In our guide we’ll cover all sorts of visa requirements, such as how you apply for a visa, and how long they last, and whether you even need one. By the end of this guide, we’re pretty sure you’ll be a bonafide visa travel expert.
- Why do I need a visa?
- How do I apply for a visa?
- What countries do not require a visa for Australian travellers?
- What countries offer visa waivers to Australian travellers?
- What countries offer e-visas to Australian travellers?
- What countries require a visa for Australian travellers?
- What countries can I get a Working Holiday Visa for?
Why do I need a visa?
A visa is an official form of permission to enter a foreign country temporarily. Most countries require foreign citizens to be issued a visa before allowing you into their country. These are usually issued by a nation’s embassies, consulates, and official online government websites.
How do I apply for a visa?
Applying for a visa is not as difficult as you might think, as many countries now have an online application process. First, you must go to the country’s Foreign Affairs website, or visit their embassy webpage (or go in person), and you will find details on how to apply, how much the specific visa will cost, and how long the processing service will take.
Which countries do not require a visa for Australian travellers?
There are a surprising amount of countries that allow visa-free travel for Australians, or will issue visas on arrival. As of 2018, we’re allowed to visit a whopping 183 countries without a formal visa. Added to that, we are allowed to live, work, and jaunt about New Zealand with no restrictions. We’re a lucky bunch!
Which countries allow visa-free entry or visas on arrival for visits of less than a month?
- Bahrain* – 14 days
Bahrain’s visa on arrival fee: BHD29 ($108)
Which countries allow visa-free entry or visas on arrival valid for up to 1 month or 30 days?
- Dominican Republic*
- United Arab Emirates
Egypt’s visa on arrival fee: USD25 ($35)
Dominican Republic’s tourist card fee: USD10 ($14)
Zambia’s visa on arrival fee (KAZA): USD50 ($70) – this can be extended a maximum of two 30 day extensions (for a period of up to 90 days).
Which countries allow visa-free entry or visas on arrival valid for up to 3 months or 90 days?
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador*
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
Chile’s visa on arrival fee: USD117 ($165)
El Salvador’s CA-4 tourist card: USD10 ($14)
Guatemala’s CA-4 tourist card: USD10 ($14)
Honduras’ CA-4 tourist card: USD10 ($14)
Kuwait’s visa on arrival fee: KWD3 ($14)
Nicaragua’s CA-4 tourist card: USD10 ($14)
Which countries are in the Schengen Area, and allow visa-free entry valid for up to 3 months?
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 European countries that do not run passport checks between their mutual borders. This means you can enter in France, and then see multiple countries without needing to continually go through border checks. Australians are eligible to enter the Schengen area for 90 days in any 180 day period.
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
Which countries allow visa-free entry valid for up to 6 months or 180 days?
- Antigua and Barbuda
- United Kingdom
Peru offers visa-free entry for 183 days.
Which countries offer visa waivers for Australian travellers?
More recently, countries have been offering visa waiver programs to issue entry to travellers. These are usually hassle-free, and quick to be issued, but do require you to fill out a short online form, and make a small payment. You cannot travel to the countries below without being granted electronic permission, so don’t forget to apply!
Countries that require Australians to use e-visas or application to a visa waiver program are:
- Canada (called the eTA)
- USA (called the ESTA)
Which popular countries offer e-visas for Australian travellers?
Some countries have streamlined the process of applying for visas, and everything can be done online. Just double check the requirements, as occasionally you might need to provide and send in additional material.
- Sri Lanka*
Which countries require visas for Australian travellers?
It’s *very important* that you double check any country’s conditions of entry before you depart. Go to Smart Traveller to see up-to-date terms of entry for Australians travelling to any international country.
- Cote d’Ivoire
- São Tomé and Príncipe
*It is possible to get a visa on arrival in Malawi, but it is strongly recommended that you obtain a visa in advance
What countries can I get a Working Holiday Visa for?
Sure, our country may be filled with things trying to kill you, but Aussies are nothing if not ingenious, and thus the Working Holiday Visa was born. If you fancy spending a year or two swimming in the sea without looking to the horizon for a shark fin, you’re in luck. Aussies have a huge list of countries that offer working holiday visas that run from 1-2 years.
The catch is, there’s usually an age limitation, which generally falls between 18-30, so make sure you check each country’s restrictions before applying. Popular working holiday destinations are:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United Kingdom