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Subclass 600: Visitor Visa


Subclass 600 Visitor visa is a general-purpose visa for visitors that is probably the most widely used among foreign visitors. This visa is appropriate for tourists, business visitors and relatives of Australian residents. People from certain countries may also be eligible for cheaper and simpler Subclass 651 or Subclass 601 visas instead.

Visitor visas maya be applied in 5 different streams:

  • Tourist
  • Sponsored Family
  • Business Visitor
  • Approved Destination
  • Frequent traveler

Application Charges

Frequent Traveler Stream: $1,065
Other Stream;

  • If you are in Australia: $365

If you are outside Australia: $145

Note: If your are in Australia and have applied for a temporary visa in Australia before, you may be required to pay an additional “subsequent temporary application charge” of $700.

Tourist Stream

For most applicants looking to come to Australia as a tourist, the tourist stream is generally the most appropriate. This will permit you to visit Australia for up to 3 months for sightseeing, attending events or any other form of tourism. To qualify for this stream, you must satisfy the following:

Genuine Temporary Entrant:

You must demonstrate to the Department that it is not in your interest to overstay the visa. Depending on which country you are a citizen of and what your personal circumstances at home, the Department may suspect your intention.

If you are from an underdeveloped country, you may need to establish with evidence that you need to return to your home country upon expiry of your prospective visitor visa if granted. Many people have their applications refused due to their failure in being recognized as a genuine temporary entrant.

Means of Support:

You must also show that you have, or access to, sufficient finance to fund your travel. If the Department does not consider that you can financially afford your trip, your application would likely be refused. If someone else is paying for your travel, this may potentially cause complications, especially if the financier is your Australian partner.

Relevant Public Interest Criteria

All applicants must satisfy the following:
4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4011, 4013, 4014, 4020 and 4021.

Applicants under the age of 18 must also satisfy the following:
4012, 4017 and 4018.

Relevant Special Return Criteria:

5001, 5002 and 5010.

Limitation on Stay

In some cases, you may apply for a visitor visa while you are in Australia on a different temporary visa. However, if granting your visitor visa is to result in you staying in Australia for more than 12 months in the last 18 months, your application would likely be refused.

Touristic Visit

The purpose of your stay must be for tourism or to visit people in Australia. You cannot apply under this stream if you intend to receive medical treatment or engage in business activities whilst in Australia. Furthermore, you cannot utilise this stream to finish off a study course which you were unable to complete previously whilst on a Subclass 500 student visa.

Family Sponsorship and Security

In some cases, the Department may request that you will be sponsored by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. It rarely happens, but when there is serious concern that you may not return to your home country, the Department may request a bond from the sponsoring relative. The amount of the bond may vary. In extreme cases, a relative may be requested to give as much as $5,000 or more for this purpose. This bond is refunded fully if you leave Australia before your visa expires. If you apply for another substantive visa onshore, the bond will not be refunded.

Visa Conditions

If the applicant is sponsored, the Department will impose the following visa conditions:

  • 8101: The holder must not engage in work in Australia.
  • 8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.
  • 8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.
  • 8531: The holder must not remain in Australia after the end of the period of stay permitted by the visa.

If the applicant is not sponsored and is not suffering financial hardship, the Department will impose the following visa conditions:

  • 8101: The holder must not engage in work in Australia.
  • 8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.

If the applicant is not sponsored and is not suffering financial hardship, the Department may impose the following visa conditions:

  • 8501: The holder must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while the holder is in Australia.
  • 8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.
  • 8558: The holder must not stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any period of 18 months.

If the applicant is not sponsored and is suffering financial hardship, the Department will impose the following visa conditions:

  • 8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.

If the applicant is not sponsored and is suffering financial hardship, the Department may impose the following visa conditions:

  • 8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.

Sponsored Family Stream

The sponsored family stream provides opportunities for Australian citizens and permanent residents to invite their relatives to visit them in Australia for a temporary period. Whilst the Department may request a bond from your Australian relative, this stream is slightly more lenient in certain circumstances.

Genuine Temporary Entrant:

You must demonstrate to the Department that it is not your intention to stay in Australia indefinitely beyond the visa period. Depending on which country you are a citizen of and what your personal situation is at home, the Department may raise concerns with respect to your true intention.

If you are from an underdeveloped country, you would likely need to show evidence that you will return home after your planned visit to Australia. As many people have their applications refused for this reason, you would need to plan your trip in advance very thoroughly.

Means of Support:

You must also demonstrate that you have, or have access to, sufficient finance to fund your travel. If the Department deems that you cannot financially afford your trip, your application would likely be refused. If someone else is paying for your travel, this may potentially inflict complications, especially if the financier is your Australian partner.

Relevant Public Interest Criteria

All applicants must satisfy the following:

4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4011, 4013, 4014, 4020 and 4021.

Applicants under the age of 18 must also satisfy the following:

4012, 4017 and 4018.

Relevant Special Return Criteria:

5001, 5002 and 5010.

Limitation on Stay

In some cases, you can apply for a visitor visa while you are in Australia on a different temporary visa. However, if granting a visitor visa will lead you to stay in Australia for more than 12 months in the last 18 months, the application is likely to be refused.

Touristic Visit

The purpose of your stay must be for tourism or to visit people in Australia. You cannot apply under this stream if you intend to receive medical treatment or engage in business activities whilst in Australia.

Sponsorship and Security

You must be invited to come to Australia and be sponsored by a relative who is a settled Australian citizen or permanent resident. If your relative is a permanent resident but does not live in Australia, they may not be able to sponsor you.

The relatives of your partner or children may also sponsor you even if they are not directly related to you by blood.

In some cases, the Department may ask your sponsoring relative for a bond. You must provide this for your visa to be granted. If you do not leave before your visa expires or you apply for another visa whilst you are in Australia, the bond will not be refunded to your sponsoring relative.

The amount of the bond can vary. In extreme cases, a relative may be requested to give as much as AUD$5,000 or more for this purpose. If you are a relative and are thinking about providing a bond, make sure you get independent legal advice so you understand your obligations as a sponsor.

Visa Conditions

The following conditions must be imposed by the Department:

  • 8101: The holder must not engage in work in Australia.
  • 8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.
  • 8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.
  • 8531: The holder must not remain in Australia after the end of the period of stay permitted by the visa.

Business Visitor Stream

This stream is in place for applicants with intentions of entering Australia for touristic or business purposes. On this visa business visitors are not permitted to work in Australia, however certain business activities are allowed.

Genuine Temporary Entrant:

You must satisfy the Department that you do not plan to stay in Australia indefinitely on this visa. Depending on which country you hold a passport of and what your circumstances are at home, the Department may formulate their own opinion with respect to your intention. If you are from an under-developed country, you may need to illustrate with evidence that you need to return home after your visit on this visa.

Means of Support:

You must show that you are financially healthy to fund your travel. If the Department considers otherwise, your application would likely be refused.

Relevant Public Interest Criteria

All applicants must satisfy the following:
4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4011, 4013, 4014, 4020 and 4021.

Applicants under the age of 18 must also satisfy the following:
4012, 4017 and 4018.

Relevant Special Return Criteria:

5001, 5002 and 5010.

Limitation on Stay

In some cases, you can apply for a visitor visa while you are in Australia on a different temporary visa. However, if you will be staying in Australia longer than 12 months in the last 18 months as a result of a visitor visa to be granted, your application would likely be refused.

Business Visitor Activity

Some of the business activities that is conventionally allowed include, but are not limited to:

  • Making business or employment enquiries;
  • Investigating, negotiating, “entering into” or renewing business contracts;
  • Duties that are part of an official government visit;
  • Participation in a conference, trade fair, seminar or similar.

You will not be able to work or supply services to an organisation or person based in Australia and you cannot sell goods or services to the general public, as these activities constitute work in the Australian migration scheme. Moreover, you cannot be paid for your participation in any conference, trade fair, seminar or similar event.

Visa Conditions

Conditions that must be imposed include:

  • 8115: The holder must not work in Australia other than by engaging in a business visitor activity.
  • 8201: While in Australia, the holder must not engage, for more than 3 months, in any studies or training.

​Conditions that may be imposed include:

  • 8503: The holder will not, after entering Australia, be entitled to be granted a substantive visa, other than a protection visa, while the holder remains in Australia.

Frequent Traveler Stream

This stream is for passport holders of the People’s Republic of China who are looking to make repeated visits to Australia for touristic or business purposes. This visa may be issued up to a period of 10 years, but:

  • Applicants can only stay in Australia for 3 months at a time; and
  • Applicants cannot be in Australia for more than 12 months total in any 2-year period.

Approved Destination Status Stream

This stream is for passport holders of the People’s Republic of China who are looking to visit Australia as part of an organized tour group. Only approved travel agents located in the People’s Republic of China can facilitate applications under this stream. Most migration agents and solicitors in Australia will not be able to apply for this stream.