The visa policy of Australia deals with the requirements that a foreign national wishing to enter Australia must meet to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel, to enter and remain in the country. A visa may also entitle the visa holder to other privileges, such as a right to work, study, etc. and may be subject to conditions.
Since 1994, Australia has maintained a universal visa regime, meaning that every non-citizen in Australia must have a visa, either as a result of an application, or one granted automatically by law. Australia does not issue visas on arrival. As of 2015 there was no intention to provide visa free entry for any country.However, under the Migration Regulations 1994, certain persons are defined as holding a valid visa, without having pursued the standard Australian visa process, including:
holders of passports from 36 eVisitor countries (the EU member states plus four EFTA member states, the United Kingdom, and four European microstates) and from 34 Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)-eligible countries and jurisdictional entities (more globally distributed than eVisitor countries)
citizens of New Zealand, under the Special Category Visa pursuant to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, and
certain visitors, mostly linked to foreign militaries and governments, eligible for entry under the special purpose visa, pursuant to a variety of Australian laws and international agreements.Citizens of all other countries may apply for the Visitor visa online.
Since 1 September 2015, Australia ceased to issue visa labels on visa holders' passports, and all visas are issued and recorded on a central database. Visa records can only be accessed through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO), a digital verification service provided by the Department of Home Affairs.
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