In Australia, visa subclasses 600, 601, and 651 are temporary visitor visas designed for different purposes. Each visa serves distinct purposes, and their eligibility criteria and conditions may vary. Let's explore each visa subclass:
1. Visa Subclass 600 - Visitor Visa (Tourist Stream): This visa is for people who wish to visit Australia for tourism or to visit family and friends. It allows the visa holder to stay in Australia for a short period, usually up to three, six, or twelve months. The Tourist Stream is suitable for individuals traveling for recreational purposes, sightseeing, or attending social events. It does not permit the visa holder to work in Australia.
2. Visa Subclass 600 - Visitor Visa (Family-Sponsored Stream): This visa is an option for those who have a family member or relative in Australia willing to act as a sponsor. Being a sponsor means taking responsibility for the visitor's financial expenses and ensuring they adhere to Australian laws and visa rules. The sponsor must also ensure that the visitor departs the country before their visa expires. This visa cannot be extended onshore.
3. Visa Subclass 600 - Visitor Visa (Business Stream): The Business Stream of the Visitor Visa is designed for individuals who need to travel to Australia for short-term business purposes. It allows activities such as attending conferences, business meetings, or engaging in contractual negotiations. However, this visa does not permit the visa holder to work in Australia other than the specific business-related activities allowed under this stream.
4. Visa Subclass 601 - Electronic Travel Authority (ETA): The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is a streamlined visa available to citizens of certain countries, including many European and Asian countries, the United States, Canada, and others. It allows multiple short visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes. ETA holders can stay in Australia for up to three months per visit within a 12-month validity period. ETA is electronically linked to the passport and eliminates the need for a visa label or stamp.
5. Visa Subclass 651 - eVisitor: The eVisitor is similar to the ETA but is specifically available to citizens of certain European countries. It is designed for tourism or business purposes and allows multiple short stays of up to three months per visit within a 12-month period. Like the ETA, the eVisitor is also electronically linked to the passport.
Main differences between these visa subclasses:
a. Purpose: Visa Subclasses 600 and 601 cover various purposes, such as tourism, visiting family/friends, or conducting business activities. On the other hand, the ETA and eVisitor are specifically for short-term tourism and business purposes.
b. Eligibility: The eligibility criteria and participating countries differ for each visa subclass. The ETA and eVisitor are available to citizens of specific countries, while the Subclass 600 visas are open to a broader range of countries.
c. Duration of stay: The maximum allowable stay for the Subclass 600 and 601 visas can vary depending on the stream and individual circumstances, while the ETA and eVisitor allow stays of up to three months per visit within a 12-month validity period.
d. Work restrictions: Generally, all of these visas do not allow work in Australia, except for specific business-related activities allowed under the Business Stream of the Subclass 600 visa.
It's essential to carefully review the specific eligibility requirements and conditions of each visa subclass to choose the one that best suits your travel needs to Australia. The visa options may change over time, so it's advisable to refer to the official Australian government website or consult with a registered migration agent for the most up-to-date information.