Last updated 20 May 2020

Non-citizens entering Australia are required to have a visa, which is a permit that can allow either a temporary or permanent stay. Visas are issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

An authorised officer may grant a visa to a person for a single journey, a specific number of journeys or for any number of journeys to or from Australia while the visa remains in force.

An application for a visa should be made before a person arrives in Australia. A person is unlikely to be granted a visa on arrival. A non-citizen who enters Australia without a visa and who is not immigration cleared, who overstays a visa or who becomes unlawful in some other way, is an unlawful non-citizen (s 14(1) Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (Migration Act)) and may be removed from Australia (ss 189, 198 Migration Act).