Australia has strict rules about who can enter Australia unless they are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens. There is a bewildering variety of different visas that are possible to apply for depending on the reasons for coming to Australia. Currently, only Australian citizens or residents are allowed into Australia unless an exemption is granted because of the ongoing pandemic. This situation may change in the near future, but the rules are quite dynamic as they are in many other countries around the world as governments battle to contain the Sars-Cov-2 virus and keep their respective populations as protected from Covid-19 as possible. The information about the Australian eVisitor visa (subclass 651) has been taken from the department of Home Affairs website and must be viewed in conjunction with current rules concerning exemptions, as these change the eligibility for the eVisitor visa substantially at the present.
What is the eVisitor visa?
The Australian eVisitor visa was designed for casual visitors to Australia who just want to come on holiday, visit friends or family, take part in short term study or carry out business visitor activities for up to 3 months at a time. As has already been noted above, this visa still exists, but the Australian government is not issuing visas in this category to anyone unless they have successfully granted an exemption to visit Australia. Presumably, in the future, when the health situation improves, the conditions governing the issue of this visa type will revert to what they were before the pandemic at the end of March 2020.
Eligible countries for the Australian eVisitor Visa
The eVisitor visa is designed as a complement to reciprocal visa arrangements for Australians who wish to visit Europe. Basically, citizens of all European countries that are part of the Schengen agreement together with U.K. citizens are eligible for applying for an eVisitor visa. The application process is easy and free and can be done online. There are similar online visa categories for citizens of other countries such as Canada and the U.S. such as the ETA visitor visa (subclass 600). These eVisitor visas in Australia are analogous to the U.S. ESTA and the Schengen ETIAS visa waiver arrangements. A full list of eligible countries taken from the Dept. of Home Affairs website is given below.
What Do German Citizens Need to Know About Applying for the Australian eVisitor Visa?
Purpose of the visa
This is to allow German citizens to visit Australia for up to 3 months at a time within a 12 month period for holidays, visit friends and family, complete short term study and carry out business visitor activities. There are other visa categories that allow longer stays.
The main document required is your valid German passport. Evidence of sufficient funds for travel and flight booking may be required if the Dept. thinks necessary.
The application can be completed online and only takes 10 to 15 minutes at the most. Once the application has been received, you will be sent an email confirming the application is being assessed. On approval, another email will confirm your visa status. You will need a copy of this when you arrive in Australia. Note that as has already been mentioned, eVisitor visas are currently only being offered to non Australians with an exemption to travel.
How Long Do German Citizens Have to Wait for the Australian eVisitor Visa Granted
Most eVisitor visas are granted within 24 hours, although they may take a little longer. It’s important to check that the application has been received by the Dept. of Home Affairs, which should notify you by email that they have received the application.