Home to 23 million inhabitants and almost eight million square kilometers of condensed beauty Australia is the preferred destination for water sport enthusiasts, wildlife lovers and adventure seekers from all over the world.
A trip to Australia is the ideal vacation experience. However, in order to enjoy your holidays to the fullest, there are some basic tips that can protect you from major health incidents. Although Australia is an incredibly safe country healthwise, it is highly advisable to visit a physician from four to eight weeks before your vacation starts in order to make sure that you are vaccinated against most common illnesses.
Before entering Australia, visitors are required to fill out a Travel History Card and present an International Certificate of Vaccination. If you come from a yellow fever infected country, you will be required to present a proof of yellow fever vaccination in order to visit Australia. For a full list of yellow fever infected lands, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Besides vaccination, there are many easy measures that can help you protect your health while travelling to Australia. To protect against the hard sun, make sure you regularly apply sunscreen to your skin, as well as covering the most delicate parts of your body during the warmest hours of the day. To protect against insect bites, which may be the source of specific diseases such as dengue and viral encephalitis, it is advisable to wear loose fitting- long sleeve clothing and to use insect repellent lotion, that can be found in any local pharmacy.
To visit the country you are required to fit the Australian travelling regulations. All visitors travelling to the country need to apply for an Australian visa through the website of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. There are five different visas for Australia, depending on your nationality and the length of your stay. For short stays, European passport holders are eligible for a free eVisitor visa that allow you to stay in the country for up to three months during a 12 month period. This type of visas must be applied for online www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/evisitor.htm with at least two weeks notice prior to the proposed date of travel. The parallel alternative for American and Canadian visitors, is the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA, 601). ETA’s must be applied for online through the Australian Department of Immigration www.eta.immi.gov.a and have a cost of US$20. If you wish to extend your travel visa for Australia once you are inside the country, you are required to apply for an Australian Visitor visa (600) that has an approximate cost of US$335. Make sure you apply for this type of visa with at least three weeks notice, as the application process can be long and complex. Regarding the arrival in Australian airports, the traveller regulations are usually efficient and straightforward, with the usual custom declarations. For detailed information about the custom procedure and the different visa requirements for Australia, please contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If you have any bureaucratic questions about how to get an Australian work permit, or you would like to know further information about Australian travel visas, please contact your closest embassy or consulate.