If you wish to enter Australia, you will require an official legal document from the Australian government, called a visa. There are several types of visas which are granted to meet individual requirements, with each visa requiring the individuals to meet certain criteria.

You will always be required to hold a valid visa while visiting, studying or working in Australia. If you are planning on visiting Australia, it is important that you ensure that you apply for the right visa before travelling to Australia. For example, if you plan on visiting Australia for a holiday you must hold a tourist visa. Alternatively a person travelling to Australian for Business reasons would require a Business visa. If the exact criteria for applying for a visa are difficult to determine, it is prudent to contact a migration agent to with the visa application and lodgement.

Visas can be classed under four different categories; Temporary, Permanent, Protection and Bridging. Within these four categories, it is further divided in 100’s of other classes. Those visiting Australia on a temporary basis (such as tourists or businessmen) can apply for a temporary visa which is valid for a short duration. For those who wish to settle down permanently in Australia, they must apply for a Permanent visa. Individuals fleeing their country from persecution other factors can apply for what is called a ‘Protection Visa’ and will be issued with refugee status. These three categories of visas are termed as substantive visas. The final category is called a ‘Bridging visa’. These visas are usually approved for those visitors who are currently residing inside the country and are waiting for a one of the previously described ‘substantive visa’. for instance, if a person on a temporary visa gets married to an Australian citizen, they are then entitled to apply for a permanent visa. During the interim period of the application, the individual may be issued a ‘Bridging visa’ in order to entitle her to a stay in the country legally.

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