Australia is quickly becoming one of Thailand’s preferred holiday destinations. Thai people visit Australia on vacation for a number of reasons, including visiting Australian friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, or family, pursuing educational and career prospects, or simply experiencing life in Australia. Typically, it is not that easy for a Thai citizen to come to Australia for a visit – there is a reasonably rigorous visa application procedure in order to go to Australia. It’s often also a bit more challenging if you are applying to come to Australia for the first time.
This blog will guide Thai nationals through the process of obtaining a tourist visa to visit Australia and enjoy your vacation.
Australian Tourist Visa for Thai Citizens (Traveling to Australia from Thailand)
The most common way for Thai citizens to travel, visit relatives, or for any business meetings in Australia is with an Australian visitor visa (subclass 600). There are a few hoops you need to jump through first, as the Australian Government regards some Thai visitors as high-risk (which means that they are at risk of overstaying their visitor visa). It is a difficult undertaking, especially for first-time applicants for a tourist visa to Australia (if you have come to Australia before it is easier as you can prove that you didn’t overstay your visa last time).
Thai citizens who are applying for a tourist visa must opt for the Visitor Visa under subclass 600, more specifically under the tourist stream. This type of visa allows the visa holder to stay in Australia for three months, six months, or even a year for tourist purposes. It is important to note that the decision to award these visas as single or multiple entry visas rests entirely with the visa officer.
Australian Tourist Visa for Couples travelling from Thailand
If you are looking to plan a trip to Australia for your Thai girlfriend; the only way for her to visit Australia for a vacation is with an Australian Tourist Visa. However, it is preferable to initially apply for a three-month visitor visa under the tourist stream if your girlfriend does not frequently travel within Asia and has never been to Australia previously.
You must demonstrate to the visa processing officer that you are a genuine visitor to the nation when you apply for a tourist visa to Australia from Thailand. The officer needs to be convinced that you are solely vacationing in Australia. Your chances of obtaining an Australian tourist visa may be improved if you can provide proof that you intend to return to Thailand following your holiday. Visa officers are known to scrutinise Thai women’s visa applications, so it is recommended to present as many supporting documents as possible. Evidence may include a letter from your job, property that you own in Thailand, family obligations to return to.
If your girlfriend departs Australia on or before the three-month visa ends, you can start considering a visa for a longer period for the next trip. This is because the primary purpose of the first visa is to determine if the Thai citizen will leave Australia before the expiry of the visa.
In addition to demonstrating your intention to return to Thailand, you must also provide financial documentation demonstrating your ability to pay for the trip.
Qualification Criteria for Australian Tourist Visas for Thai Citizens
Thai citizens applying for tourist visas to Australia must demonstrate that:
- They are genuinely seeking entry into Australia for the brief time period specified in the application and not intending to stay in Australia permanently;
- They are not planning to work for pay or for free in Australia;
- They possess sufficient funds to support themselves during their visit without the aid of the government or employment;
- If the applicant will be housed by family members or friends in Australia, they must certify that they are now (or will be at the time of the visit) lawfully present in Australia and plan to offer housing and support;
- The applicant is capable of departing Australia after the completion of their stay.
General Requirements for Australian Tourist Visas for Thai Citizens
The following criteria must be met in order to obtain a visitor visa under the tourist stream:
- Completed visa application form,
- Current passport,
- Passport photograph,
- Visa fee,
- Evidence of adequate financial backing,
- Evidence of lodging for the full visit,
- Proof of close links to Thailand,
- A record of stable employment,
- Flight reservations.
Alternative Australian Visa Options for Thai Citizens
Other than the aforementioned tourist stream of the Visitor Visa (subclass 600), Thai citizens are qualified to apply for tourist visas under the following options:
- The Sponsored Family Visitor Visa (subclass 600) entitles the bearer to a maximum of 12 months of family or related visits in Australia. However, a formal sponsorship from an Australian citizen or permanent resident is necessary for this visa. Other than the aforementioned criteria and requirements, there are a few additional requirements in case of a Sponsored Family Visitor Visa, such as:
- letter of invitation from a permanent resident or citizen of Australia,
- sponsorship letter from a citizen or permanent resident of Australia,
- and proof of work, funds in a bank, and housing provided by the sponsor.
- The holders of a working holiday visa (subclass 417) are able to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. Applicants for this visa must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and possess a college degree or its equivalent. For additional details about the Australian Working Holiday Visa, click here.
Things to Remember
It is preferable to first apply for a 3-month tourist visa if the Thai national has never been to Australia and does not frequently travel around Asia. You can think about requesting a longer visa or perhaps a different kind of visa, such as an Australian Partner Visa or any of the aforementioned alternatives, if the three-month visa ends and the Thai applicant arrives back in Thailand on time. The primary purpose of the first visa is to determine if the Thai citizen will arrive home on time.
Moreover, it is to be noted that the Australian Embassy in Bangkok does not manage the collection and filing of visa applications. You can submit your application and biometric capture in person at the Australian Visa Application Centre or VFS Thailand in order to get an Australian tourist visa.