Visas are often as important as your passport when it comes to travelling abroad. Whether you require a visa or not is determined on a country-by-country basis, as is whether you can apply for a visa prior to travel or on arrival.

Visas are separate to passports and allow holidaymakers to remain in a foreign country for a specific period of time. Sometimes visas are recorded electronically; other times, they are still a physical document or endorsement in your passport.

Depending on diplomatic relations, some countries require Australians to obtain a tourist visa either prior to arrival or at the point of entry.

A certain few countries, such as the United States, have ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) 'visa waiver' programs. There are electronic pre-screenings for citizens from visa-exempt nations.

You should always check with the country's consulate or embassy as to whether you need a visa to visit, and confirm the travel conditions of the visa such as the length of time you are allowed to stay. For countries that don't require a visa, there is usually a specific period of time you are permitted to stay in that country.;

How do I get a visa?

Visas can be arranged either online or by submitting the appropriate documentation in person at the consulate or embassy. Your Travel Associates consultant can help you arrange your visa with VisasDirect.

Some countries charge a fee to obtain a visa. Make sure you have the appropriate currency if you are obtaining a visa at on arrival into the country, as many destinations only accept cash.

Visas for Australians travelling overseas

Here is a list of popular countries and their tourist visa requirements for Australians travelling overseas. The visa situation can change quickly, so it's important to check with the appropriate embassy or your Travel Associates consultant prior to departure.

Country Visa required? Obtain visa in advance? Obtain visa on arrival?
Argentina   No, but a reciprocity fee of $US100 is charged The reciprocity fee must be paid prior to arrival on the Argentine Migration website No
Austria*  No     
Belgium* No    
Brazil   Yes Yes No
Cambodia Yes Yes. E-visas can be obtained but are only supported at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Koh Kong City (Cham Yeam), Poipet (Banteay Meanchey) or Bavet (Svay Rieng) Yes, if arriving into the country at an entry point different to those listed in previous column
Canada   Not currently, but as of March 15, 2016 Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) visa waiver will be required if you are arriving by air eTA waver is required if arriving in Canada by air on or after March 15, 2016  
Chile   No, but a reciprocity fee is charged No Yes, upon arrival at Santiago Airport. If travelling via a US entry point, you must meet US entry/transit requirements 
China   Yes Yes No
Cook Islands   No    
Croatia   No, but your accommodation will record your place of residence for official records with Croatian authorities    
Czech Republic*  No    
Demark*   No    
Egypt  Yes. An electronic visa application system is expected to be available by December 2015 Yes No
Fiji   No No Visitor permit granted on arrival
Finland*  No    
France*   No    
French Polynesia   No    
Germany*   No    
Greece*  No    
Hong Kong   No    
India  Yes, you must either have a valid visa or be eligible for a Tourism Visa on Arrival Yes. Eligible Australians can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation, or make an appointment online with the Indian Bureau of immigration No
Indonesia  No    
Ireland   No    
Italy*   No    
Japan   No    
Macau No    
Malaysia  No    
Maldives   No    
Mexico   No    
The Netherlands*   No    
New Caledonia   No    
New Zealand   No    
Norway*   No    
Papua New Guinea Yes Yes. Contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of Papua New Guinea to obtain a visa No
Peru No    
Philippines No    
Poland* No    
Portugal* No    
South Korea No    
Russia Yes. If you are on a cruise, special permissions are granted for ships that dock less than 72 hours Yes. Contact your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate  No
Singapore No    
Solomon Islands   No    
South Africa No    
Spain* No    
Sri Lanka No, but you must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation visa waiver Yes. Apply online No
Sweden*  No    
Switzerland* No    
Taiwan No    
Thailand No    
Turkey Yes, an e-visa is required Yes. Apply online  No
United Arab Emirates No    
United Kingdom No    
United States of America No, but you must apply for a visa waiver (ESTA) online Yes No
Vanuatu No    
Vietnam Yes Yes. Apply with the Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam No

Visas are the individual responsibility of travellers. The information above is to be used as a guide only.

*Many European nations are party to the Schengen Convention, which allows visitors to enter several countries without a visa, creating a 'boundaryless' Europe. 


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