Do I need a visa to travel overseas?

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 Flight Centre 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 Flight Centre consultant prior to departure.

CountryVisa required?Obtain visa in advance?Obtain visa on arrival?
Argentina  No, but a reciprocity fee of $US100 is chargedThe reciprocity fee must be paid prior to arrival on the Argentine Migration websiteNo
Austria* No   
Belgium*No  
Brazil  YesYesNo
CambodiaYesYes. 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 aireTA waver is required if arriving in Canada by air on or after March 15, 2016 
Chile  No, but a reciprocity fee is chargedNoYes, upon arrival at Santiago Airport. If travelling via a US entry point, you must meet US entry/transit requirements 
China  YesYesNo
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 2015YesNo
Fiji  NoNoVisitor 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 ArrivalYes. Eligible Australians can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation, or make an appointment online with the Indian Bureau of immigrationNo
Indonesia NoNoNo
Ireland  No  
Italy*  No  
Japan  No  
MacauNo  
Malaysia No  
Maldives  No  
Mexico  No  
The Netherlands*  No  
New Caledonia  No  
New Zealand  No  
Norway*  No  
Papua New GuineaYesYes. Contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of Papua New Guinea to obtain a visaNo
PeruNo  
PhilippinesNo  
Poland*No  
Portugal*No  
South KoreaNo  
RussiaYes. If you are on a cruise, special permissions are granted for ships that dock less than 72 hoursYes. Contact your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate No
SingaporeNo  
Solomon Islands  No  
South AfricaNo  
Spain*No  
Sri LankaNo, but you must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation visa waiverYes. Apply onlineNo
Sweden* No  
Switzerland*No  
TaiwanNo  
ThailandNo  
TurkeyYes, an e-visa is requiredYes. Apply online No
United Arab EmiratesNo  
United KingdomNo  
United States of AmericaNo, but you must apply for a visa waiver (ESTA) onlineYesNo
VanuatuNo  
VietnamYesYes. Apply with the Embassy or Consulate of VietnamNo

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

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