Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

+Do I need to pay the visa service fee in advance? How do I pay?

Yes, we will only prepare your visa application and/or apply for your visa once we have received proof of payment of our service fee (including Australian Government visa application charge).

Payment of the applicable service fee can be made to in cash or at your local Swiss Post office or by ebanking to PostFinance account 60-357890-1, IBAN CH41 0900 0000 6035 7890 1 in favour of AITS clients’ account, CH-3852 Ringgenberg BE. Proof of payment (Empfangsschein/ Récépissé/ Ricevuta) or e-banking debit receipt (Zahlungsbestätigung/ attestation de paiement/ conferma de pagamento) must be provided with your application.

+I have applied for a visa for Australia. Will I get a visa label or sticker in my passport?

If you apply for an electronic visa via our office, we will send you a copy of the visa decision made by Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). If your electronic visa application is approved, you should travel to Australia with a copy of DIBP’s visa grant notice. A visa label or sticker in your passport is not required. The visa is linked electronically to the passport provided with your visa application, and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. Some nationals may be required to obtain a visa label or sticker in their passport, but our office will advise you if this is necessary.

+How do I check my visa entitlements using VEVO?

Your visa information is held electronically and you can access it at any time using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. You can check your visa entitlements on the VEVO system by entering your Transaction Reference Number (TRN), date of birth, passport number and nationality. Your TRN number can be located on your visa grant notification letter. Employers, banks and government services can also check details about your visa entitlements on VEVO once they have your consent to do so.

+I have been issued with a new passport since my visa was granted. What do I need to do?

Your visa is linked to the passport you provided with your application. If you obtain a new passport after your visa is granted, you need to provide a certified copy of your new passport to Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to enable DIBP to update your visa details. If you do not inform DIBP about your new passport, you may experience significant delays at the airport, and may be denied permission to board your flight to Australia. Please contact us for further assistance.

+Does my passport have to be valid for at least 6 months to enter Australia?

It is not a mandatory requirement that your passport is valid for at least 6 months to enter Australia. It is only a recommendation. It is a requirement of Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that your passport is valid for the duration of your intended stay in Australia. Although DIBP does not enforce the 6 month rule, some airlines do, so you may wish to check with your airline before you book your flight. Please also check with the countries through which you are transiting on your way to Australia.

+Can I travel to Australia on a one-way ticket?

Yes, you may enter Australia on a one-way ticket. You may be asked by a Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) officer on arrival at the airport about your plans for departing Australia. If you have a one-way ticket, you would need to satisfy the DIBP officer that you do not intend to stay beyond the authorized stay period of your visa. It may assist if you can demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to purchase an onward airline ticket out of Australia.

+Do I need to undertake any kind of health testing in order to be granted a visa for Australia?

If you are applying for a temporary visa, the question of whether you need to complete health testing depends on the visa class/subclass; your age; the length of your intended stay in Australia; the health / tuberculosis risk rating of your country; your intended activities in Australia; any special circumstances that apply; and whether you have any significant medical conditions. Health testing with an appointed panel doctor may be required in the following circumstances:

  • If you are 75 years of age or older
  • If you have spent more than 3 consecutive months in the last 5 years in a country with a medium / higher health risk rating
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition

Should health testing be required, we shall provide you with relevant forms and instructions. Please note that it may take longer to finalize visa applications where health testing is required.

+Can I drive in Australia with my Swiss/European Drivers Licence?

As a general rule, overseas drivers visiting Australia, who do not hold a permanent visa, will be regarded as ‘visiting drivers’ and can use their valid overseas licence to drive. Most Australian states and territories (the exception being the Northern Territory) allow visiting drivers to drive on their overseas licence as long as it is current. The person who is driving in Australia must carry the overseas licence with them at all times whilst driving along with an International Driving Permit or an English translation if the overseas licence is not in English. Please refer to the AustRoads website for further details.

+Can I bring /send food items as gifts for my family and friends in Australia?

Australia has strict quarantine restrictions that apply to many raw foods and certain processed foods brought through the airport or mailed to Australia. Please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for further details.

Working in Australia

+What is the definition of “work” for visa purposes?

“Work” is defined as an activity that, in Australia, normally attracts remuneration. Whether you receive a salary for your work in Australia is irrelevant. Work is strictly prohibited on a tourist visa. Please refer to our Work in Australia page for information about visas that permit you to work in Australia.

+I have a Swiss passport. Can I apply for a Working Holiday Visa? What other options do I have to work in Australia on a temporary basis?

To date, there is no Working Holiday Agreement in place between Australia and Switzerland. This means that nationals of Switzerland are unable to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Australia. One option is to combine studying in Australia with part-time work. Student visa holders are permitted to work in Australia up to 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks. Please contact us for assistance to enroll in an English language program, Certificate /Diploma program (6 – 18 months) or Study Abroad semester at an Australian university (6 – 12 months) in your preferred location in Australia.

To apply for a student visa, you must be enrolled in a full-time registered course of study (minimum of 20-25 contact hours per week). Please refer to our Study in Australia page for instructions to apply for a student visa.

If an Australian or overseas business has offered you a skilled position of employment in Australia, you may be eligible for an employer – sponsored visa. Please refer to Business (Long Stay) Visa tab on the Work in Australia page.

If you are aged between 20 and 30 years old and have located an Australian organisation that is prepared to offer you the opportunity to complete a work-based training program, you may be eligible to participate in the Trainee Exchange Program between Switzerland and Australia. Please refer to the Specialist Entry tab on the Work in Australia page.

