A Complete Guide to Australian Visa Types

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Moving to Australia is an aspiration for many people. They can eventually see everything they’ve heard about the country come to life. Besides that, Australia holds many opportunities for immigrants, from schooling and working to becoming permanent residents.

People desire to move to or visit Australia for different reasons, which can be the basis for determining how to go about that. You need a visa to go to Australia, but first, you must figure out what visa type best suits your goal. There are many Australian visa types, and your eligibility, goal, financial capacity, and other factors will determine which you should get.

Check out this complete guide to Australian visa types to kickstart the beginning of your migration journey to Canada. Let’s get started!

Australian Visa Types

Australia has many visa options to enable people to visit, work, study, or connect with their loved ones. Choosing out of the different Australian visa types can be daunting as many options exist. The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the visa types available. Then you can determine which is best for you based on eligibility, sponsorship, pathway to permanent residency, and other factors.

Here is an overview of Australian visa types;


● Visitor visa

Entering Australia with a visitor visa is one of the popular routes people enter the country. This visa is for travelers who want to visit Australia shortly to tour, visit family, or complete a business purpose. It is usually valid for between three to twelve months. You can choose from the different streams available under the visitor visa subclass.

They include the business visitor stream, tourist stream, frequent traveler stream, sponsored family stream, and approved destination status stream. You must meet specific eligibility requirements and have the needed documents for any of the streams you apply for. Generally, you must have a valid passport, bank statements, medical test results, IT returns, accommodation proof, proof of intention to return, and more to qualify for the visa.


You must show that you have enough funds to cover your stay in Australia and return to your home country. Plus, you must have a genuine intention to visit the country.

● Study and training visa

You can move to Canada via a studying or training visa. This visa applies to you if you are an international student, trainee, guardian, or parent of an underaged student visiting Australia. With this visa, you can enroll in a registered Australian institution to study a course or undergo vocational education or training.

The visa is only valid for your course duration and extends for a short period after. You can work with this visa type for 40 hours per fortnight during the academic year and full-time during breaks. In addition, your parents or guardians can accompany you to the country. But they must apply for other visa options that are a subcategory of this visa, like the student guardian visa or visitor visa.

You may need to write an English proficiency test like TOEFL or IELTS, depending on your course of study. You also need health insurance (Overseas Student Health Cover), a statement of purpose, an acceptance letter, and proof of funds. For a training visa, you must be invited by the institution of the Commonwealth Government, sponsored or nominated by a legitimate sponsor, and meet character and occupational training requirements.

● Family visa

The family visa is meant for reuniting permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand with their families. Minors, dependent adults, caregivers, and others are given this visa to enable them to join their families in the country. There are different subcategories under the family visa that you can consider, like the carer, adoption, aged dependent relative, orphan relative, dependent child, and remaining relative visas.

To be eligible for a family visa, your relative who is a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand or Australia must sponsor your visa, provide proof of relationship with you, and meet health and character requirements. The visa validity depends on the subcategory visa type you apply for and the situation of your sponsor.

● Parent visa

You can visit your children who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia or New Zealand with a parent visa. This Australian visa type has different subcategories you can opt for based on your needs. One of them is the contributory parent temporary visa which is a type that allows you to live in Australia for two years while working on a permanent visa that allows them to start with their child.


Another type is the aged parent visa for people who qualify for an Australian-age pension. Furthermore, there are temporary and permanent contributory aged parent visas. Generally, parent visas take a long time to process. To be eligible, you must be sponsored by your child, who is a permanent resident or citizen of the country, have health insurance, and meet health and character requirements.

● Partner visa

If you have a partner who is a permanent resident of Australia and would like to join them, this visa is for you. It is for spouses, partners, and prospective spouses of citizens and permanent residents who want to reunite. This visa has subcategories, including temporary partner visa, prospective marriage, permanent partner visa, partner visa (migrant), and partner (provisional) visa.

The temporary partner visa enables you to live, work, and study in Australia while processing your permanent visa. On the other hand, the permanent partner visa is awarded if you meet the relationship requirements after a waiting period. To be eligible for a partner visa, you must present substantial proof of the genuineness of your relationship and adequate health insurance.

Furthermore, you must meet specific health and character requirements. Lastly, you can apply for a prospective marriage visa to enter Australia if you plan to marry your Australian partner within nine months.

● Work visa

You can move to Australia via the work route if you have a work visa, which can last up to four years. This is for skilled individuals who want to work in Australia. Like many Australian visa types, the work visa has many categories you can choose from. One is the temporary skill shortage visa for workers working for an Australian employer.

