Short Stay Business Visitor Visas

Short Stay Business Visitor Visas are:

  • Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601); and,
  • Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)

About These Visas

Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) & Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)

The Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) & Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651) are temporary visas allowing business people, who are outside Australia, to visit Australia for a short-term business purpose to:

  • make general business or employment enquiries;
  • investigate, negotiate, sign or review a business contract;
  • carry out activities as part of an official government-to-government visit;
  • participate in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, without being paid by the organisers for their participation.

The visa is usually granted for a short term stay of up to three months on each visit.

Applicants must hold a passport from an eligible country to apply for these visas.

Applicants must be outside Australia at the time of application and at the time of decision.

Permitted Business Activities 

Short Stay Business Visitor Visas are intended for genuine business people seeking a short-term entry to Australia for business purposes. The purpose of the applicant’s visit must be consistent with their personal attributes and business background and generally relate to their existing business activities (whether in or outside Australia). There should also be a demonstrated need for the applicant to be in Australia for business purposes.

Short Stay Business Visitor Visas are not intended for unskilled / semi skilled labour, or as a way of avoiding the requirements of the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa.

Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) & Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)

Permitted business short stay activities include visiting Australia for:

  • making general business or employment enquiries;
  • investigating, negotiating, signing or reviewing a business contract;
  • carrying out activities as part of an official government-to-government visit;
  • participating in conferences, trade fairs or seminars, as long as they are not being paid by the organisers for their participation.

Working or providing services to a business or organisation in Australia or selling goods or services to the public is not permitted. If the intended activity is carrying out short-term work in Australia, the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa (Subclass 400) is the most appropriate visa.


To determine eligibility and to apply for Short Stay Business Visitor Visas refer as follows:

Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601)

The Business Visitor ETA is available only to passport holders of designated countries.

Check this link to apply:

You must have a valid passport to apply for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. Your visa is linked to the passport number you use in your application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia.

Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)

The Business eVisitor visa is available only to European passport holders.

Check this link to determine eligibility and apply:

A multiple entry Business Visitor ETA and Business eVisitor visa may also be issued by a travel agent.

Payment of a fee is by credit card and passport details must be provided.

There may be a small fee that the travel agent will charge for arranging the visa. The visa is issued electronically and will not appear in the passport. The visa is linked to the passport and can be accessed by airlines and the Department of Home Affairs. It is important that the traveller confirms with the travel agent that the visa has been granted - the travel agent is able to print a confirmation advice and this should be carried with the passport.

Short Stay Business Visitor Visas do not permit ongoing work

Short Stay Business Visitor Visas:

  • are not intended to be a work visa. Short-term work is only permitted in strictly limited circumstances for the grant of a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa (Subclass 400);
  • do not involve Temporary Business Entry Business Employer Sponsorship Obligations enforced through the Department of Home Affairs Monitoring to offer protection from exploitation to visa holders and protect the interests of Australian workers;.

The most appropriate visa for people who are primarily travelling to Australia to undertake skilled work is the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa.

The Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa contains a range of safeguards including the Department of Home Affairs monitoring designed to ensure Business Sponsors are aware of their Business Sponsorship Obligations and abide by them when bringing overseas skilled workers to Australia.

Such arrangements provide protection for overseas workers from exploitation, i.e. through underpayment, excessive work hours or under award conditions.

To fill ongoing positions, an application for a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa is the most appropriate visa.

Entry and exit from Australia

A Short Stay Business Visitor Visa may:

  • be granted with a multiple entry facility with a validity period of 12 months, or more;
  • permit a stay upon each entry up to a maximum of 3 months without any possibility of extension of stay in Australia;
  • require the holder to depart Australia within three months of their entry - this is readily ascertainable by reference to the passport entry and departure stamps;
  • following overseas departure and re-entry to Australia permit a further stay of three months;

In this case the visa holder may be absent from Australia for a short period, being as little as the time taken to fly to an overseas destination and return to Australia on the next available flight.

Notwithstanding this short absence to recommence a further three month permitted stay in Australia, Migration law and the Department of Home Affairs Policy Guidelines empowers Australian Border Control Officers to assess whether a visa holder's entry to Australia satisfies Migration Law and the Department of Home Affairs Police Guidelines to Australia on a multiple entry Business Short Stay Visa.  For example, a one week stay, followed by a one week absence followed by a further attempted entry may result in a visa holder being refused entry because the Border Control Officer determines that the proposed business activities did not satisfy Migration law and the  Department of Home Affairs Policy Guidelines.

