Australian Visa Types Explained – Travel Dudes

There are a number of visa categories for people who want to live, work, study, and more in Australia. Determining which Australian visa type is best for which traveler can be confusing, simply because there are so many available.

While it is impossible to go over every single Australian visa in a single article, here are some general guidelines to help visitors know which visa is right for them. That way, they can start applying soon so they can go to Australia ASAP.

Best Cities in Australia - Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

A guide to the different Australian visa types

There are various Australian visa types for different reasons, below are the different visa options:

Australia visitor visas

These visas are for people who want to visit Australia but who do not plan to work there and who will not stay long. The exact length of stay permitted is usually three months, but may be shorter or longer depending on the type of visa and the visitor’s country of origin.

People who are not planning to spend more than 72 hours in Australia should apply for a subcategory of this visa. The Transit Visa allows them to enter the country but does not allow them to stay longer than their planned transit period.

See also What is an ETA for Australia?

Working holiday visas

These visas are largely aimed at young adults taking a gap year, or those in similar situations. Only residents of certain countries are eligible and the applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 26 (or 30, depending on country of origin).

Limited work is allowed, though the main purpose of the visit is recreational. The visa is valid for a year, at which point it may be renewed for another year if certain conditions are met.

Visas for training and studying

Student visas are available for people who have been accepted into academic programs that last longer than three months. University students, students studying certain trades, and those participating in certain certificate programs are eligible.

The educational institution can help people determine whether this is the right visa for them and help them fill it out and submit it correctly.

Student visas do permit some work. While the course of study is going on, students can work up to 20 hours per week. During down times for the course, there is no limit on how many hours they can work each week in Australia.

A training visa is similar to a student visa, but does not require enrollment in an academic program. Instead, this visa is for people who are seeing professional development in Australia and those who want to develop their skills in a certain field.

This visa requires sponsorship by the company or group that is doing the training. If the sponsor is the government, the person must be invited. If the sponsor is outside the government, that sponsor must formally nominate the applicant before they can get a training visa.

Study visa for Australia
Study visa for Australia –

Visas for workers or people with certain skills

Australia offers a number of visas for people with different sets of skills. Each individual applicant will need to determine which visa will be best for them and their particular situation.

Many of these visas will be accepted or not based on whether the applicant’s particular skills are needed in Australia at the time of their application. Those with skills that are in high demand will find it easier to enter the country than will those with more common skills, or with skills that are common in Australia.

Certain skills may be in higher demand in some parts of Australia than they are in others. In certain circumstances, regions, states, or territories in Australia may invite people with certain skills. In this case, the visa holder will need to move to, live in, and work in the particular area where their skills are needed.

Most work visas require the applicant to have a signed contract with an Australian company. In turn, that company will need to have formal permission to hire outside of Australia and will need to sponsor the person for their visa. There will be steps that the company needs to take so that the person they hire can enter the country.

Some short-term visas also allow a person to perform certain types of work in Australia. These visas are for people who have jobs outside of the country to do those same jobs in Australia.

For instance, separate visas exist for:

  • Religious workers
  • Domestic staff of visiting government officials
  • Media or filmmakers
  • Entertainers
  • People visiting to participate in a sports match, tournament, etc.
  • Academics
  • And more

Family visas

These Australian visa types are for people who have family in Australia, or for those who are family members of people entering Australia on other types of visas. For instance, it is possible to get a visa to Australia to care for an aging family member, as well as to accompany a spouse who got hired by an Australian company.

The specific visa that a person applies for will be determined by their relationship to their family member already in Australia. For instance, there are separate visas for caring for aged parents and caring for an orphaned relative.

Refugee and other humanitarian visas

Australia evaluates visas for refugees and people requesting humanitarian aid or protection individually. Applicants will need to complete their application, have an interview where they explain their story and why they need protection, and any documentation that the government or their particular visa requires.

Other Australian visa types

Australia offers a number of special visas, too. These include a visa for people who want to invest in Australia and retire there, a visa for people seeking medical treatment in Australia, and visas for those who were once residents of Australia and who are seeking to return.

There are a number of services, including one offered by the Australian government on their website, that can help people determine which visa is right for their particular situation. These offer one of the best ways to find out which visa is best.

