There are a number of visas available for people to visit Australia. As you are visiting Australia to attend the PIMRC'12, it is recommended that you apply for a Business Visa. The passport which you hold determines whether you can apply online, or if you need to lodge a paper-based application.
Passport holders from eVisitor eligible countries are able to apply online for a visa to travel to and enter Australia. The most common visa for these passport holders is the eVisitor (Business Stream).
Further information can be found at www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/evisitor/.
Applications can be made at www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/evisitor.htm eVisitor applications are free. A separate online application form is required for each family member who holds a passport from an EU eligible country and wishes to travel with you to Australia, including children under the age of 18 who are included on your passport.
* eligible passport holders also have the option of applying for an ETA through your travel agent, airline, specialist service provider or an Australian visa office outside Australia. Note, travel agencies may choose to impose a fee to arrange an ETA on your behalf.
eta eligible countries
Passport holders from Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) countries are also able to apply for a visa online to travel to and enter Australia.
* A Hong Kong Document of Identity (HKDI) cannot be used to apply for an ETA. Residents of Hong Kong require a citizen passport to apply for this visa.
** Holders of Taiwanese passports can only be processed for an ETA if residing and applying in Taiwan. Applications can be lodged with an approved ETA travel agent in Taiwan, or Australian visa services office in Taipei.
Further information can be found at www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/eta.htm.
Applications can be made at www.eta.immi.gov.au.
There is no visa application charge for this visa but a service fee of $AUD20 is charged for online applications and travel agencies may choose to impose a fee to arrange an ETA on your behalf.
A separate online application form is required for each family member who holds a passport from an ETA-eligible country and wishes to travel with you to Australia, including children under the age of 18 who are included on your passport.
All other passport holders need to submit a paper-based application for a Business (Short Stay) visa (subclass 456).
» on Form 456 Application for a Business (Short Stay) visa:
A visa application charge of $AUD140 will need to be paid when applying for this visa.
More information on this visa is available at www.immi.gov.au/skilled/business/456/.
For information about Australia's customs, please visit www.customs.gov.au/site/page4258.asp.
travelers cheques, cash, credit cards and currency exchange
American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted throughout Australia.
Most banks change foreign traveller's cheques. You will need to have your passport with you for identification. Fees for changing traveller's cheques may vary from bank to bank so be sure to check with your bank.
All major banks exchange foreign currency. Australian currency is decimal with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents equals one dollar). Plastic notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5 denominations. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, and $2 denominations. ATMs are widely available and dispense $20 and $50 notes only.
You may find this exchange rate calculator useful.
airport & transport
Sydney's central business district is 13km north of the airport and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach by car. Getting into the city from the airport is simple, with taxis and trains available at the airport terminals.
Taxis: Taxi ranks are located outside of the airport terminals. A taxi from the airport into the city will cost approximately $40 AUD. A taxi fare calculator is available at www.taxifare.com.au.
Trains: There is a train station located at both the Domestic and International Terminals. Trains run on average every 10 minutes during the day on a weekday and every 15 minutes on weekends. From the Domestic Terminal, it takes 10 minutes to reach Central Station and 20 minutes to Circular Quay. From the International Terminal it takes a few minutes longer. Lifts are available at both Terminals. A single adult fare from the Domestic Terminal to the City is $15.40 AUD, from the International Terminal it is $16.20 AUD. For further information on the service that the Airport Link provides, please visit www.airportlink.com.au
Sydney Airport offers a Travellers Information Desk, which can provide further information on transport options.
driving and public transport
Getting around Sydney is made easy with transport options including; trains, ferries, buses, light rail and taxis.
For information about public transport in Sydney, please visit www.131500.com.au.
For information about driving in New South Wales, please visit www.rta.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/internationalinterstate/
mobile phone coverage
Australia operates mobile telecommunications services using two digital technologies: 3G and GSM (Global System for Mobiles).
If you are thinking about bringing a mobile phone from overseas with you for personal use, you should check with your carrier or service provider (in your own country) to find out if there is a roaming agreement in force with an Australian carrier prior to travelling. Mobile phone providers in many countries have established international roaming agreements with carriers in Australia that allow their customers to continue to use their mobile phones in Australia.
Some features available on a mobile phone purchased overseas may not be supported by an Australian carrier and may not be available within Australia.
Dial 000 for police, fire, and ambulance emergencies.
This is a 24-hour service and is a free call from any private or public telephone. The operator will ask which service - police, fire or ambulance - and you will be connected.
Banks generally open from 0930 - 1600 hours Monday - Friday. General office hours are 0900 - 1700 Monday - Friday. Post Offices operate these hours; however stamps are often available from hotels. Most shops are open from 0930 - 1730 in Sydney CBD, and on Thursday's there is late night trade until 2100.
goods & services tax (GST)
Since 1 July 2000, Australia has adopted a new taxation system incorporating the Goods & Services Tax (GST). All prices quoted are inclusive of GST, unless otherwise specified.
Electrical current is 240/250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adaptor. If your appliances are 110V, check if there is a 110/240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.
Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the Meeting and book your travel you take out an insurance policy of your choice. The policy should include loss of fees/deposit through cancellation of your participation in the Meeting, or through cancellation of the Meeting, loss of international/domestic air fares through cancellation for any reason, loss of tour monies through cancellation for any reason including airline or related services strikes within Australia, failure to utilise tours or pre booked arrangements due to airline delay, Force Majeure or any other reason, medical expenses (including sickness and accident cover), loss or damage to personal property, additional expenses and repatriation should travel arrangements have to be altered. The Meeting Managers cannot take any responsibility for any participant failing to arrange their own insurance. This insurance is to be purchased in your country of origin.
For more information see the 'travel information' section on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website.
The time zone is Sydney is Australian Eastern Standard Time (commonly referred to as AEST).
A current valid international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever is required if passengers come from, or travel through, infected areas. Check this carefully with your airline or travel agent.
Australia introduced the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 in 2001. The Symposium Managers comply with such legislation which is designed to protect the right of the individual to privacy of their information. Information collected in respect of proposed participation in any aspect of the Symposium will be only used for the purposes of planning and conduct of the Symposium and may also be provided to the organising body or to organisers of future events. It is also usual to produce a 'Delegate List' of attendees at the Symposium and to include the individual's details in such a list. Consent for publication of the individual's information may be withheld when completing the Registration Form for the Symposium. Individuals are also entitled to access the information held by written application to the Symposium Managers.