Globally, Australia has the second highest Human Development Index and the thirteenth largest economy. The country is a very popular destination among tourists and migrants. Before, Australia has always been associated with felons imported from England and sheep-shearers. But after several years, their reputation has changed for the good. Now they are known for the Great Barrier Reef, the vast sceneries, large bustling cities and even sophistication. But before you can go there, you must go through the painful process of applying for a visa or travel permit, that is if you are not from New Zealand.
There are nine types of visa a foreigner could apply for depending on the purposes of going there.
If you are going there to visit family members or friends, for a holiday, to see some beautiful places, any other reasons that are not related to business or work or for other social and recreational reasons, then an Electronic Travel Authority (Visitor) or a Tourist visa or a Sponsored Family Visitor visa would suffice.
They also offer a Student visa for students or for those who will participate in the country’s Overseas Student Program. But you have to register in a course full time.
There are two kinds of business visit visa you can apply for, the first one is the Business visa which is only up to three months, you can attend conferences or meetings if you have this kind of visa. If you want a long term employment then the company you work for should sponsor you and they must be ready to employ you for up to four years.
They also have the Working Holiday Program for people 18 to 30 years old and who wants to work around Australia and take up casual employment.
For those who want to go to Australia for medical reasons then apply for the Medical Treatment Visa. A Retirement Visa is also available for those who want to spend their retirement in Australia. A Transit Visa is required for those who need to stop over the country before going somewhere else.
The Migration Program of Australia is available to those people who have special skills and if the government thinks that you can contribute to the nation’s economy. They will also give this privilege to immigrate permanently to those whose family members are already residing there and who are ready to sponsor them. For refugees, the Humanitarian Program is available.
If you are not an Australian citizen but you reside permanently in Australia, a Resident Return Visa is a must for you in case you need to leave for a period of time.
In applying for any visa, the applicant must be decisive and specific on the length of the stay. There are different processes involved in applying for different kinds of visa, some may require more paperwork while others are easier. Always be up front in the period of visit because if you first decide for one or two weeks then changed it to three months then it would pose a big problem for you.
To complete your visa application you may be required to go through a medical examination or submit your chest X-ray results. But this is usually applicable for those who maximize their 3-month visa or stay for more than that.
For more information on visa application visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs nearest office or website.