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Since I am a French citizen I can apply for the eVisitor (subclass 651) visa. However, there is something that seems a bit ambiguous. On the Australian government website it is written that with this visa you can stay: "for up to three months at a time within a 12-month period.​"

Does that mean that someone with this visa could spend 3 months in Australia, fly to another country, and then come back the day after to stay 3 more months? It seems more likely to me that in reality it means you can stay up to 3 months in total in Australia over a period of 12 months, but I still wish for another opinion on the matter.

I'd like to plan a year long trip to Australia. I'm currently looking at the different options to do that.

EDIT: I was able to confirm Newton's answer. It is possible to travel back and forth from Australia every 3 months with an eVisitor visa. However, Peter Green's comment was on point as well. The border guards were very inquisitive about my repeated visits. They searched my phone and my laptop. That was not a pleasant experience.

  • I'd read that as allowing a maximum of 90-92 days in any 356 day perid – Gagravarr Jul 19 '16 at 11:08
  • @Gagravarr Your reading would work without the "at a time" wording. – Berwyn Jul 19 '16 at 11:44
  • @jpatokal are you sure? Do you have any support for that position? Newton's answer seems to support Berwyn's point using a different source that also includes the word "each." – phoog Jul 19 '16 at 13:51
  • @phoog Whoops, you're right, I misread that! – lambshaanxy Jul 19 '16 at 23:00
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If we have a look at the "what can you do" section of the 651 (link https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/651-) it reads

Your eVisitor lets you: enter Australia for up to three months during each visit during the 12 months from the date the eVisitor is granted

So this seems that you can visit Australia for the next 12 months (the 12 months start the day the visa is granted); BUT you can stay there for only 3 months every time you go there.

If you're not married and plan to go alone have a look at the 417 too https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/417-

  • So if I understand this right, if for example I get my eVisitor visa the coming september. That means I can go there in october, stay for 3 months, go to japan for a week, come back to australia and stay for 3 months again. And repeat the process again until the september of the next year. Which is when I have to apply for a visa again. It may be my cynical side talking, but it seems a bit too easy. – Dryr Jul 19 '16 at 22:53
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    That is what it says on their website. But the best source would be them themselves. Call up the Australian Embassy and confirm it from them to sate your cynical side :D also I believe that it is very tough to get visas like these for a second time. Like if after the first year you want this visa again it would be much tougher because they would want you to come on a work visa or as a permanent resident (just a thought, not confirmed). – Newton Jul 20 '16 at 0:33
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    While applying online for an eVisitor visa with my ImmiAccount, I read the following line in the terms and conditions: "Your visa permits you to enter Australia as often as you wish within 12 months from the date the visa is granted and you may stay in Australia for up to three months each time you enter Australia.". So this confirms your answer. Yay! :D – Dryr Jul 21 '16 at 12:58
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    @Dryr some countries (the US and the UK spring to mind) don't put a formal limit on total time in the country BUT if you start packing in the visits you will have a harder and harder time convincing the border gaurds that you are a genuine visitor and not a resident pretending to be a visitor.. – Peter Green Sep 7 '16 at 22:28
  • I don't know if Australia is similar but it wouldn't surprise me. Remember in general visas do not gaurantee entry. – Peter Green Sep 7 '16 at 22:30

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