Join Date: Jul 2001
Information on Visas, Passports and Travel Advisories
A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country.
* A visa does not guarantee entry, that decision remains the right of the immigration officials of the country concerned.
* The immigration laws of most countries do not have provision for appeal. Some countries ask visitors to present return tickets and evidence of funds sufficient to cover the intended stay. Others have compulsory currency exchange regulations on entry.
* Some refuse entry to visitors who do not comply with requirements regarding general appearance and clothing, or visitors who are HIV positive.
Australians are advised that only the country you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about its specific visa requirements. Travellers should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the countries they plan to visit well in advance of travel.
Generally, Australian tourists planning to spend less than a total of 90 days (within a six month period) in the 'Schengen area' do not require visas from countries which are parties to the Schengen Convention.
The following countries are parties to the Schengen Convention : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Spain.
The following countries, which became members of the European Union on 1 May 2004, apply the same requirements for short-term visas as Schengen Convention parties: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Australians should be aware that the United Kingdom and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area. Australians should consult the nearest high commission and consulate of these countries for visa information.
Australia also has bilateral agreements with a number of countries in the Schengen area. These agreements may allow Australian tourists to stay for longer than 90 days however these agreements vary. Australians should obtain specific advice from each of the Schengen countries they intend to visit concerning their visa requirements if they think their stay may exceed the cumulative 90 day limit.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, if certain requirements are met. Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program.
For information on Visas for people travelling to other countries, go here
For all information on Visas for people entering Australia including guest workers, migrants, tourists and students, go here.
A passport is a travel document issued by a national government that identifies the bearer as a national of the issuing state and requests that the bearer be permitted to enter and pass through other countries.
Passports are connected with the right of some protection abroad by the government of the country of which one is a national, and with the right to enter the country of which one is a national. However, the right of protection does not arise from a passport, nor does the right to enter. Each right arises from nationality. A passport proves the nationality of the bearer, and, consequently, his right of protection and his right to enter.
Passports usually contain the holder's photograph, signature, date of birth, nationality, and sometimes other means of individual identification. Many countries are in the process of developing biometric properties for their passports in order to further confirm that the person presenting the passport is the legitimate holder.
Passports are usually required for international travel, though this is not always the case; they serve only as an internationally-recognised means of identification of the traveller. This requirement may be waived (the terminology may vary in different countries) in individual cases or for classes of travellers. For example, European Union nationals do not need a passport to travel within the Union, and, until recently, United States citizens could enter Mexico using a driver's licence as identification.
For information getting an Australian passport, renewing or replacing your passport, go here.
Travel Advisories Explained
Australians are keen travellers and each year make more than four million trips to international destinations. Many Australians also live abroad. Travelling or living overseas can be exciting and rewarding, but it also carries potential risks. Each year, approximately 20,000 Australians approach the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra and at our overseas missions for consular assistance.
To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, the Department maintains travel advisories for more than 160 destinations. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's travel advice provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas, enabling you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel. If you are living or travelling overseas we recommend that you subscribe to receive free automatic email notification each time the travel advice for your selected destination/s is updated. That way you can ensure that you have the latest information.
What is the purpose of travel advice?
Our travel advisories are just that: advice. They are not warnings. In addition to information about security, they provide useful, practical tips on travelling such as health, visa and local laws information.
In issuing travel advice we do not 'single out' countries. Rather, we maintain a travel advice on most countries that are popular destinations for Australians in all regions of the world.
We do not and cannot make decisions for you about whether, when or where you should travel. Our travel advisories aim to help you make your own well-informed travel decisions. Our advice is not mandatory.
Travel advice, like on-line registration of your travel details and travel insurance, are tools to help you avoid difficulties while travelling. We recommend all Australians check the travel advice for their upcoming destinations, both before leaving Australia and while travelling. You can subscribe to the travel advice for any destination, at no charge, to receive email notification each time the travel advice is updated.
For travel advisories and other consular information head here.
It's an extremely useful site, especially if you are heading to a more dicier country.
Registering with DFAT
All Australians travelling overseas, whether for tourism or business or for short or long stays, are encouraged to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before travel. The registration information provided by you will help us to find you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family emergency. It may also be used to pass other information to you such as, new Travel Advisories, notice of elections and information on other matters relevant to travellers and expatriates.
If you are travelling overseas or are currently overseas, go here.
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