Once visitors know which visa to Australia is best for them, they can apply for it. It won’t be long before they are living their dream in Australia.

Australia Kangaroo Island rocks

Kangaroo Island – An Australian Icon


Kangaroo Island (dubbed KI) is considered an icon of Australia.

Not only is the wildlife worth the visit (and yes you will see kangaroos), but it also offers surfing, swimming, snorkeling and diving opportunities along with the best off Australia’s shores, along with gourmet food and a rich history that really is worth exploring.

Located just 15 km or just less than 10 miles of the southern coast of South Australian, not far from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is the third largest island in Australia, after Tasmania down south and Melville Island up north.

It covers an area of about 4,500 square kilometers (which is about 1,700 square miles), and it has a coastline that stretches 540 km or 336 miles. The highest point on the island is the 307 m- / 1,007-ft high Prospect Hill.

The island is a highly popular tourist attraction and more than 140,000 people visit it each year. But if you hope to get more than a glimpse, you’re going to have to spend at least three days here, ideally staying in different parts of the island.

The locals

There are about 4,400 permanent residents living on Kangaroo Island, many of whom are farmers (farming a wide range of produce from sheep to oysters) and fisherman whose families have lived there for generations. You’ll also find winemakers who produce some of Australia’s top varietal wines, and beekeepers who produce world-famous Ligurian honey, made by honey-bees exported from Liguria in the north of Italy.

The island also boasts numerous eateries, from humble cafés to elegant restaurants that offer the best of fine dining; and of course these come with a cross section of restaurateurs, publicans, hoteliers and all those dedicated people who help to house and feed travelers and tourists. They too form part of the local community.

The past

While not everyone is into the history of the place they are visiting, there’s an intriguing mystery about Kangaroo Island’s past. There is archaeological evidence that Aborigines lived on this island at least 16,000 years ago; yet nobody so far has been able to explain why they left or where they went. There are legends that tell of how the island was divided from the mainland by a great flood, and how those who had lived in this part of the country drowned trying to get back to the mainland. It is unlikely we will ever know the truth.

The island was only rediscovered in the very early 19th century, by Captain Robert Clark Morgan. However it was Matthew Flinders, a British explorer, who gave the island its name after landing there in 1802. Soon afterwards a French explorer, Nicolas Baudin arrived on the island, and he went to work mapping the island. This, it is thought, is why so many parts have French names.

Sealers were the first to try and make a living on the island. There are many stories of how these “rough”, probably ex-convicts kidnapped Aboriginal women and forced them to work for them in the sealing industry.

If you “dig” the past and want to dig further, you don’t have to visit stuffy museums.

Instead you can:

  • dive wrecks,
  • visit old lighthouses and read the diaries who lived there (often not very happily),
  • climb the steps that Flinders did to see the island from near the top of Prospect Hill,
  • even see some of the remains of stone tools from ancient Aboriginal camp sites.

And of course there is a lot more.

The wildlife

You’ll find there’s lots of wildlife on both land and sea, from kangaroos to sharks! More than 25% of the island forms parts of national parks, within five wilderness protection areas.

Animals that are native to the island include:

  • The Kangaroo Island dunnart, a little mouse-sized marsupial that is endemic to the island.
  • A sub-species of the Western grey kangaroo, commonly referred to as the Kangaroo Island kangaroo.
  • The tammar wallaby, which is grey in color and the smallest of all the wallaby species.
  • The common brushtail possum, a nocturnal animal, and the largest of the possum species.
  • The short-nosed Southern brown bandicoot, a small marsupial that is relatively common throughout Southern Australia.
  • The short-beaked echidna, a spiny anteater that could be mistaken for a kind of hedgehog.
  • The southern fur seal – also called either the New Zealand or Australian fur seal.
  • Rosenberg’s sand goanna, a monitor lizard that the Aborigines refer to as “bungarra”.

Kaola bears, the common ringtail possum, and the semi-aquatic platypus, which is endemic to eastern Australia, have been introduced to the island and are often seen. Sea lions are a common sight in Seal Bay.

Kangaroo Island is also an important area for birds, as a number of threatened and vulnerable species are found here, including the endangered glossy black cockatoo.