MSC2015 | 21-23 September 2015 | Novotel Manly Pacific | Sydney, Australia
-676 days left until the Conference

Visa Information

Visa Options for Business Events such as Conferences, Trade Fairs or Seminars

All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival).

Visa options

If you are planning to visit Australia for a business event such as a conference, trade fair or seminar, you need to apply for a visa. The passport which you hold determines whether you can apply online, or if you need to lodge a paper-based application. The following information will help you identify the right visa and application process.

Online applications

eVisitor

eVisitor European Union (EU) passport holders, and some other European passport holders, are eligible to apply individually online for an eVisitor visa to travel to and enter Australia. For a business event, the most appropriate visa is the eVisitor (Business stream) visa.

eVisitor eligible countries

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Citizen
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom – British
  • Vatican City

A separate online eVisitor application is required for each family member who holds a passport from an eligible country and wishes to travel with you to Australia, including children under the age of 18 who are included on your passport. Applications for eVisitor visas are free.

Further information on the eVisitor visa can be found on the website.

eVisitor applications can be made online.

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

Passport holders from a number of countries are also eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (Subclass 601) to travel to and enter Australia. If you are coming to Australia for a business event, the most appropriate ETA is the ETA (Business Stream) (Subclass 601).

ETA eligible countries

If you are a passport holder from the following countries, you can apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or Australian visa office outside Australia:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong (SAR)*
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan**
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom - British Citizen
  • United Kingdom - British National
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

* A Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. If you are a resident of Hong Kong, you will need a citizen passport to apply for this visa.

** Holders of Taiwan passports in Taiwan can apply through an approved ETA travel agent in Taiwan. If you have a Taiwan passports and you are applying from outside Taiwan, you should approach your closest Australian visa office.

Travel agencies, airlines or specialist service providers could choose to charge a fee to arrange an ETA on your behalf.

If you are a passport holder from the following countries you can also apply for an ETA online through the ETA website.

  • Brunei
  • Malaysia
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) *
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • United States of America

There is no visa application charge for ETA applications lodged online but a service fee of $AUD20 is charged for use of the ETA website.

Further information on the ETA can be found on the website.

If your family members hold a passport from an ETA eligible country and want to travel with you to Australia they must apply for their own ETA. This includes your children under the age of 18 who are included on your passport.

Further information on the visitor ETA can be found on the website.

Visitor (Business Stream) visa (Subclass 600)

Passport holders not eligible for an eVisitor or an ETA can apply for the Visitor (Business Stream) visa (Subclass 600).

More information on this visa is available on the website.

Note: If you are being paid by an organisation in Australia for your participation in a conference, trade fair or seminar you should apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Subclass 400 visa (see information below).

If you are an exhibitor at a trade fair and you are selling your goods or services directly to the general public you will need to apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Subclass 400 visa.

Each family member who holds a passport and wants to travel with you to Australia must apply for their own application. This includes children under the age of 18 who are included on your passport. The most appropriate visa for accompanying family members is the Visitor (Tourist Stream) (Subclass 600).

Further information on the Visitor (Tourist Stream) can be found on the website.

Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (Subclass 400)

If you are entering Australia to participate in a conference, trade fair or seminar and you are being paid by an Australian organisation for your involvement you should apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (Subclass 400) visa. This visa is usually valid for six weeks or less from the date you first enter Australia, but it can be granted for up to three months if the department agrees you need to stay for that time. You must arrive in Australia within three months from the date the visa is granted.

More information on this visa is available on the website.

This visa application can also include family members wanting to travel with you to Australia such as your spouse or dependent children.

Things to consider before lodging an application

Health and character requirements

All visa applicants must be assessed against Australia's health and character requirements. These requirements are designed to protect the safety and security of the Australian community.

Health requirements

As part of the visa application process you may be required to undertake a medical examination, chest x-ray and/or other health checks.

The department will advise you of the applicable health checks (if any), based on your individual circumstances.

Information on which health checks may apply to you is available on the website.

Character requirements

As part of the visa application process, you must show that you are of good character to pass Australia's character test. Information on the character test is available on the website.

If you are unsure whether you can pass Australia's character test because of prior criminal convictions you should lodge a paper-based application at the Australian visa office nearest to your current place of residence, at least four months prior to the event start date.

Contact information for Australian visa offices is available on the website.

Travel sanctions

For information on countries subject to travel sanctions, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website. Nationals of these countries may not be permitted to travel to and enter Australia.

Biometrics Program

From December 2010, Biometrics will need to be collected at an Australian Visa Application Centre for visitors lodging a paper-based visa application from the countries listed at the department's website.

Invitation and registration to attend the event

Although this is a separate process to lodging your visa application, when assessing whether you meet the criteria for the grant of a visa the department may take into account whether you are registered, or were invited, to attend the event.

Confirmation of registration, or a copy of your letter of invitation, should accompany paper-based visa applications.

Cut-off date for lodging paper based applications

All visitors should apply for a visa at least two months prior to the intended date of departure, and four months prior for people with character or health concerns.

Obligations of visa holders

On arrival at Australia's border you must identify yourself, present your travel documents, and complete an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). The IPC requires visitors to declare their health status and any prior criminal convictions.

If you do not meet immigration clearance requirements, you may be refused entry to Australia.

More information on immigration clearance processes at Australia's borders is available on the website.

You must comply with your visa validity and visa conditions while in Australia. When you receive your Australian visa you are issued with a visa grant notice that explains the conditions of the visa including period of validity and entry requirements. You are advised to carry this visa grant notice for your own reference.

If you breach these conditions, your visa may be cancelled.

If your visa expires while you are still in Australia, you become an unlawful non-citizen. Unlawful non-citizens are liable to be detained and removed from Australia.

Need help?

More information is available on the IECN website.