Australian Visitor visa (Subclass 600)
About this Visa
The Visitor visa (subclass 600) is for people who want to travel Australia as tourists, for business or to visit family. It is a temporary visa.
This visa has four streams:
Tourist stream: for people travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends. If you apply for this visa in Australia, you must be in Australia
- when the visa is decided. If you apply for this visa outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.
Business Visitor stream: for business people travelling to Australia for a short
- business visit. This includes going to a conference, negotiation or meeting. You
- must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided.
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 when the visa is decided. You cannot apply
- for another visa after you have arrived in Australia.
Approved Destination Status stream: for people from the People’s Republic of
- China who are travelling in an organized tour group. You must be outside Australia
- when you apply and when the visa is decided.
What this visa let you do
This visa lets you travel to Australia to:
- have a holiday or visit family and friends in Australia
- study in Australia for up to three months
- engage in business activities while in Australia, provided you:
o do not work for or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia
o do not sell goods or services to the public.
The department will tell you how many times you can enter Australia and on this visa:
- 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.
Before you apply
This visa has replaced the following visas:
- Tourist visa (subclass 676)
- Sponsored Family Visitor visa (subclass 679)
- Business (Short Stay) visa (subclass 456)
- Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) visa (subclass 459).
If you have one of these visas, 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.
If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. Your visa is linked to the passport number you used in your application and you must
use the same passport to travel to Australia.
The visa application charges are listed in Form 990i (86KB PDF file).
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.
For 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 streamz
- Business Visitor stream
- Sponsored Family stream
- Approved Destination Status stream
You should apply for the stream that best suits your situation.
Who can apply
To apply, you must:
- meet health and character requirements
- have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Australia
- genuinely intend to do the activities in the stream you are applying for.
You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your circumstances and your country of origin or residence. The results of
your health examinations are valid for 12 months.
You are responsible for all your health costs while you are in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme unless your country has a Reciprocal
Health Care Agreement with Australia.
It is recommended that you take out health insurance each time you travel to Australia.
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 the department asks you to.
Debts to the Australian Government
To enter Australia you must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government.
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.
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 family, the department will tell you if you need a sponsor or if you need to pay a security bond when you apply.
You might be granted a visa under this stream for regular extended visits to Australia if you are either:
- the parent or step-parent of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- the parent of an eligible New Zealand citizen.
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, the department may grant a more generous Visitor visa.
You will automatically be considered for this if you are a parent or step-parent of:
- an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- an eligible New Zealand citizen.
The department will consider these applications on a case-by-case basis and 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:
- have not applied for a Parent visa
- have applied for a Parent visa (subclass 103) but are not yet in the Parent visa queue
- 18 months for parents who have not previously travelled to Australia and either
- o have not applied for a Parent visa, or
- o have applied for a Parent visa (subclass 103) but are not yet in the Parent visa queue.
- The visa will have 3 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 undertaking one or more of the business activities listed below
- that you have a good business reason for travelling to Australia.
Business 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 organizers 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:
- 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 visiting 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 under the Approved Destination Status Scheme.
Prepare your documents
You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in your application. These documents are listed in the Document checklist (120KB PDF file).
Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have all the required documents ready when you lodge your 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.
The department uses 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.
Lodge your application online
If you hold a passport from certain countries, you can apply for this visa online.
*Only Turkish Special, Service and Diplomatic passport holders are eligible to submit 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 the department
- pay the visa application charge when you apply.
- Complete: Form 1419 Application for a Visitor visa – Tourist stream (480KB PDF file)
- Lodge your completed form at:
o your nearest Australian office of the department
o one of the Immigration Offices Outside Australia.
- Complete: Form 1415 Application for a Visitor visa – Business Visitor stream
(430KB PDF file)
- Lodge your completed form at one of the Immigration Offices outside Australia.
Sponsored family stream
- Complete and lodge the following forms:
You complete: Form 1418 Application for a Visitor visa – Sponsored Family stream (478KB PDF file).
Your sponsor completes: Form 1149 Application for sponsorship for Sponsored Family Visitors(223KB PDF file)
- Lodge your completed forms together at one of department’s Sponsored Family Visitor Processing Centres.
There is more information to help you prepare your application, which gives advice about certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.
After you have applied
After you lodge the application and documents, the department will let you know that it has received your information. You will receive an acknowledgement letter.
Wait for a decision
The department has service standards relating to the time it takes to process applications for this visa. Processing times can be affected by the country you come from and where you lodge your application.
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.
Applying for the Tourist stream in Australia: 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 the department, in writing, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:
- Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (100KB PDF file)
The department could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, the department can make a decision about your application using the information it has.
If another person gives the department information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department will generally 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 the department if your circumstances change. Use the following forms:
- Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (89KB PDF file) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
- Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF file) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.
Withdrawing your application
You may withdraw the application by advising the department in writing at any time before it makes a decision about your application. To do this, you must send the department a letter of withdrawal including your full name, date of birth, date of application, and file reference number/transaction record number (if known).
Everyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal.
If the visa is granted, the department will send you a letter or email with:
- the date the visa starts
- the visa grant number
- any conditions attached to the visa.
If the visa is not granted, the department will send you a letter advising:
- why the visa was refused
- your review rights (if any)
- the time limit for lodging an appeal (if applicable).