Dreaming of seeing the iconic Sydney Opera House? How about exploring the Great Ocean Road? Surely, the Land Down Under gives you so many reasons to want to visit it. Where do you actually begin? For some people, it has to be the Australian visa application.
- 1 Australian Visa Types – Visitor visa (subclass 600)
- 2 Australian Visa for Filipinos
- 3 How to Get Australian Visa Online
- 4 How Much is an Australian Visa?
- 5 Australian Tourist Visa Requirements
- 6 How Long is the Processing of Australian Visa Application?
- 7 Visa Grant Letter
- 8 Australian Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
- 9 Australian Embassy Manila
Australian Visa Types – Visitor visa (subclass 600)
To start of, you should know the type of visa you need. If you’re not sure which one to get, you can use the Visa Finder tool from the Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs website.
This guide covers Visitor visa (subclass 600) – Tourist Stream. You can apply for this stream if you meet either of the following:
- You are outside Australia and you intend to visit as a tourist, your visit is for recreation or you will visit family and/or friends; or
- You are inside Australia and intend to extend your stay for the purposes of tourism, recreation, or to visit family and/or friends.
Note that the Visitor visa does not permit you to work in Australia.
Australian Visa for Filipinos
Many Filipinos who were granted Australian Tourist Visa would say it’s not that hard compared to other visas like Canadian or Schengen visa. I can personally vouch for that based from experience. Just make sure you submit complete requirements especially those documents that will prove you will go home after your intended visit (e.g COE, business registration) and that you will not work in Australia. Even so, there’s a smaller percentage of applicants that gets denied (true story, I know some).
How to Get Australian Visa Online
Australian visa application online is one of the most efficient and convenient visa applications you can come across. No need to visit the Australian Embassy or any authorized body to lodge your requirements. No need to print tons of documents. You don’t even have to submit your passport.
STEP 1: Sign up for an ImmiAccount
The first thing you have to do is to sign up for an ImmiAccount here. Make sure you create and handle your account well (provide correct e-mail, remember your password) as everything you need to accomplish for your Australian tourist visa application will be done here.
After successfully creating your account, you will receive an e-mail containing your username and the instruction to confirm your e-mail address.
STEP 2: Accomplish the Australian Visa Application Form
After your ImmiAccount has been set up and confirmed, you can proceed answering the online application form. Click on New application and select Visitor > Visitor Visa (600).
You can opt to not finish everything at once. You can simply save and update later. Once everything is complete, you can choose to Submit your form. Note that if you decide to finally submit your form, the type of stream you selected can no longer be changed (e.g. change from Tourist stream to Sponsored Family stream).
STEP 3: Attach your Documents
Depending on the visa stream you applied for and the answers you previously provided in the application form, you will be given a list of documents to submit. Hence, the documents vary from one applicant to another.
The documents are grouped into two – Required and Recommended. Even if it’s recommended only, it’s advisable to just submit them as well (especially if you already have them). Make sure to clearly scan all your documents and attach them one by one.
STEP 4: Pay the Application Fee
Lastly, pay the application fee. Payment is only made online.
How Much is an Australian Visa?
Australian visa application fee is AUD145 (PHP5400).
Australian Tourist Visa Requirements
As mentioned, submit all the documents you can (both required and recommended).
1. Passport-sized photo
2. Passport info page
3. Evidence of Applicant’s Previous Travel
You can submit visas from other countries that you have (both valid and expired). You can also attach entry/exit stamped pages (even from expired passport). Scan all your visas together. Scan all your passport stamps together. The visas and passport stamps are intended to be attached separately.
4. Evidence of Planned Tourism Activities in Australia
- You can download a sample Sydney travel itinerary here.
- Hotel Booking
- You can submit hotel bookings with free cancellation.
- Flight Ticket
- Not recommended to book prior to acquisition of visa. I took the risk of buying my ticket because of a seatsale so I was able to include it in my application. If you want a safer option, you can choose to have an online flight reservation instead.
6. Evidence of Financial Status and Funding for Visit
You can consider submitting any of the following proof of financial capacity. Provide all that you can (include others you have that is not in the list).
- Bank Certificate
- Bank Statement (Last 3 months)
- Stocks Certificate
- Payslip (Last 3 months)
- Property Title
7. Evidence of Current Employment or Self-employment
- For employees: Certificate of Employment (Better with role, tenure, and income), Evidence of Leave (I did not submit this one)
- For business owners: Business registration documents
8. Family Register and Composition Form
Electronically accomplish Form 54. On the signature part, you can affix your signature using Adobe Acrobat Reader (free tool).
How Long is the Processing of Australian Visa Application?
My application took a little more than 2 weeks. Based from my research, some applicants got theirs in a week’s time or less. While others waited for a month or so. Make sure you allot enough allowance for the processing time.
May 6 – Application submitted and paid visa application fee
May 22 – Grant notification
This is the longest visa waiting time I encountered so far so you can just imagine how anxious I am (And because I l already had a confirmed flight really soon). My heart almost fell when I finally received the e-mail notification for my visa grant.
Visa Grant Letter
Australia no longer issues sticker visa. What they give is Visa Grant letter that will be e-mailed to you. You can also download it from your ImmiAcount.
Make sure to print and bring it during your trip (during my visit, the immigration officer did not asked me for the hardcopy of the Visa Grant letter but better to bring one).
Australian Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
In the application form, there is a Proposed period of stay section with the question: Does the applicant intend to enter Australia on more than one occasion?
I answered No because denoting intention of multiple entry may be harder to justify. Since I already had plane tickets, I indicated in the application form my planned arrival and departure dates as specified in my flight itinerary. Don’t worry if you don’t have plane tickets yet, just add your target date of arrival and departure.
If you’re not sure of your schedule yet, it is also better to indicate a shorter period of stay as a longer one will entail you to show a bigger amount of money to prove you can fund your vacation (remember, Australia is an expensive destination). So instead of putting 2 weeks, you can simply indicate 1 week. Based from personal experience and research, the Australian embassy does not usually give extremely short amount of time for visa validity.
Even if I only expressed my intention for single entry, I was granted Multiple Entries for 1 year.
Australian Embassy Manila
Address: Level 23 tower, RCBC Plaza Tower 2, 6819 Ayala Ave, Makati, 1200 Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 7757 8100