Migration law and the Department of Home Affairs Policy Guidelines are not purely objective. A great number of subjective judgements are made in assessing the lawfulness of a proposed entry to Australia, particularly for Business Visitor visa holders.

It is essential for all Business Short Stay Visa holders to demonstrate on each entry to Australia that they satisfy Migration law and the Department of Home Affairs Policy Guidelines.

A Business Short Stay Visa is not intended for repeated extended stays in Australia. A Business Short Stay Visa holder intending to do so should consider applying for a more appropriate visa to suit their purposes.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (up to 4 years)

Expatriates who arrive in Australia holding a Short Stay Business Visitor Visa may be eligible to apply for the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa while in Australia provided their Business Short Stay Visa does not have the Visa Condition 8503 No Further Stay.

Applicants who enter Australia holding a Short Stay Business Visitor Visa, but whose circumstances change and it is necessary that a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Visa be obtained should proceed promptly to arrange a change of their visa status.

Arrival in Australia

On arrival in Australia, the Short Stay Business Visitor visa holder will complete an Incoming Passenger Card. It is important the card is fully completed.

A sample Incoming Passenger Card is as follows:

    Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) & Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)

    It is particularly important to indicate:

    • no intention to live in Australia for the next 12 months;
    • intended length of stay in Australia will not exceed 3 months - indicate the time to be spent in Australia;
    • the purpose of the visit is “Business”.

    Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holders who describe their proposed activity in Australia as work or employment may be refused entry to Australia if the Border Control Officer is not satisfied a business visit is intended.

    Every person seeking entry to Australia is asked questions about their health and their criminal history.

    Criminal convictions

    If a Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holder has had any criminal convictions in any country, they may wish to consider applying for a Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa (Subclass 400), rather than a Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) or Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651) as a Business Visitor Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) & Business eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651) holder with criminal convictions may be refused entry on arrival in Australia.

    Health Insurance

    Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holders are recommended to take out health and /or travel insurance each time you travel to Australia. You will not be covered by Australia's national health scheme, unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Reciprocal medical arrangements exist with some countries

    The Australian Government has RHCA with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta, Italy, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.

    Refer to the Medicare Australia website for the list of countries and further information on RHCA.

    Compliance and Risk Management

    Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holders are subject to higher scrutiny at Border Control on entry to Australia.

    Border Control Officers frequently interrogate Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holders and search their mobile devices e.g. mobile phones, tablets and laptops to examine their intended activity in Australia.

    Should interrogation or evidence found on mobile devices lead Border Control to conclude the Short Stay Business Visitor Visa holder has been working in Australia or intends to work in Australia, their visa may be cancelled.

    In this event the Short Stay Business Visitor will be required to immediately depart Australia with the imposition of a ban period on their temporary entry to Australia for up to 3 years.

    Professional Consultation

    We recommend a professional consultation to discuss the abovementioned information and to review your eligibility.

    A professional consultation will enable us to explain the process comprehensively, appropriate options and strategies, timelines and costs and your prospects of success.

    Please refer to consultation page.




    "Strategic Migration was really helpful to me when I wanted to ensure the safe entry into Australia for a person wanting to visit our company here in Australia from Singapore. Strategic Migration provided me the necessary information to make sure I did this properly with a Business Visitor Visa. The Team of Philip, Maria and Tony were super helpful in any queries I had. I always feel comfort in dealings with them via email or equally on the phone. I have used them before and I was impressed with their consistently high service levels. Needless to say I always consult them in each instance because of changing immigration laws in Australia and for sure I will use Strategic Migration again. Please do try them."

    Andrew Simic
    Business Controller at Weidmuller Pty Ltd

    Immigration News

    For news of the Business Visitor Visa and other news about Australian Migration, please refer to the Immigration News page.

    Disclaimer: This website contains information relating to some of the abovementioned visa categories and has been sanctioned by a Registered Migration Agent. The information is for general guidance only and readers should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their personal circumstances before taking any action. Strategic Migration expressly disclaims any liability should the reader act without a professional engagement with Strategic Migration under which you have.