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Short Stay Visas

Electronic Travel Authorities

This is the quickest method of obtaining a visa by a person visiting Australia for a short period of three months or less on holiday or for business purposes and who has what is termed an “ETA-eligible passport”. There are three types of ETA, all of which should be available from a travel agent, and all allowing a visit to Australia for up to 3 months. See also the Department of Immigration’s website where an ETA can be obtained on-line for a notional fee.

The three categories of ETA are as follows:

  • 976 – the ETA (Visitor). Allows multiple visits for tourism or visiting family and friends of up to 3 months within 12 months of the visa being granted. Can be used for multiple visits.
  • 977 – the ETA (Business Entrant Short Validity). Allows one visit for business purposes of up to 3 months duration within 12 months of the visa being granted.
  • 956 – the ETA (Business Entrant Long Validity). Allows multiple business visits of up to 3 months in length, valid for the duration of the individual’s passport.

Other Visitor Visas

For a person with a passport that is not from an ETA-approved country a visa to enter Australia as a tourist or to visit Australian relatives must be obtained more formally via the 676 Tourist (Short Stay) visa. Such a visa is normally granted for a stay of three months and the applicant cannot be involved in any working activity.

A 6-month stay is possible via the 686 Tourist (Long Stay) visa, which may be extended to a one year stay for aged parents visiting their children, or to 11 months for a parent caring for a young child enrolled in formal studies (renewable each year for the length of the course). From mid-August 2001 it is possible for holders of a 976 ETA (see above) or a 676 visa (see below) without an 8503 (no further stay) condition to apply for a 686 visa via the internet, so long as they are still in Australia.

Another alternative to the 676 Tourist (Short Stay) visa is the 679 Sponsored Family Visitor (Short Stay) visa. Under the 676 visa the applicant must provide evidence of sufficient funds to support the applicant during his or her stay in Australia. By contrast, the 679 visa requires the applicant to be sponsored by an adult relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or by a Member of Parliament or Mayor or Government Agency in Australia.

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The contents of this page are necessarily an abbreviated overview of a very detailed subject. The situation may change as the law can alter quickly and we therefore strongly recommend that you take professional advice about your personal circumstances before placing any reliance on the contents of the website.

Choice Migration Australia Pty Ltd can be contacted by email on, by telephone in Australia on 07 5571 0456 (ask for Mofid Bebawy), or by writing to us at PO Box 2121, Southport BC, QLD, 4215 Australia.