A visa is a form of documentation – electronic or otherwise – that grants travellers permission to travel through a nominated country for a certain period of time. They are separate to your passport and whether you need one or not will depend on the diplomatic relations between the country whose passport you hold and the country (or countries) you’re travelling to. Also note that some visas take weeks to obtain, so it definitely pays to be organised. When you’re travelling, knowing what visas you may need should be just as important as making sure your passport is up-to-date and taking out travel insurance.
Why Do I Need A Visa?
Visas are essentially a tool used by countries to keep track of who can enter their country and who cannot. As a traveller, you’ll need a visa if the country you are wishing to enter requires it – it’s that simple. To find out if you need a visa, Flight Centre partners with CIBT the global leader in Travel Visas. To search for and establish the requirements for a Visa as well as purchase please click Search VISAs
Alternatively, please contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you intend to visit. Alternatively, call 133 133 and speak to one of our Flight Centre Travel Experts, who can help you arrange your visa. You should always check the conditions of the visa, which will include a limit on the length of time you can stay. The table below will give you a rough outline of the Visas required by Australian citizens but note that this is only a guide, and visas remain the individual responsibility of travellers.
How Do I Get A Visa?
The application process for visas will vary. Visas can be arranged either online or by submitting the appropriate documentation in person at the country’s consulate or embassy.
Many people seek out travel agency visa assistance and find that asking their local Flight Centre Travel Expert to help them is by far the easiest option. Some countries will require you to apply for the visa before you travel, while other countries will let you apply for the visa once you arrive. You may find that the country you wish to visit charges a fee to obtain a visa. If you’re planning to get your visa upon arrival into the country, make sure you have the appropriate currency, as many destinations only accept cash.
Types Of Visa
There are several types of visa such as a tourist visa, working visa, business visa, student visa, immigration visa, and so on. If you’re going to another country for a holiday or to visit family or friends, you’ll most likely need a tourist visa.
A few countries, such as the United States, have eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) ‘visa waiver’ programs, which enable citizens of specific countries to travel for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. These involve electronic pre-screenings for citizens from visa-exempt nations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises that in most cases, a tourist visa does not allow you to work in a foreign country and this involves voluntary or unpaid work.
Be aware of visa scams. Unfortunately, visa scams are very common and will not only rob you of your cash, but leave you with no official visa. Make sure you’re using the Smartraveller recommended links or refer to your Flight Centre Travel Expert for assistance.
Visas For Australians Travelling Overseas: A Brief Overview
Please note: Visas are the individual responsibility of travellers. The information below is to be used as a guide only. Conditions can change suddenly so we recommend checking the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for the latest updates.
|Country||Visa required?||Obtain visa in advance?||Obtain visa on arrival?|
|Argentina||No, not for tourists. Visas are only required for work permits, study or Australian diplomatic and official passport holders.||If you need one of the visas mentioned left, yes.||No|
|Brazil||Yes, and an e-visa is available.||Yes||No|
|Cambodia||Yes||Yes. You can obtain an e-visa online through the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. However note that e-visas are only valid for entry through the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville International Airports, as well as the border crossing points of Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poipet (Banteay Meanchey), Bavet (Svay Rieng) and Tropaeng Krael (Stung Treang).|
Yes, if you’re arriving into the country at an entry point which is different to those locations mentioned in the column, left.
Read more on visas for Cambodia »
|Canada||Yes, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) if you plan to fly to Canada or transit through a Canadian airport.||Yes, you will need the eTA in advance.|
No, if you are flying to Canada you will need to obtain your eTA online, in advance. If you are arriving by car, train, bus or boat, you don’t need a visa or eTA but you do need to bring the right travel documents. See your Flight Centre Travel Expert for more information.
