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Australia - Visas

Unless you are an Australian passport holder or a qualifying New Zealand passport holder, the government of Australia requires all people to have an Australian visa to enter the country. There are various categories of Australian visas, each designed for specific individuals or professionals who want to come into the country. The visa categories include: work visa, student visa, visitor visa, student guardian visa, training visa and entrepreneur visa, among others. Each visa category has its own specific requirements and eligibility criteria. However, all visa applicants should meet the following conditions no matter the category:

• The applicant must be proficient in English: Non-native English speakers are required to attain a certain score specified on their visa category or book English classes before they arrive in Australia.
• The applicant must have relevant skills and qualifications that match those on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List or those required by their employer.
• Depending on their profession, permanent and some temporary visa applicants are required to meet the health requirements specified on their visa application forms. Individuals who are required to have a medical examination are advised to consult the embassy for a list of government-approved doctors.
• The applicant must have good character because visa applicants are assessed partly on their character. They are required to provide penal clearance certificates.
• The applicant must show that they are willing to accept the Australian way of life and obey the local laws by signing the Australian values statement.

Information for visitors

Identifying the visa you are required to apply for and its requirements is one of the most important things you should know if you are planning to visit or move to Australia. In addition, you should know what to expect when travelling through Australian airports and seaports, such as the duty-free concession limits and what not to carry.

Visitor Visas

If you plan to visit Australia for short-term, non-work commitments like visiting your friend or relative, or just for tourism or medical reasons, you will be required to have a valid visa irrespective of the time you intend to spend in Australia. The length of your stay, your passport, your current location, and the purpose of your visit will determine the type of visitor visa you will get.

Entrepreneur or Work Visa

Entrepreneurs are required to submit an expression of interest in a particular skill set and should be nominated by the government when applying for an entrepreneur visa. These are some of the things that businesspeople interested in investing in Australia should know if they intend to apply for an Entrepreneur visa:

• The applicant should apply with the intention of undertaking an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
• Entrepreneurial ventures that entail residential real estate, labor hire, or the purchase of an already existing business are not allowed.
• The applicant must be proficient in English.
• The applicant should have a stake of at least 30% in the business venture.
• The applicant should not be older than 55 years.
• At least one funding agreement of not less than $200,000 must be in place between the entrepreneur and a third party.
• A business plan outlining the venture must be drafted.
• If the business venture is successful in terms of business turnover, employment of Australians, and has gained significant financial backing, the entrepreneur visa holder may qualify for permanent residency in four years.

Work visa options

Skilled migration visa
This type of visa is usually offered to skilled overseas workers whose skills are required in Australia.

Sponsored or nominated work visa
This visa is normally offered to individuals who have been sponsored to work in Australia by:
• Employers or businesses that have been approved by the Australian government
• A state or territory government agency or authority

Student visa (subclass 500)
The student (subclass 500) visa is for those who wish to study in Australia. This also includes students sponsored by the foreign affairs ministry and defense ministry.

Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
This is usually for individuals who would like to go to Australia as a carer for a student who is under 18 years of age.

Training visa (subclass 407)
This is for individuals who intend to travel to Australia to attend training workshops.

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
This visa is for individuals who have completed their studies and wish to work temporarily in Australia.

Visiting and studying visa
Individuals who would like to visit Australia and study for a short term are eligible for this visa.

Post study work visa
This visa is for people who have completed their studies in Australia and would like to temporarily work in Australia.

Family visas
Permanent residents, Australian citizens, and eligible New Zealand residents are allowed to sponsor their families to live in Australia on a family visa. These visas include:

Partner visa
This is for a spouse, Fiancé, or de facto partner (including same sex marriages) of a Permanent resident, Australian citizen, and eligible New Zealand resident.

Parent visa
Individuals who wish to go to Australia on a parent visa should meet the following requirements:
• Have a child who is a permanent resident of Australia, a citizen of Australia, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
• Have a child who has been living in Australia for at least 2 months.
• Have met the balance of family criteria as well as health and character requirements.

Family Members
This visa is usually for relatives who wish to visit a family member in Australia. These visas are usually queued and take a long time to be approved.

The requirements for a relative visa are:
One must be related to an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or an eligible New Zealand citizen. However, it is important to know that not that not all relatives can be awarded a relative visa.

Returning Resident Visa option

This visa option is for former permanent residents of Australia, former Australian residents, and former members of the Australian Defense forces as defined in the Migration regulation 2007.

Career Visa option

This type of visa is for relatives of Australian citizens, living outside Australia, but who would like to travel to Australia for treatment.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.