+Can I work as a volunteer in Australia on a tourist visa?

Current policy advises that individuals wishing to undertake voluntary work (Freiwillige Arbeit/ Travail volontaire/ Volontariato) in Australia may do so on a tourist visa but only if the voluntary work:

  • is of benefit to the community
  • would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident (that is, is a designated volunteer position)
  • is genuinely voluntary (for example, no financial payment is received – board and lodging acceptable) and
  • is generally short term (that is, 3 months)

It is not appropriate to undertake unpaid work experience/internships on a tourist visa.

+I have been offered skilled employment in Australia. What visa should I apply for?

Should you have a firm job offer for a skilled position from an Australian employer, you may be eligible for an employer sponsored visa for Australia. For an assessment of your eligibility to meet criteria of an employer sponsored visa, please register for our Pre-assessment Visa Service by completing our Online Enquiry Form.

Online Enquiry Form

+I have no job offer in Australia. What visa should I apply for?

Applicants are not required to be sponsored by an Australian employer to meet eligibility criteria of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. GSM applicants must be aged less than 50 years at time of applying. The GSM program focuses upon an applicant’s educational qualifications, employment experience, English language skills and nomination by participating State/Territory Governments. With the implementation of the SkillSelect model, applicants must first submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI) to DIBP and receive an invitation to apply for a GSM visa by DIBP.

For an assessment of your eligibility to meet criteria of the GSM program, please register for our Pre-assessment Visa Service by completing our Online Enquiry Form.

Online Enquiry Form

+I would like to undertake an internship in Australia. How can I do this?

To complete occupational training in Australia on a temporary basis, your training institution needs to be an approved occupational training sponsor. The sponsor also needs to nominate the training position, and you, as the visa applicant needs to apply for an Occupational Training visa.

To enable our office to assess your eligibility, please contact us and provide the following information full details of your training position in Australia (name and address of employer, training program details, requested start date, duration of training, ) together with your CV.

If you are a student or professional seeking to complete specialized training or an internship  in Australia, please contact us for information about internship programs with Australia’s leading organisations/employers. Placement fees apply, and periods of internship are unpaid.

+How do I qualify for a second Working Holiday Visa?

Should you complete a minimum of three (3) months of specified work in regional Australia whilst on your first Working Holiday visa, you may be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa for Australia. Specified work is defined in the Migration Regulations and includes work in industry sectors of plant and animal cultivation, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, mining, or construction. The specified work must be carried out in a designated regional area. Examples of eligible specified work includes picking fruit in orchards, feeding and herding cattle on a farm, horse breeding and stud farming, landscaping the grounds of a construction/house site, painting the interior/exterior of new buildings, conservation and environmental re-forestation work, zoo work involving plant or animal cultivation, erecting fences on a construction site, scaffolding, construction work in regional disaster zones such as demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing, earthmoving.

Please contact us for instructions to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa.

 

Studying in Australia

+What is a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)?

The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is an official document issued by your CRICOS registered Australian school/educational institution confirming your enrolment in a full-time registered course.

The CoE has the official Australian Government emblem on the top of the page and a registration number (generally a mix of numbers and letters). You will usually receive your CoE once you pay the tuition fees for your course.

We cannot apply for your student visa without a copy of your CoE.

+How long can I stay in Australian on a student visa?

A student visa allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your course and can be granted up to the maximum duration outlined in the table below:

Duration of CourseDuration of Student Visa
10 months or lessYour visa will be granted for one month longer from the end date of your course.
Longer than 10 months (finishing January – October)Your visa will usually be granted for two months longer from the end date of your course.
Longer than 10 months (finishing at the end of the Australian academic year: November – December)Your visa will usually be granted up to March 15 of the following year.

+I am applying for a student visa, but wish to stay longer in Australia than my visa will allow so that I can enjoy an extended holiday. How do I arrange this?

It is only possible to hold one Australian visa at one point in time. If you wish to remain in Australia after the authorised stay period, you need to apply for another visa before your current visa expires. Please contact us if you wish to apply for another visa to extend your stay in Australia.

Applicants who stay in Australia beyond the expiry date of their current visa without lodging a valid visa application for a further stay, will become “illegal non-citizens”. The consequences for such persons are serious and include removal, detention and/or exclusion from Australia for a specified period of time.

+I already have health/travel insurance. Do I have to pay for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

Yes, student visa applicants must obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the proposed duration of their student visa. If you extend your stay in Australia, you must renew your OSHC policy. Information about OSHC is available at Australian Government Department of Health and Aging website.

+I would like to study in Australia, but have not yet found a suitable course. Can you assist me?

Australian university graduates at our office can assist you to identify programs of study in Australia to facilitate your educational or career goals. Please contact us should you require assistance to identify and/or enroll in an English language program; Certificate/Diploma program (6-18 months) at TAFE; Study Abroad semester at an Australian university; or an undergraduate or postgraduate degree program at an Australian university.

 

Not So Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a selection of some funny questions we have answered over the years at Australian Immigration and Trade Services:

  • I hear all Australian women are beautiful. Is it true and if so, can you send me pictures of the available ones. (From an Italian Client)
  • I want to go swimming on October 20th at Bondi Beach. Will I turn blue? (Germany)
  • Which direction should I drive – Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth – to avoid driving with the sun in my Eyes? (Switzerland)
  • I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – Can I follow the railroad tracks? (Switzerland)
  • Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
  • Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)