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Is there an Australian digital nomad visa? Not yet… but, can you be a digital nomad in Australia? YES, and here are some of the 17 visa options to help you travel to the land of beaches, barbies and kangaroos.
This post is a part of my “Australia for Digital Nomads: The Local Guide To Work and Travel Down Under“, with information on everything you need to know about Australia: Costs, Accommodation, Weather and local ‘lingo’.
Australian Digital Nomad Visas
As an Australian digital nomad, I’ve been through my fair share of visa nightmare situations! Luckily, the options for coming to Australia are relatively straightforward. I’ll break down your choices here in detail.
You must have a valid Australian Visa to enter the country (unless a citizen of Australia or New Zealand).
Does Australia Offer A Nomad Visa?
While there isn’t a specific ‘digital nomad’ visa, here are alternatives that those travelling to Australia can apply for. In order to work and travel and Australia, you will need to select the visa that matches your situation best.
|eVisitor / eVisa [Subclass 651]||Up to 3 months||Free||Outside AUS|
|Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa [Subclass 601]||Up to 3 months||$20 AUD+||Outside AUS|
|Visitor Visa [Subclass 600] Business Stream||Up to 3 months||From $150 AUD||Outside AUS|
|Visitor Visa [Subclass 600]||Up to 12 months||From $150 AUD||Outside AUS|
|Visitor Visa [Subclass 600]||Up to 12 months||From $380 AUD||Inside AUS|
|Working Holiday Visa (1st) [Subclass 417 or 462]||12 months**||$510 AUD||Outside AUS|
|Working Holiday Visa (2nd) [Subclass 417 or 462]||12 months**||$510 AUD||Inside AUS|
|Working Holiday Visa (3rd) [Subclass 417 or 462]||12 months**||$510 AUD||Inside AUS|
+An optional application service charge of AUD20 may apply.
**The Working Holiday Visa [Subclass 417 or 462] allows a combined total of 36 months (3 years) in Australia.
Australian Visitor Visas
If you want to travel to Australia for the short-term, ‘Visitor Visas’ such as the eVisitor eVisa (Subclass 651), Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) and Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (Subclass 601) are the cheapest and easiest options. If you hold a passport from an ETA or eVisa-eligible country, you will be issued a visa that allows you to stay in Australia for 3, 6 or 12 months. Other nationalities can apply for the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600).
Do Digital Nomads Need Work Visas In Australia?
Visitor visas do not allow you to work in Australia. Work is “…performing an activity in Australia a person would normally be remunerated for. [BUT] These activities are not considered work: volunteer work [or] doing work online for your job in your home country…”
So, “work online” with a foreign employer is not a breach of Condition 8101 of the Visitor Visa, as long as your main intention is to visit Australia temporarily; and not to work for an Australian employer. Digital nomads should declare any online work when applying, just in case, as visas are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Australian Working Holiday Visa (WHV)
If you are eligible, the Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) or ‘Work and Holiday Visa’ (Subclass 462), allows you up to 36 months (3 years) to “have an extended holiday in Australia and work here to help fund [your] trip“.
You can do any kind of work on this visa, including for an Australian employer. When working for an Australian employer, you were limited to 6 months with each employer, but this rule was “temporarily relaxed” in early 2022 and has not been reinstated at the time of writing.
Note: “If you work in Australia as a working holiday maker (WHM), your employer will withhold tax from your pay and you may need to lodge a tax return each year.“, according to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
You must be a citizen of and hold a valid passport from one of these countries/jurisdictions (Subclass 417): Belgium; Canada; Republic of Cyprus; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders); Republic of Ireland; Italy; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Sweden; Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport) or The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Or, you must be a citizen of and hold a valid passport from one of these countries/jurisdictions (Subclass 462): Argentina; Austria; Brazil; Chile; China, People’s Republic of; Czech Republic; Ecuador; Greece; Hungary; Indonesia; Israel; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Mongolia; Peru; Poland; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Thailand; Turkey; Uruguay; United States of America or Vietnam
You must be aged 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) when you apply. Citizens of Canada, France, Ireland, Italy and Denmark must be aged between 18 to 35 years old (inclusive) when you apply.
Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)
Finally, if your company has an Australian location or division, you can consider relocating to Australia via the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (Subclass 482). It’s a little more complex than the Visitor or WHV, but anecdotally – it’s a relatively quick process and means that you could base yourself down under for more than a few years! If you’d like more information about this visa, or any of the others mentioned, please get in touch (below).
How Do I Apply For An Australian Visa?
If you’d like to go through the effort of researching, preparing and applying yourself, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs Visa Options Page for more information.
If you’d like to be connected to an immigration professional who can help make your visa application process simple and stress-free, get in touch. See you ‘down under’ soon!