Going abroad to a foreign country such as Australia can be one of the most exciting events in any person’s life. However, many nations across the globe first require that you obtain a travel or visitor’s visa before you will be allowed to enter that particular nation, regardless of the purpose of your stay. Depending on the country of your birth, it can be either a very simple matter or it can be a difficult and drawn out process. For example, if you are a Thai national who wishes to visit Australia as a tourist for a short period of time, you must obtain an Australian Visitor’s Visa before leaving Thailand. In most instances this will be a Visitor Visa (subclass 600).
Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)
This type of visa will allow a Thai national to travel to Australia for:
- A holiday, sightseeing or social recreation
- To visit family or friends
- And for other purposes not related to business or medical treatment
Because you are Thai, the application for this visa must be made from outside of Australia, preferably from Thailand, and you must be outside of Australia at the time the visa is granted (preferably Thailand). The Australian Immigration Department will determine how many times you may enter Australia on this visa.
- The length of a Visitor’s Visa is typically granted for a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months. This is determined at the time you apply by the Australian Immigration Department.
- You might be able to enter only once. If you leave the country before the visa expires, then you must reapply for a new visa before you can reenter.
- You might be allowed to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the visa is valid. However the total amount of time spent inside Australia cannot exceed the period of stay that you have been granted.
If you need a multiple entry/exit tourist visa you must make this know at the time you apply for your visitor’s visa. After the visa has been issued, it cannot be changed.
Applying for a Visa
To apply for a visa you must be in possession of a valid passport, preferably for at least six months, and it must have a minimum of six months of validity remaining. There is a non-refundable charge of 130 to 340 Australian dollars to process all visa application whether the visa is granted or not. The visa application charge is usually broken into two instalments: The first, payable at the time the application is made; the second, payable before the visa is granted.
An online application may be submitted at any time. A registered travel agent, airline service or specialist visa provider can also submit an application on your behalf. To submit an application or for further information go to the Visit Australia website at: http://www.immi.gov.au/Visit/Pages/Visit.aspx