Your authority to visit Australia

Centennial Park, Sydney, NSW.  Photo credit: Hamilton Lund; Destination NSW


Yes, you need a visa to travel to Australia. No, you really don’t need to pay anyone (other than the Australian government) to arrange it for you.

A visa is your authority to visit Australia. It’s issued by the Australian government and without it you can’t get in.

Your passport (which you also need) isn’t enough – you need both documents to gain entry. You need to have your visa before you leave the UK so give yourself plenty of time. We’d suggest applying 3 months before you travel to Australia.

You can apply online at the Australian Government website. The site tells you all you need to know, guides you to the right visa for you and tells you the cost. It also gives you lots of useful additional information.

Don’t pay more than you need

You’ll come across plenty of sites offering to take the hassle out of arranging your visa – for a fee. Don’t be tempted. They’re offering to charge a lot for doing very little.

There is no hassle in arranging your visa – use the Visa finder on the Australian Government site and it’s easy.

Working Holiday Visas

A Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay with the same employer for no longer than 6 months, with a maximum stay in Australia of 12 months. You can find more on the Department of Immigration & Citizenship website.

Visitors are normally only eligible for one such visa, but if you’ve completed three months of work in a specified area/field during your time in Australia a second visa may be granted. You can apply for it before the first visa has expired, whilst still in the country, and any further work doesn’t have to be in those specified fields/areas.

You can find more about a second visa here.

What to do if you lose your Visa

1. Visa issues? Contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship

2. Passport stolen? Find out how to get a new passport

3. Find loads more useful information at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website

4. Losing your passport doesn’t mean you lose your visa as it’s stored electronically. In some circumstances your visa grant notification may require you to have a visa label in your passport in order to visit Australia. If it does you may have to ‘re-evidence’ your passport (ie get another visa stamp) and you can do that at the offices here.

Helpful Resources For Passport & Visas

Get insurance for your trip to Australia

Find places to stay in Australia

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