Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Visitor Visa Requirements - updtd 30/7/12

Visitor Visa requirements for Australia

1. Who should apply for a Visitor Visa?

If you wish to visit Australia for a holiday, sightseeing, or to visit family or friends you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600 - Tourist stream). People intending informal study or training for less than 3 months, may also apply for a Visitor Visa. Paid work is not allowed on a visitor visa.

The subclass 600 visitor visa has a number of other stream options including the Sponsored Family stream. Applications for this stream are lodged and processed in Australia. 

2. What are the criteria for assessing a tourist stream visitor visa application?

Applicants must satisfy four essential criteria:
• they must  genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia;
• they must be seeking to visit Australia for purposes other than business or medical treatment;
• they must have access to or have adequate means to support themselves; and
• they must satisfy the relevant public interest criteria, including health and character.

3. What do we mean by a “applicant genuinely intends to stay temporarily in Australia”?

"Genuinely", in this context, means the client will comply with visa conditions, depart within the validity of their visa and not seek to make further applications onshore. Decision-makers therefore assess whether the applicant is attempting to obtain a visitor visa to:
• remain in Australia for a longer period (for example, maintain ongoing residence in Australia on a series of visitor visas); or
• for unlawful purposes (for example, to work illegally).
The factors we assess when determing if the client meets this criterion include the following:

- The personal circumstances of the applicant that would encourage them to return to their home country at the end of the proposed visit, such as:
• ongoing employment;
• the presence of immediate family members;
• property or other significant assets; and
• the applicant’s economic situation.

- The applicant’s immigration history including issues such as:
• previous travel to Australia and compliance with visa conditions;
• previous visa applications to Australia; and
• previous travel overseas.

- The personal circumstances of the applicant in their home country that might encourage them to remain in Australia, such as;
• personal ties to Australia;
• military service commitments;
• civil disruption; and
• economic disruption.

We would also take into account the conditions that might encourage the applicant to remain in Australia, the applicant’s credibility in terms of character and conduct, and whether the purpose and proposed duration of the applicant’s visit and their proposed activities in Australia are reasonable and consistent.

4. How can an applicant demonstrate they meet the “genuiness” criterion?

Examples of documentation that may demonstrate an applicant’s ability to satisfy this criterion include, but are not limited to:
• evidence of employment in home country and confirmation of holidays approved by employer;
• evidence of enrolment at school or university;
• evidence of financial situation, including bank statements and ownership of assets;
• evidence of family relationships in Australia and/or India; and
• evidence of other commitments in India such as membership of organisations, voluntary work etc.

5. How long can I stay in Australia?

Visitor Visas can allow for single or multiple entry – and permit a three (3), six (6) or twelve (12) month stay in Australia on each occasion. Applicants are able to indicate their preferred number of entries into Australia and their desired stay period in their application however the decision-maker will determine which time period is appropriate, taking into account an applicant’s personal circumstances.

A three month stay with a multiple entry facility and a validity period of one year meets the requirements of most visitors to Australia. Granting a longer stay may be considered in certain circumstances, for example: for the parents of Australian citizens/permanent residents who have applied for permanent migration to Australia, but have not yet been granted permanent residency.

Visitor Visas are designed for people whose intention is to visit Australia for short periods. They cannot generally be used for staying in Australia longer than 12 months and cannot be used to establish ongoing residence in Australia.

6. I am a parent of an Australian citizen or permanent resident.  What are the requirements if I want to apply for a longer visa?

Parents of Australian permanent residents or Australian citizens may be eligible for the grant of one of the following:

•  Tourist visa of up to five years validity with a stay of up to 12 months on each entry where they are applying from outside Australia and are in the Parent (subclass 103) visa queue
•  Tourist visa of up to three years validity with 12 months stay on each entry where they are applying from outside Australia and are not in the Parent visa queue.

These longer stay validity visas are not available to people who apply in Australia.

In addition to meeting all other Tourist visa requirements, you will need to:

•  hold health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during your stay
•  not stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period. (Like all tourists, parents granted Tourist visas are expected to maintain extended periods of absence between visits to Australia). 

Example to assist in ensuring you do not breach condition 8558: If you stay in Australia for 11 months from, say, 1 December til 1 October in any year, you will be able to spend one more month in Australia until 1 June of the following year (18 months after your 1 December entry).  If you spend more that 1 month in Australia before 1 June of the following year, you would be in breach of condition 8558.  Your visa would be liable for consideration of cancellation.