There are a number of visa categories for people who want to live, work, study, and more in Australia. Determining which Australian visa type is best for which traveler can be confusing, simply because there are so many available.

While it is impossible to go over every single Australian visa in a single article, here are some general guidelines to help visitors know which visa is right for them. That way, they can start applying soon so they can go to Australia ASAP.

Best Cities in Australia - Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

A guide to the different Australian visa types

There are various Australian visa types for different reasons, below are the different visa options:

Australia visitor visas

These visas are for people who want to visit Australia but who do not plan to work there and who will not stay long. The exact length of stay permitted is usually three months, but may be shorter or longer depending on the type of visa and the visitor’s country of origin.

People who are not planning to spend more than 72 hours in Australia should apply for a subcategory of this visa. The Transit Visa allows them to enter the country but does not allow them to stay longer than their planned transit period.

See also What is an ETA for Australia?

Working holiday visas

These visas are largely aimed at young adults taking a gap year, or those in similar situations. Only residents of certain countries are eligible and the applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 26 (or 30, depending on country of origin).

Limited work is allowed, though the main purpose of the visit is recreational. The visa is valid for a year, at which point it may be renewed for another year if certain conditions are met.

Visas for training and studying

Student visas are available for people who have been accepted into academic programs that last longer than three months. University students, students studying certain trades, and those participating in certain certificate programs are eligible.

The educational institution can help people determine whether this is the right visa for them and help them fill it out and submit it correctly.

Student visas do permit some work. While the course of study is going on, students can work up to 20 hours per week. During down times for the course, there is no limit on how many hours they can work each week in Australia.

A training visa is similar to a student visa, but does not require enrollment in an academic program. Instead, this visa is for people who are seeing professional development in Australia and those who want to develop their skills in a certain field.

This visa requires sponsorship by the company or group that is doing the training. If the sponsor is the government, the person must be invited. If the sponsor is outside the government, that sponsor must formally nominate the applicant before they can get a training visa.

Study visa for Australia
Study visa for Australia –

Visas for workers or people with certain skills

Australia offers a number of visas for people with different sets of skills. Each individual applicant will need to determine which visa will be best for them and their particular situation.

Many of these visas will be accepted or not based on whether the applicant’s particular skills are needed in Australia at the time of their application. Those with skills that are in high demand will find it easier to enter the country than will those with more common skills, or with skills that are common in Australia.

Certain skills may be in higher demand in some parts of Australia than they are in others. In certain circumstances, regions, states, or territories in Australia may invite people with certain skills. In this case, the visa holder will need to move to, live in, and work in the particular area where their skills are needed.

Most work visas require the applicant to have a signed contract with an Australian company. In turn, that company will need to have formal permission to hire outside of Australia and will need to sponsor the person for their visa. There will be steps that the company needs to take so that the person they hire can enter the country.

Some short-term visas also allow a person to perform certain types of work in Australia. These visas are for people who have jobs outside of the country to do those same jobs in Australia.

For instance, separate visas exist for:

  • Religious workers
  • Domestic staff of visiting government officials
  • Media or filmmakers
  • Entertainers
  • People visiting to participate in a sports match, tournament, etc.
  • Academics
  • And more

Family visas

These Australian visa types are for people who have family in Australia, or for those who are family members of people entering Australia on other types of visas. For instance, it is possible to get a visa to Australia to care for an aging family member, as well as to accompany a spouse who got hired by an Australian company.

The specific visa that a person applies for will be determined by their relationship to their family member already in Australia. For instance, there are separate visas for caring for aged parents and caring for an orphaned relative.

Refugee and other humanitarian visas

Australia evaluates visas for refugees and people requesting humanitarian aid or protection individually. Applicants will need to complete their application, have an interview where they explain their story and why they need protection, and any documentation that the government or their particular visa requires.

Other Australian visa types

Australia offers a number of special visas, too. These include a visa for people who want to invest in Australia and retire there, a visa for people seeking medical treatment in Australia, and visas for those who were once residents of Australia and who are seeking to return.

There are a number of services, including one offered by the Australian government on their website, that can help people determine which visa is right for their particular situation. These offer one of the best ways to find out which visa is best.

Once visitors know which visa to Australia is best for them, they can apply for it. It won’t be long before they are living their dream in Australia.


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.

    View all posts I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.