How to apply and how long does it take to get visitor visa for Australia?


The application process for visitor visa depends on the type of visa you want to apply for and your location.

Paper or online application

Generally, from majority of the countries, it is possible to apply online. There are still some countries from which you can apply only via paper application. On the other side, for some visas, you can only apply online.

From 1 July 2018

From 1 July 2018, it is possible to apply for Transit visa subclass 771 via internet. Prior to this change, applicants had to contact their nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs. Now, everything can be done via internet without any charge and at applicant’s convenience.

Travelling with your family

If you want to travel with your family members to Australia, they must lodge separate visa applications. You cannot include them in your application which can actually be case with some other visa types.
The Department of Home Affairs recommends to families travelling together to create a group in ImmiAccount in the ‘Manage Groups’ tab and include the Group ID and name in each person’s application.

Prepare your documents

For some applicants and visas it is not required to provide any documents.
However, for many other visitor visa types, especially for subclass 600, you must provide documents to show evidence of claims you made in the application. For some, that may be only couple of documents; for some it can be dozen or even more, depending on your circumstances for which you want to provide evidence.
Failure to provide relevant document may lead to a visa refusal. The decision maker is not required to request further documents if required documents are not provided.

Visa grant

If you are granted an online visitor visa meaning that you received it via email or mail, in that case you do not need a visa label in your passport. Instead, you need the notification of your visa to keep with you when you travel to Australia.

Processing time for visitor visas

The processing time for visitor visas varies depending on the factors such as peak processing periods and location of application or processing centre.
At the time of writing this article on 20 July 2018, the average processing time for visitor visa for Australia is the following:

Visa Type Stream (if available) 75% of applications processed in 90% of applications processed in
651 eVisitor 1 business day 2 days
600 Visitor Tourist 19 days 24 days
600 Visitor Business Visitor 8 days 16 days
600 Visitor Frequent Traveller 20 days 21 days
600 Sponsored Family 31 days 55 days
600 Visitor Approved Destination Status 3 days 5 days
771 Transit 6 days 8 days


You can visit the following link to find the latest update on processing times.
This is only a global processing time and it does not mean that a processing may take longer or shorter time.

How long can I stay in Australia on visitor visa?

On the website of the Department of Home Affairs, the Department advises that applicants may get a visa for a period up to 3, 6 or 12 months. Therefore, visa can be issued for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months or for even shorter periods.

Booking accommodation and air tickets

The Department of Home Affairs advises applicants not to purchase air ticket or book accommodation prior to being granted a visa, because the Department will not be liable for any financial loss in case your visa is refused.

For more information about visitor visa you may check our articles – Visitor Visa Options and Requirements and Australian Visitor Visa – Visa Costs and Required Funds.


If you need assistance with visitor or any other visa type, please be free to contact us. Our best contact is

Vera Radisavljevic

Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent
MARN 1681254

Disclamer: Your use of the above text or the receipt of any information from this article or website is not intended to create nor does it create a solicitor (migration agent) – client relationship between you and the writer (Vera Radisavljevic and/or Baxvel Pty Ltd) and it is not a legal/immigration advice.

Recent posts