You can also consider the skilled independent visa for workers not sponsored by an employer. With a work visa, you can work and live anywhere in Australia. Another option is the skilled nominated visa for individuals who want to work in a specific territory or state. The territory or state government must nominate you for this visa.

In addition, you can work and live in a specific province in the country if the territory or state government sponsors you via the skilled regional provisional visa. To qualify for an Australian work visa, you must be competent in English, below 45 years, have at least three years of working experience, complete medical checkups, and sign the Australian value statement.

● Bridging visa

If you’re in Australia, applying for a visa type, and have yet to get approval, you can get a bridging visa. This allows you to stay in Australia legally while you process your immigration application or arrange to leave the country. Bridging visas have types A to F and cater to different needs.

For example, Bridging Visa A allows you to stay in the country while you process a substantial visa. Bridging Visa B enables you to travel in and out of Australia while processing your substantial visa. Visa C is for people with immigration detention or who have overstayed their visa, allowing them to stay in Australia permanently without working.

Bridging Visa D enables you to stay in the country while you arrange to leave the country; however, you can’t work during the waiting period. In addition, Bridging Visa E is for individuals who have an expired or canceled substantial Australian visa while they wait for removal or immigration decision. Lastly, Bridging Visa F is for individuals who applied for a protection visa and need a temporary visa to stay in the country while they await a decision on their protection visa.

● Working holiday visa

A working holiday visa applies to you if you are a citizen of selected countries with work and holiday contracts with Australia. This visa has two subcategories with which you can work during your holiday in Australia. The first one is for individuals aged between 18 and 30 or 35 and allows them to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months or a maximum of six months each for two employers.

On the other hand, the second subclass working holiday visa is for selected countries different from the previous class. It allows them to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. You must meet health and education requirements, prove your English language proficiency, and show proof of sufficient funds for your travel and living costs.

● Business and investment visa

If you want to start a new business or operate an existing one in Australia, this visa is more befitting. This visa has five subclasses that help encourage innovation and economic growth in the country. One is the business Innovation and investment provisional visa for business owners and investors.

The business Innovation and investment permanent visa enables you to continue your investment or business activities in Australia. Also, Australian state or territory governments nominate entrepreneurs and business owners for visas via the business talent permanent visa. The other two are the venture entrepreneur and significant business history streams. Provisional business and investment visas are valid for four years.

● Humanitarian visa

The humanitarian visa is not exempted from the different Australian visa types. It is for individuals who need protection from their home countries for different reasons like persecution, human rights abuse, and other humanitarian reasons. Australian humanitarian visa has several subclasses, including global special humanitarian, refugee, haven enterprise, temporary protection, and protection visa.

While the humanitarian visas 200, 201, 202, 203, and 204 and global special humanitarian visas have indefinite validity, the temporary protection visa lasts three years, and the haven enterprise five years.

● Transit visa

You need a transit visa to travel from Australia to another country. It allows you to stay shortly in Australia while in transit and is usually valid for 72 hours. This visa isn’t meant for tourism and other traveling purposes. To qualify for a transit visa, you must provide confirmed tickets to your destination country, appropriate visa, and other required documents.

● Resident return visa

If you’re a former permanent resident or citizen of Australia and have spent substantial time outside the country and want to return, the resident return visa is your best option. This visa option enables individuals to return to the country and maintain their permanent resident status. You can only qualify for this visa type if you have lived in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen or have substantial ties to the country.

The visa can last up to five years if you have lived as a permanent resident for at least two years for the last five years. You must also prove substantial ties like employment, cultural, personal, or business ties to Australia. This is especially important if you don’t meet the residency requirements.

● Special category visa

The special category visa is for New Zealand citizens, which permits them to live, study, and work in Australia. People with this visa type don’t need to apply for a separate visa. You must have a valid New Zealand passport and meet character requirements to qualify for this visa.

While you can enjoy good benefits with this visa, you may not get the same protection or access to services as Australian citizens or permanent residents would. This visa can last until you acquire Australian citizenship or permanent residency or cancel your visa. However, if you leave the country, the visa ceases, and you can’t return until you apply for another visa to re-enter.


Understanding the different Australian visa types is a great way to start your immigration journey to Canada. It’ll help simplify your step and enlighten you on what to do and prepare to qualify for a visa. Now that you know the different Australian visa types, you can streamline your options based on your immigration or visit purpose and eligibility requirements.

You should also consider processing time, cost, visa validity and conditions, and pathway to permanent residency. Once you figure that out, you can start your visa application process. Good luck!


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