Can my Thai girlfriend (soon to be Fiance) get an Australian tourist visa as I would like her to visit me in Australia to see if she likes it. If she does, I would like her to move out here permanently with me, with a view to getting married. I have visited her many times in Thailand…
Australia is one of the most popular tourist destination on earth, and as such Australia welcomes millions tourist from all corners of the globe every year. It is open to anyone to apply for an Australian tourist visa. However depending upon the passport you hold, this will indicate the most suitable kind of tourist visa you should apply for.
There are currently in excess of 150 different types of Australian visas, some of these visas allow for temporary entry to Australia, and others allow holder to enter and remain in Australia permanently. These are known as Australian permanent visas.
Tourist visas are in the category of temporary visas which means that the person holding that visa must depart from Australia prior to that tourist visa expiring or if permissible by their current tourist visa apply for another visa or an extension.
It is very important to note that if you overstay in Australia you will become an unlawful non-citizen, and subject to removal. This can also have damaging consequences on any future visa application.
Tourist visa subclass 676
Currently Thai citizens are not eligible to apply for what is known as an ETA visa (electronic travel authority). They therefore must make a paper application for a visa if they want to visit Australia for tourist purposes. The most common visa for Thai nationals is known as a subclass 676 tourist visa. In most circumstances this will be the most suitable visa for your Thai girlfriend to apply for. Though, if your Thai girlfriend has family members residing in Australia who are either Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents then it is certainly possible that she may be eligible to apply for a sponsored family visitor visa (subclass 679).
In nearly all cases however the subclass 676 tourist visa is the most suitable visa for your Thai girlfriend to apply for. Whether you Thai girlfriend applied for a tourist visa or a sponsored family visitor visa, she must be able to clearly evidence that her intention is to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only. If not her application must be refused.
A carefully and well prepared Australian tourist visa application will include not just the required application form but supporting documentation that visibly evidences that the applicant has a an intention to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only.