As a result of an unprecedented number of telephone calls and correspondence that the Greek Community has received from our compatriots in Greece, we wish to stress that in accordance to existing Australian immigration legislation a person that wishes to enter Australia can do so for the purposes of holidays, study or to work in Australia. For your information we note the following:
This particular visa is issued for three months through travel agencies and airline companies that issue tickets to Australia or via the ETA website. In this case you will be issued with an ETA which is equivalent to a visa, but there is no stamp or label in your passport and there is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application. These visas expire within 12 months; however during your stay in Australia you may extend your visa by providing the Department of Immigration and Citizenship reasons and supporting documentation for extending your stay. For additional information in regard to the above please visit: http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/index.html
Please note that individuals who have been issued a tourist visa are not entitled to work in Australia. Therefore those who wish to visit must first explore the associated costs involved in living as a tourist in Australia in order to avoid the risk of working without a permit or becoming a victim of exploitation from various scrupulous individuals.
The time period for a student visa depends on the studies being undertaken by the applicant. For Greek citizens, student visa applications are generally approved within one month. We also note that in accordance with this visa pathway there is no age limit and its holder in entitled to work for 20 hours a week during the course of his study and additional hours during their vacation periods. Furthermore the institution that a visa candidate may wish to select should be officially recognised by the Department. Each institution offering the relevant course will charge an annual fee; these fees depend on the course itself. The provision of higher or tertiary education in Australia is not free. We note that during the course of study the student visa holder has the right to invite immediate family members to Australia. For more information please visit: http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/2.0.htm
Information in regard to other visa categories will be released soon due to the fact that as of 1st July 2011 the Department will be announcing changes to its legislation with respect to visas and permanent residency in Australia.