I have a Visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

Visitor visas and ETAs only allow for a temporary stay in Australia. If you are unable to support yourself while in Australia you should make arrangements to depart, where you can. You do not need to apply for a travel exemption to leave Australia.

If you can’t return to your home country, you need to maintain a valid visa and seek medical advice when necessary.

Checking when my visa will cease

Your Visitor visa or ETA will automatically cease if you are still in Australia at the end of your permitted stay period.

You can check:

Note: If you left and returned to Australia on a round trip cruise, the time you spend on the cruise counts as time spent in Australia - that is, we do not consider you have left Australia. A round trip cruise will not reset your stay period on your visa. Ask your cruise operator or travel agent if we consider your cruise to be a round trip cruise.

Extending my visa

Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a Visitor visa or ETA.

You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

In most cases, if you can support yourself, you can apply to remain in Australia as a Visitor (tourist stream). If you have already applied for a new Visitor visa in Australia see Visitor Visa processing arrangements.

If your Visitor visa is expiring, you are unable to return home because of entry restrictions and you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa. You’ll need to demonstrate why you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, including a Visitor visa. This could include a statement and evidence that you do not have access to sufficient funds to be able to pay another visa application charge (VAC).

You can also explore your other visa options.

Applying for a new visa

We encourage you to apply:

  • wherever possible, in ImmiAccount 
  • no earlier than 4 weeks before your current visa ceases.

When you apply for a new visa, you may be granted a Bridging visa that will keep you lawful in Australia until a decision is made on your visa application.  

If you have a ‘no further stay condition’ attached to your visa, before you apply for another visa you will need to request a waiver of this condition.

If your visa has already expired, see My visa has expired.

Working

Visitor visa and ETA holders are not permitted to work in Australia.

Visa conditions

The Department recognises that COVID-19 travel restrictions may prevent some international visitors from departing Australia as planned or meeting their visa conditions. We will take this into account when considering any future applications to ensure you are not impacted by circumstances outside your control.

The following visa conditions may apply to Visitor visa holders in Australia:

No Further Stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)

If you hold a visa with a No Further Stay condition, you can’t apply for most other visas in Australia unless the condition is waived.

If you want to apply for another visa and your visa will cease in less than 4 weeks, you need to request to waive this condition.

If your request is approved, you should apply for a new visa before your current visa ceases.

Condition 8531 (must not remain in Australia after stay period ends)

This condition can’t be waived, however it does not prevent you from making a further visa application.

If you hold a visa with condition 8531,you should apply for a new visa before your current visa ceases.

Condition 8558 (can’t stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period)

This condition can’t be waived, however it does not prevent you from making a further visa application.

If you hold a visa with condition 8558, you should apply for a further visa before your current visa ceases.

Your visa will automatically cease if you are still in Australia at the end of your permitted stay period.

Your visa will not automatically cease if you have stayed for a cumulative period of more than 12 months in an 18 month period (as long as you did not exceed your stay period on any single visit).

Visitor Visa processing arrangements

Due to COVID-19 some visa processing times have been affected and applications may take longer to finalise.

When you apply for a Visitor visa in Australia, you will be granted a Bridging visa. If your current visa expires before we decide your application, the Bridging visa will start. This will ensure you remain lawful.

You can stay in Australia on the Bridging visa while we process your new visa application.You may experience delays in getting your Bridging visa grant notification. Provided you applied for a new Visitor visa before your current visa ceases, you do not need to worry about your lawful status even if we have not sent your Bridging visa grant notification yet.

We will tell you if we need more information or when we have made a decision.

If you leave Australia before we make a decision, you can withdraw your application.

To check messages from us, update your details, tell us if you made a mistake or withdraw your application, use your ImmiAccount.

Service disruptions

Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19 and a range of services we rely on (such as medical checks) may be unavailable in the short term. You will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information where this is the case.

Providing more information

If you have been asked to provide more information, send us the requested information as soon as you can in your ImmiAccount.

If you can’t provide the information within the timeframe, upload an explanation to your ImmiAccount. We will take any service disruptions into account when considering your visa application. We will contact you again if further information is still required before making a decision on your application.

Making an appointment for health examinations

We will tell you if you need to undergo health examinations for your visa. If you are unable to obtain an appointment with Bupa Medical Visa Services within the requested timeframe for response, or your appointment has been cancelled:

  • Upload an explanation to your ImmiAccount
  • Where possible, make an appointment for the next available date
  • Once you have obtained an appointment, tell us your scheduled appointment date via your ImmiAccount.

We will take any service delays or closures into account when considering your visa application. We will contact you again if further information is still required before making a decision on your application.

COVID-19 Pandemic event visa

If your visitor visa is expiring, you are currently unable to return home and you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, you may be eligible for the Temporary Activity (Subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Event stream (COVID-19 Pandemic event visa) .

You’ll need to demonstrate why you can’t meet the requirements for another visa. This could include a statement and evidence that you do not have access to sufficient funds to be able to pay a further visa application charge (VAC).

If you are subject to a no further stay condition you must have it waived before you can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa.