When you are planning a trip to Australia, either for a holiday or for business, you will of course need a visa. But what if you are travelling to another destination that includes a transit or stopover at an Australian airport? If your destination includes a transit in Australia, then in some cases you will need to carry a valid eVisitor visa or eTA with you, as if you were planning to actually stay in Australia. We will explain how to do this in each case.
When is a visa required for a transit in Australia?
In reality, things are not so simple as a transit in Australia does not systematically require an eVisitor visa. In fact, it is only in certain specific situations that this authorisation will be required. Here are the cases in which you will need to apply for a transit visa online:
- If your transit in Australia is for more than eight consecutive hours, you will need to have permission to stay in the country as an eVisitor. This applies to all transits of this duration even if the traveller does not leave the terminal.
- If you intend to leave the transit zone: Finally, if your transit is less than 8 hours but you intend to leave the transit zone and the airport, you will also need to carry a residence permit.
Having a transit visa or, more simply, an eVisitor or eTA is therefore mandatory in these cases and for these transits. Not having this authorisation with you during your trip could force you to cancel your trip as it will be automatically checked before you board the plane.
What are the requirements for applying for and obtaining a transit visa for Australia?
In fact, the requirements for applying for an eVisitor or eTA visa for Australia are exactly the same as when you apply for a stay.
You will therefore need to have a valid passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your arrival in the country. This passport must have been issued in one of the member countries of the system. Remember that this concerns nationals of the European Union for the eVisitor and the United States and other nationalities for the eTA.
The application must, of course, be made before you travel to or through Australia.
You must also meet some health requirements such as not being a carrier of tuberculosis.
Finally, you must not have been convicted of an offence in any country with a prison sentence of more than 12 months.
Of course, you will not be able to stay in Australia for more than 3 consecutive months with this authorisation, nor will you be able to work there, which will not be a problem in the case of a simple transit or stopover.
What is the procedure for obtaining an eVisitor or eTA visa for transit to Australia?
An eVisa application for a transit or stopover in Australia is also done in the same way as for a stay. This means that the application process will be done directly online in just a few minutes.
Start by accessing the website of a service provider offering an eVisitor or eTA application form. Then simply fill in the form with your contact details, passport number and a valid email address.
You will also have to answer several simple questions about your previous travels and your health and character.
Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be required to pay the fee for processing, checking and transferring your file to the Australian agents. The response to your online visa application will be sent to you by email within a maximum of 72 hours.
You will not have to do anything else, as it will not be necessary to print this residence permit. It will be attached directly to your passport electronically. You can, however, print the visa if you prefer to carry it with you in person.
It should also be remembered that once obtained, this visa will be valid for a period of one year and will allow you to make one or more subsequent trips or transits in the country.
The transit visa can work for genuine stays in Australia:
As it is the same procedure and document, a transit visa and an eVisitor or eTA travel visa for Australia will allow you to leave the airport during transit if time permits.
Similarly, this travel authorisation may allow you to make genuine visits to Australia in the future. Indeed, once obtained, your eVisa will be valid for a period of one year and will allow as many stays as you wish during this period provided that these stays do not exceed 90 consecutive days. You should also bear in mind that these stays must not be for any purpose other than business, tourism or visiting a relative.
Indeed, if you wish to work or study in this country, you will have to apply for a specific visa which will not be the eVisitor or the eTA.
Is it necessary to apply for two visas if your trip includes two transits in Australia?
More often than not, a trip that has an outbound transit through Australia also has an inbound transit. In this case, you may be wondering whether it is necessary to apply for a visa for both your outward and return journeys.
In reality, the answer to this question will depend on several elements. Firstly, as we have just seen, the eVisitor or eTA electronic visa is valid for one year from the date of issue. Thus, this authorisation can be used as many times as you wish during this period. This concerns both the possibility of making traditional stays in the country, but also of making several transits.
In this way, if your eTA or eVisitor shows a validity that covers both your outward and return journey, you will not need to apply for two residence permits. Your initial application will be sufficient to cover these two entries into the country.
Of course, if this is not the case, you will have to apply for a new visa before your return transit. You can also apply for a new visa just before your departure so that it covers your entire trip including the outward and return journey.
You should also pay attention to other conditions concerning the validity of your visa. If any of the information you entered in the original application form has changed or evolved, your permit will automatically be invalid and you will need to apply for a new one. The same applies if you have changed your passport number or lost your original passport.
In all cases, remember to keep the file number that was given to you at the time of your application with you during your stay. This number will allow you to modify your file if necessary during your stay.
As a web writer and globetrotter with a passion for travel and tourism, I have acquired in-depth knowledge of the procedures that are essential for travellers. I help travellers to complete all the formalities required for a successful trip, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa online. With several years' experience in this field, I'd like to offer you some valuable advice to help you discover the world with complete peace of mind.