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There are a number of visas available for people to visit Australia for holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational reasons, to visit relatives, friends or for other short-term non-work purposes. 

Including attending a conference or training session, conducting business with an Australian based organisation, business negotiation or for an exploratory business visit.


Visitor and Medical Treatment Changes

From 23 March 2013, the following Visitor and Medical Treatment visas were closed:

  • Tourist (Subclass 676) visa
  • Sponsored Family Visitor (Subclass 679) visa
  • Business (Short Stay) (Subclass 456)
  • Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) (Subclass 459) visa
  • Medical Treatment (Short Stay) (Subclass 675) visa
  • Medical Treatment (Long Stay) (Subclass 685) visa
  • Electronic Travel Authority (Visitor) (Subclass 976)
  • Electronic Travel Authority (Business – Short Validity) (Subclass 977)
  • Electronic Travel Authority (Business – Long Validity) (Subclass 956)

From 23 March 2013, new visas include:

  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (Subclass 400) visa
  • Visitor (Subclass 600) visa
  • Electronic Travel Authority
    (Subclass 601)
  • Medical Treatment (Subclass 602) visa

The eVisitor (Subclass 651) visa remains unchanged.


Visitor Visas

Most Visitor visas are for up to three (3) months on each visit and include the following visas.


Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)

Available for people who want to visit Australia for tourism or business visitor activities and who are not eligible to apply for an ETA or an eVisitor.

Applicants must be able to show their business background, that they will be doing a business visitor activity and that they have a good business reason for  travelling to Australia.


Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601)

Available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions and allows holders to stay in Australia for up to three (3) months on each visit for tourist or for business visitor activities.  An ETA holder for business visitor activities must not work in Australia.

You can apply for an ETA if you hold a citizen passport from:  Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea or United States.


eVisitor (Subclass 651)

Available to passport holders from the European Union and a number of other European countries and allows holders to stay in Australia for up to three (3) months on each visit for tourist or for business visitor activities.  An eVisitor holder for business visitor activities must not work in Australia.

If you apply for an eVisitor for visitor purposes you cannot work in Australia.  Limited volunteer work might be acceptable.


Business visitor activities include:

  • making general business or employment inquiries 
  • 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  

Business visitor activities do not include:

  • an activity that is, or includes, undertaking work for, or supplying services to, an organisation or other person based in Australia; or
  • an activity that is, or includes, the sale of goods or services directly to the general public.


Employing Legal Workers

It is the responsibility of all Australian businesses to employ legal workers.  Legal workers are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and people in Australia with a valid visa that allows them to work. This includes New Zealand citizens.

Not everyone is allowed to work.  Some Australian visas do not allow non-citizens to work whilst in Australia. People who no longer hold a valid visa are also not allowed to work in Australia.

All Australian businesses should check that the workers they use are allowed to work (includes both paid and unpaid work) and is regardless of whether workers are sourced directly or via a contractor, labour hire or referral company.

Australian businesses are expected to take reasonable steps, at reasonable times, to ensure they are not employing, referring or contracting illegal workers.  Businesses face penalties if they employ, refer or contract non-citizens who are not allowed to work, or who are restricted from undertaking certain work, in Australia. The fines range from A$3,060 to A$102,000.

The penalties apply to anyone who has allowed or referred an illegal worker to work. The focus is on effectively responding to those few businesses that willfully take part in illegal work, not to penalise businesses which act in good faith.


Please call us today if you would like information on checking visa work rights.

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