Transit Visa (Subclass 771)

Do you have a long stop over in Australia than is no longer than 72 hours? You may need a visa. Besides, why spend all of your time in the airport or on the ship? Spend those hours exploring Australia instead with a Transit Visa (subclass 771). Have family or friends here? Pay them a visit.

The transit visa is for:

  • Those entering Australia by sea, passing through Australia on their way to another country (you will need a visa to enter Australia if your cruise begins or ends outside Australia and it visits Australian ports)
  • Those flying into Australia on their way to another country whose transit periods exceed 8 hours, who intend to leave the airport*
  • Those holding Taiwanese official or diplomatic passports

* As long as one does not pass through Immigration clearance, they are not considered to have entered Australia and will not need a visa.

These are some factors to take into consideration when deciding if you need to apply for a transit visa.

  • If passengers are required to pass through Immigration clearance and check in to their onward flight, including managing their luggage, they will require a visa to enter Australia. An appropriate visa for this purpose will need to be applied for and granted before travelling to Australia.
  • Overnight stays are not permitted at Cairns (CNS) and Sydney (SYD) airports. Passengers transiting overnight will need an appropriate visa for Australia to leave the airport to access overnight accommodation
  • Transit facilities at Adelaide airport (ADL) are only available for passengers arriving and departing on the same aircraft. However the transit lounge will be made available for other transit passengers if the airline provides advance notice
  • There are limited transit facilities available at the Gold Coast airport (OOL)

The transit 771 visa does not permit its holder to remain in Australia for more than 72 hours.


I don’t want to apply for a transit visa

You will be able to transit through Australia without applying for a visa if you are:

  • A citizen of Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (including its colonies), United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vatican
  • A resident of Hong Kong holding a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport or a British National Overseas (BNO) passport.
  • A resident of Taiwan holding a passport issued by the authorities of Taiwan (other than passports purported to be official or diplomatic passports).
  • Are a holder of an Indian official passport
  • Are a holder of a diplomatic passport holders, excluding holders of:
    • Arab Non-National Passports; and
    • Diplomatic passports from the following countries:
    • Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe


You must also:

  • Enter Australia by aircraft
  • Hold a confirmed onward booking to leave Australia to travel to your next country country on the same or another aircraft within 8 hours of arrival in Australia
  • Hold documentation necessary to enter the country of destination
  • Not leave the airport transit lounge except to continue their journey.

If you wish to leave the airport, you will have to apply for a transit visa, or if you hold an ETA eligible passport, apply for an ETA.

Learn: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)


Will leave Australia

To ensure that this visa is not abused, it is required that the application be accompanied with documents showing that the applicant has genuine intentions to leave Australia. Such documents would include:

  • The applicant’s itinerary
  • Confirmed bookings for the following part of their journey to the next country
  • Official documents of their visa for entry into the next country

If your entry into the next country is dependent on a ‘visa on arrival’, evidence must be provided that you are eligible for that visa. An example of a ‘visa on arrival’ is the Special Category 444 visa, a visa is automatically granted to New Zealand citizens on their arrival in Australia without need for application.


Health requirements

The applicant may also be required to undergo health checks as part of their application. This is a discretionary criteria and the applicant should wait until it is requested before going for a medical.

Health insurance may also be necessary to cover your stay if your country of passport does not have a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.



The applicant may also be required to provide biometrics

Learn: Biometrics



The transit 771 visa must be applied for outside of Australia and can only be granted if the applicant is outside of Australia. The applicant will need to go to an immigration office outside of Australia to lodge the application.

Find: Immigration offices outside Australia

This visa currently has a processing time of 4-6 days (DIBP website as of 18 October 2017) however should the DIBP request for more information or for medicals to be done, the processing time will be extended. It would be prudent to create some buffer time and apply for the visa more than a week before flying.

There is no provision for a further transit 771 visa to granted to extend the holder’s stay in Australia on the expiry of the initial transit 771 visa. If the applicant is making a round trip and will need to transit through Australia again, the applicant must apply for a separate transit 771 visa on those grounds.

As with any visa, if the applicant has a history of immigration in Australia of breaching the conditions of previous visas or that does not suggest that they would be a genuine temporary entrant, they may run into more difficulty in getting a visa grant.