Read more on visas for Canada »
|Chile||Yes. Also, Australian tourists entering Chile through Santiago International Airport must pay a ‘Reciprocity Fee’ of about US$117.||No||Yes. If you’re visiting Chile for tourism for 90 days or less, you can obtain a visa on arrival. If you’re travelling to Chile through the United States, transiting in Honolulu or entering the country from another US location, you must also meet US entry/transit requirements. Check with the US Embassy or Consulate, or consult your Flight Centre Travel Expert for more information.|
Read more on visas for China »
|Cook Islands||No, not if you’re travelling for tourism and stay less than 31 days.|
|Croatia||No, not if you’re a tourist and will stay for a period of up to 90 days. Note that in Croatia, you must register your place of residence with the local police station within 24 hours of arrival. If you stay in a hotel this will usually be done for you, but if you’re staying in other accommodation, you’ll need to make sure this is done or you could be fined and/or deported.|
|Egypt||Yes||Yes, you can get a tourist visa online or on arrival.||Yes. Visas can only be purchased with US dollars or euros.|
|Fiji||No||No||In Fiji, visitor visas for stays of less than four months are issued on arrival, provided you have a return ticket and confirmation of accommodation.|
|Hong Kong||No. If you’re visiting Hong Kong for tourism for less than 90 days, you generally won’t need to organise a visa i advance. Note that if you plan to travel between Hong Kong and mainland China, you’ll need a visa.|
|India||Yes||Yes. You’ll need an e-visa to enter India, which must be arranged prior to arrival, and you must carry a printed copy of the email confirmation of your e-visa with you. The e-visa is valid for entry through 28 designated airports and 5 designated seaports. If you wish to enter the country through another location, you’ll need to arrange for an Indian visa prior to arrival.|
Read more on visas for India »
|Indonesia||No, not if you stay for up to 30 days. If you intend to stay in Indonesia for longer than 30 days, you will need to apply for a visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia, or on arrival for US$35.|
|Ireland||No, not for tourist visits of less than 90 days.|
|Japan||No. If you’re visiting Japan for less than 90 days, as a tourist, you will most likely qualify for Japan’s Visa Waiver Program.|
|Macau||No. If you’re visiting Macau for tourism for less than 30 days, you generally won’t need a visa.|
|Malaysia||Yes||No||If you’re visiting Malaysia for tourism, you can get a visa when you arrive for a stay of up to 90 days.|
|Maldives||Yes||No||When you arrive in the Maldives, you can apply for a 30-day visa.|
|Papua New Guinea||Yes||Yes. Contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of Papua New Guinea to obtain a visa.||No|
|South Korea||Yes||No||Yes. You can get a visa-on-arrival to visit South Korea for up to 90 days.|
|Russia||Yes. If you are on a cruise, special permissions are granted for ships that dock for less than 72 hours in some port cities, including St Petersburg.||Yes. Contact your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate.||No|
|Solomon Islands||Yes||No||Yes. Visitor visas are available when you arrive, for stays of up to 90 days.|
|Sri Lanka||Yes. You’ll need a visa in the form of an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to visit Sri Lanka.||Yes, you can apply online.|
Yes, in limited circumstances. At the Sri Lankan port of entry, you will need to apply for your ETA at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
Read more on visas for Sri Lanka »
|Turkey||Yes, an e-visa is required.||Yes, apply online at the Turkish government’s official e-visa website.||No|
|United Arab Emirates||Yes||No||Yes, Australians are eligible for a free, 30-day visitor visa-on-arrival.|
|United States of America||No, but you must apply for a visa waiver (ESTA) online||Yes|
Read more on visas for the United States »
|Vanuatu||Yes, if you’re visiting Vanuatu for 30 days or less and have a return or onward ticket, you’ll be able to apply for a visa-on-arrival.||No||Yes, you can apply for a visa-on-arrival.|
|Vietnam||Yes||Yes. Apply online for your e-visa through the Vietnamese Government's National Web Portal On Immigration or apply with the Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam.|
Read more on visas for Vietnam »
*The Schengen Convention is an agreement between 26 European countries with common entry and exit requirements. It allows travellers to move freely between member countries without having to go through border controls or have visas for each country.