A sound knowledge of visa regulations is a must for anyone planning to invest time and money for booking cheap flights to Australia. Spare some minutes for some important information on few facts on visa rules and regulations for Britons.
Britons constitute a sizeable portion of the overwhelming number of travellers who buy tickets for their cheap flights to Australia. Some rewarding holiday experiences in world famous destinations like Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Cairns entice one and all to visit Australia. To ensure a hassle free travel experience, it is necessary to be well acquainted with the country’s visa rules and regulations concerning a number of matters such as health requirements, policies governing Electronic Travel Authority, and different types of visas.
- British travellers to Australia require a visa. Like travellers of quite a few other countries catching flights to Australia, British travellers can also acquire electronic visitor visas.
- Electronic visitor visas are of two types. An eVisitor visa can be obtained directly from the Department of Immigration & Citizenship. This visa comes free of service fee or visa application charge. Another type of visa is the Electronic Travel Authority, which can be obtained through airlines, travel agents, Australian visa offices outside Australia, and specialist service providers. These visas entail a service fee of A$20 but no application charge.
- The Department of Immigration & Citizenship and the Australian High Commission in London provides information on the other categories of visas such as Working Holiday Visas, Maritime Crew Visas, and Student Visas.
Medical prerequisites for Acquiring Visas
Visa seekers planning to book their cheap flights to Australia can sometimes be required to undertake a health examination before they are granted a visa. Especially, travellers aged 75 or more are required to take a medical examination or an Aged Visitors Health Check if they apply for a Visitor visa. The examination is conducted by a Panel doctor nominated by the Government of Australia. The cost for this examination has to be borne by the visa applicant and one should be prepared to keep aside some extra time for these formalities while applying for a visa.
- ETA applications can only be made from outside Australia.
- ETA holders can visit Australia for short term tourism as well as business purposes for up to three months. Passport holders from more than 30 countries and regions including Britons can apply for this visa. British Citizens as well as British Nationals (overseas) are eligible for this visa.
- One does not need to submit an application at some departmental office for securing an ETA. Similarly, the applicant’s passport is not labelled or stamped and one just gets a confirmation for the purpose of maintaining records.
- ETAs are linked to passport numbers. One should be careful to use the particular passport on which the ETA application was made. Anyone obtaining a new passport should also get a fresh ETA. Flouting this rule can result in denial of permission to board one’s flights to Australia.
- However, someone procuring a new passport while in Australia does not need a new visa if the ETA is still valid.
- Although, travellers leaving Australia during the validity period of their ETAs can travel on their new passports, they should carry their old passport as well. The ETA is linked to the old passport.
- Travellers not planning to leave Australia during the validity period of their ETAs are required to get a fresh visa. One should visit the nearest departmental office for detailed information on such an issue.
- After leaving Australia on one’s ETA, it is not possible to re enter the country on the same ETA. Either a fresh ETA or a different visa is required for the purpose.
- A separate ETA is required even for members of the same family. This rule also extends to family members who are under the age of 18 and are included in the passport of their guardians.
- ETAs cannot be granted nor extended, whilst the traveller is in Australia. Travellers, who want to increase the time frame of their Australia holidays after arriving at the destination, need to apply for some other kind of visa at least two weeks before the expiry of their ETAs.
Working Holiday Visa Extension
Airfares to Australia are not peanuts and someone paying for the same should be careful not to fall for advertisements proclaiming to extend working holiday visas. These are scams. Visitors are entitled to second year working holiday visas if they work in a rural area for time frame of three months during the first year of their working holiday. Foreign nationals, including Britons have been known to fall in the trap of buying false proof of farm work. This has resulted in the cancellation of their visas and also being subjected to the penalty of not being allowed to re-enter Australia for three years.
Australian High Commission in UK
HE Mr John Dauth LVO
Address: Australian High Commission
London WC2B 4LA
(Source: Websites of FCO and Australian Government’s Dept of Immigration and Citizenship, which must be referred to for more detailed information. Southall Travel disclaims liability of any kind of losses or damages resulting from the use of above information).
Disclaimer: The information in this article relating to visa/entry requirements is correct at the time of publishing. You must consult the relevant Embassy or Consulate for updated info on visa policies as requirements may change. You should check the up-to-date position in good time before booking/departure.