business Visitor stream

  • You must not work in Australia, other than to do your business visitor activities.
  • You must not study or train in Australia for more than three months.

Sponsored Family stream

  • You must not work in Australia.
  • You must not study or train in Australia for more than three months.
  • You must leave Australia before your visa ends. You cannot apply for another visa while you are in Australia.

Approved Destination stream

  • You must not work or study in Australia.
  • You must stay with your tour group.
  • You must leave Australia at the time listed in your itinerary.

No further stay

If you have a ‘No further stay’ condition on your visa, you cannot apply for a new visa while you are in Australia, except in extremely limited circumstances. You must leave Australia no later than the date on which your visa ends.

Report changes in circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

Sponsors

This information is for someone who wants to sponsor:

  • a family member applying for a Visitor visa in the Sponsored Family stream
  • an applicant for a Visitor visa in the Tourist stream (if asked to do so by us).

As a sponsor, you will guarantee that the applicant will leave Australia before their visa expires. You might also have to pay a security bond.

Who can sponsor a family member

A sponsor must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be older than 18 years of age
  • have been settled in Australia for a reasonable period (usually more than two years).

You must also be one of the following:

  • a relative of the applicant (partner, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or the 'step' or adopted equivalent of any of these).
  • a relative of a person who is a member of the applicant’s family unit and who is also applying for a Visitor visa (such as the partner of your brother or sister).

In addition, applicants in the Sponsored Family stream can be sponsored by:

  • a member of an Australian parliament
  • a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory
  • a mayor
  • A government agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or a State or a Territory.

You cannot be a sponsor for more than one person at the same time, unless they are the member of the same family unit. A family unit is made up of the head of the family, their partner and their dependent children. Other relatives can be included in the family unit if they are dependent on the head of the family.

If you have already sponsored a visitor, you must wait until their visa ceases before applying to be a sponsor again, unless your next sponsorship is for a member of the family unit of someone you are currently sponsoring and they are proposing to travel to Australia for the same purpose as the previous applicant.

If you have previously sponsored a visitor and they did not abide by the conditions of their visa, you will usually not be able to sponsor another visitor in the same visa class for five years.

Applying to be a sponsor

This information explains what you need to do to apply to sponsor someone for the Sponsored Family or Tourist stream of the Visitor visa.

Sponsored Family stream

Applying online:
Complete and scan Form 1149 Application for sponsorship for Sponsored Family Visitors (223 kB PDF) and give the scanned file to the visa applicant to attach to their online application.

Applying by post:
Complete and lodge the following forms together:

  • The visa applicant completes Form 1418 Application for a Visitor visa—Sponsored family stream (430 kb PDF)
  • You completeForm 1149 Application for sponsorship for Sponsored Family Visitors (223 kB PDF).

Lodge your forms at one of our offices below:

Sponsor's location

Where to send your application

  New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania or ACT

Sydney office in New South Wales

Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia or Western Australia

Brisbane office in Queensland

Tourist stream

You might be requested to provide sponsorship for a Tourist stream application. The office processing your application will advise you if this is required. Do not provideForm 1149 Application for sponsorship for Sponsored Family Visitors (223 kB PDF) for the Tourist stream unless requested.

Sponsor obligations

As a sponsor, you must:

  • guarantee that your visitor will comply with all the conditions of their visa, including leaving Australia before their visa expires
  • take responsibility for all financial obligations to the Australian Government incurred by your visitor during their stay in Australia.

If your visitor does not comply with all the conditions of their visa, you will usually be unable to sponsor another visitor for this visa for five years and might lose your security bond.

Security bond

The department decides on a case-by-case basis whether to ask for a security bond. We will tell you in writing if you need to provide a bond.

The bond:

  • is usually between AUD5000 and AUD15 000 per person (but we can ask for any amount)
  • must be paid in full before a final decision can be made on the visa application
  • is refunded if your visitor leaves Australia before their visa ends and if they have complied with all visa conditions.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will the primary applicant be in Australia when the application is lodged?
* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.

Last reviewed Monday 31 March 2014

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