I’ve been to Australia thrice, and I’ve always been meaning to write this post as I know a lot of you are wanting to know how to get an Australian Tourist Visa from the Philippines. So here it is.
This post will focus primarily on how to submit an application online as I’ve never experienced going through VFS Global. Also, this post rely heavily on my own experience of applying for a tourist visa. I am not an immigration expert, I’m merely someone who wants to share the process I had gone through when I submitted my own application.
Below are the steps and some tips on filing an online application for Australian Tourist Visa to help you get a high probability of application approval:
1.Know the right type of visa to apply for. If you are visiting Australia temporarily as a tourist, or to visit family for a short period, you need a Visitor Visa Subclass 600. If you’re still unsure, you can check out this website. (This post will be about the Visitor Visa Subclass 600)
2. Have your passport ready. When applying for a visa online, you will be asked a lot of information about your identity. It is good to have your passport with you as of course, you can’t have mistakes when applying for a visa. I mean you could, but having to amend some things later could be a hassle or worse, you could get denied a visa!
3. Create a new application. Log on to the ImmiAccount website. The link to the website is: https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login. If you don’t have an account, you need to create one to lodge an application. Once you login, you can now click on New Application to begin the process.
The application consists of several parts, but they are pretty straightforward. You will be asked about the following (not necessarily in the same order):
- Passport details
- Traveling companions
- Residential and contact information
- Visit details
- Relatives or contacts in Australia
- Your employment status
- Health, character, and general declarations (you will be asked questions)
- Visa history
I might have left out a few other small things, but the above list pretty much sums up the entire application form.
4. Review the application form. Once you’ve gone through all the pages in the application, you will be asked to review. I suggest printing it out so you can get a better look. It’s very important that you don’t leave out any questions, and that you’ve answered honestly in all of them. Double check your personal details like your name (God forbid you make a mistake on that one!), and your passport number. It just pays to be careful.
5. Upload supporting documents. When you get to the part where you can upload your documents, it would tell you right away which ones are required to be submitted. They may differ depending on the application, but usually, they are:
- Proof of identification
- Travel documents
- Proof of previous travels
You can submit more that what is asked if you think it will support your application. You can upload a maximum of 60 files (if I’m not mistaken). The following are the things I’ve submitted for my previous applications:
- Scans of travel stamps on current and old passports
- Copy of passport (ID page)
- Bank certificates and bank account statements
- Certificate of employment
- Letter from employer
- Copy of other visas
- Business name registration
- Birth certificate
- Letter of invitation from my sister
- My sister’s employment contract, proof of residence, IMMI Grant (she is a permanent resident)
I’ve read that some people actually have their documents notarized before scanning and uploading. I didn’t do that but was still given a visa. I don’t know if it has any merit to doing it whatsoever. If it makes you more comfortable, you are welcome to do so.
6. Pay for your application. Once you’ve uploaded all the required and supporting documents, you can proceed to payment. You can use a credit card to pay for the visa fee of AUD140.
7. Submit your application. When you’re done with payment, you can proceed to submit your application. Once you do, you will be sent an automated email saying that an application was submitted and that it will be reviewed by an officer.
I’ve read so many stories about turnaround times and they vary depending on the application. Sometimes they’re longer (up to about a month or more), sometimes, they go as fast as 4 days. In my experience, the longest I’ve waited was 10 days, and the shortest waiting time was 5 days. I guess they get faster if you’ve already gotten a visa before and did not violate any visa rules or anything, or if you have existing visas from other countries like the US (my parents have a US visa and they got approved in 5 days on their first application).
The Australian tourist visa online application process is so simple and hassle-free. Ultimately, you just need to make sure that you have all the needed documents prepared before you submit your application and then wait for your visa (and pray hard you get approved!).
Again, this post only serves as a guide on how to apply for a tourist visa online based on my personal experience. I do not guarantee that you can get a visa by following my guidelines as I do not know exactly how the immigration officers review the visas and what considerations they have (aside from the obvious ones I’ve included in this post) before issuing or denying a visa.
For my other articles about Australia, click here.