Australia business visa: Requirements, fees and more

Elle Kasser

Heading to Australia from Singapore for business? You’ll need to apply for an Australia business visa. This is your ticket to enter Australia for crucial business meetings, contract negotiations, conferences and much more.

In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to apply for a business visa for Australia from Singapore. We’ll cover the different types of visa, the documents you’ll need and of course, how much it costs.

And while you’re getting your visa sorted, why not look for cost-saving ways to manage your expenses during your trip? For example, open a multi-currency account with Wise and you can cover travel, accommodation and other expenses using your contactless multi-currency debit card. There are no hidden fees, and you can spend like a local in Australian dollars.

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But more on that later, as right now, you’ve got a business visa to apply for.

Table of contents:

Types of Australia business visa

As a business visitor to Australia from Singapore, you have two main visa options. The first is to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, and the second is a Business Visitor Stream visa.

There is also a third visa-free option - the APEC Business Travel Card, holders of which may not need a visa to enter Australia for business purposes.

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa¹

The Electronic Travel Authority visa gives you permission to visit Australia as many times as you like over a 12-month period. You can come and go between there and Singapore whenever you need to during the year, but the maximum time you can stay per visit is 3 months.

If you’re not sure of your plans yet, or want a more flexible visa, the ETA visa is the ideal option.

Business Visitor Stream visa²

This is a single-entry or multiple-entry visa specially targeted at business visitors to Australia. You can stay for up to 3 months to carry out business or employment enquiries, negotiate contracts, or take part in conferences or trade fairs.

APEC Business Travel Card³

Many business travellers from Singapore have an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card. This is a handy thing to have, as with it you may not need to apply for a business visa for Australia. If you have a valid APEC card with ‘AUS’ printed on the reverse, you may be able to enter Australia for a short business trip visa-free.

What documents do I need to apply for a business visitor visa for Australia?

To apply for either kind of business visa for Australia from Singapore, you’ll need to have scans or copies of the following documents to hand:⁴

  • Proof of identity (such as your Singapore passport or national identity card)
  • Proof that you are only planning a temporary visit to Australia. For example, a a bank statement showing that you have enough money to cover your stay and journey back home.
  • Business visitor documents, such as an invitation letter from a host organisation or conference registration details. You may be asked to outline your plans for your trip, provide evidence that your company is an active business, or for details of your Australian business contacts.

How to apply for an Australia business visa

You can apply for your business visa online, from the comfort of your sofa here in Singapore. You’ll need to create an online account, from which you can submit your application and pay the fee.

Or you can submit a paper application to an Australian Visa Office or using a visa application service delivery partner.

How long does it take to get an Australian visa?

The time it takes to apply for and receive your Australian business visa depends on whether you apply online, or using a paper application form. Online is usually quicker.

But on average, it takes between 6 and 12 days ² for visa applications to be processed.

Fees for Australia business visa applications

When you submit your visa application, you’ll usually need to pay a processing fee. The Electronic Travel Authority visa is free, but there is a fee of ~S$20 ¹ to apply online.

For the Business Visitor Stream visa, there is a fee of ~S$149 ² to pay.

Save money on business trip expenses with Wise

So, you’ve got your visa application in and are waiting to hear back. Now is a great time to make other essential preparations for your Australian business trip - such as finding the best way to manage your expenses on the move.

Open a business account with Wise for a borderless spending experience. Convenient, low-cost way to manage business and personal expenses in Australia, back home in Singapore or wherever you are in the world.

Use your multi-currency debit card for easy contactless payments, automatically converted to Australian dollars if you don’t already have the currency in your Wise account. Book meeting space, cover travel expenses or treat your clients to lunch - whatever you need to make your trip a success.

Start saving today with Wise

So, that’s it - all you need to know about getting a business visitor visa for Australia. Provided you have all the right documents ready, you should find the process relatively straightforward - especially if you apply online. Good luck on your trip!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Australian Department of Home Affairs - ETA visa
  2. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Business Visitor stream - Overview
  3. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Business Visitor stream - About
  4. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Business visitor stream - Step-by-step

Sources checked on 11 February 2021

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