For many people living in the UK, Australia is a top holiday destination. If you’re looking to do a trip in Australia for 3 months or less you won’t need to apply for a visa at an Australian Embassy. Instead, as a UK citizen you can apply online for a free visitor visa to Australia. This visa type is more commonly known as an eVisitor visa.
If you’re looking to work and travel in Australia for a duration exceeding 3 months, you can apply for Australia’s working holiday visa (subclass 417). This visa permits you to stay in the country for up to a year. It also allows you to work and study in the country during your time there.
We’ll be looking at both these visa types, and a few others relevant for UK citizens traveling to Australia. When you finish reading this you'll have all the relevant information needed to be successfully approved under each visa category.
Australia EVisitor Visa for UK Citizens
You can use the Department of Immigration & Border Protection’s website to apply for an EVisitor Visa online and for free. While rare, in certain scenarios you may need to do a health examination before the visa is granted. This is also a rare occurrence, but on arrival you may be asked to show proof of funds to support your stay and ticket out of Australia. For entry without complications, make sure your passport is valid for the entirety of your stay.
ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) (Subclass 601)
ETA’s are very similar to an EVisitor Visa, both allow you to enter Australia for up to 90 days as a UK citizen. The difference between the two is in how much they cost and where you can apply. You can use numerous travel agents or airlines to apply for an ETA while an EVisitor Visa can only be found on the immigration website. While there still isn’t a visa application charge, there is usually an online service fee of around $20 AUD.
Whether you have an EVisitor visa or an ETA, both are subject to the following conditions:
- You cannot study or participate in training for more than 3 months while in Australia.
- You must be free from tuberculosis when you travel to Australia.
- Any criminal conviction where sentences are for a year or more, whether served or not, at the time of traveling to and entering Australia is not permitted.
- You cannot work in Australia other than engaging in business visitor activity.
If the above conditions are agreed to and met, you will be approved for the visa.
With an ETA, you can sometimes perform business activities. For example, general business or employment enquiries, investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract, undertaking an activity as part of an official government visit, and/or taking part in a conference, trade fair or seminar are all permitted business activities.
Since both of these visa types are electronic, airline staff will scan your passport to confirm that you have authority to travel to Australia. This means that you will need to reapply for the visas if you decide to change your passport between the time you apply and enter the country.
Australia Tourist Stream (Subclass 600) for UK Citizens
This visa type costs $145 AUD making it slightly different to the the two just covered. The duration of your stay can be either 3, 6, or 12 months. You can stay for the period or dates specified on the visa grant letter. The department of home affairs determines the length of your visa on a case by case basis. This visa has very similar character and health requirements as the eVisitor and ETA. You cannot work in Australia at all on this Visa. While being an option for UK citizens, it isn’t a popular one because of Australia's other visa options.
Australia Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) for UK Citizens
Thousands of British working holiday makers travel to Australia yearly. A working holiday visa allows you to work and study in Australia for up to a year. The cost of the visa is $485 AUD. You have to be between the ages of 18-30 to apply. To be approved for a working holiday visa you need to meet very similar character, financial, and health requirements to the EVisitor visa and ETA. You must also be a valid passport holder from one of the approved working holiday visa countries. You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa on the Department of Home Affairs Immigration page. Our how to apply for the Australia working holiday visa post covers all of this in greater detail.
We’re hoping that this post makes it easy for UK citizens looking to apply for a visa to Australia. If it was beneficial to you please share it with your friends! If you have any questions about Australia's visa application process for U.K citizens please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you're looking for a travel companion while you are traveling in Australia, you can connect with other travelers in Australia as well as Australian locals below.