Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australian beaches, and more! These are just some of the iconic places that will put you in awe upon visiting Australia! Travelling to Australia has been made easy and affordable when the budget airlines Cebu Pacific Air started its regular flight to and from the Land Down Under.
However, remember that Philippine Passport holders are not allowed to travel to Australia visa-free. We need to apply for it and earn it. But we are telling you, it is so easy to apply! So, are you now thinking of travelling to Australia? We’re ready to be your guide in applying for your visa! We’ll try to share with you all our first-hand experiences here. Shall we begin?
So before applying for an Australian Visa, you should know the visa type and the subclass you are applying for. This article will focus more on the Tourist Visa Subclass 600, though. For more information on the visa type and subclasses, you can refer on the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
There are two ways to apply for Australian Tourist visa (subclass 600) – (1) Through VFS Global website and; (2) Online application. This article will focus more on the latter but either way, you must have these required documents:
- Applicant should be a Philippine Passport holder, we recommend that it is valid for at least six (6) months until your planned return date.
- Birth Certificate. This document will prove your identity and at the same time your age.
- Personal Evidence of Financial Capacity. These are “Bank Certification” and “Bank Statements” coming from the bank where you have an account. Just proceed to the bank. Let them know the purpose of requesting for these two documents, and they already know what to include in those documents.
- Evidence of Work Experience (if applicable). We have attached two (2) documents for this part. First is the “Certificate of Employment” (COE). A typical COE from your employer will do. And second, is the approval of “Personal Time Off” (PTO)/”Vacation Leave” (VL) Request – wherein it is stated the duration of approved PTO/VL Request.
- Employment Contract (if applicable). This document should have the signature of the employer and the applicant, and should be aligned with the details stated on the COE.
- Evidence of Invitation (if applicable). Invitation Letter, or others call it “Sponsorship”, is a huge plus points for the applicant. It only shows that there will be someone close to you that can look after you during your stay in their country. Invitation letter could be coming from an immediate family member, relatives, or even a family friend residing in Australia. Applicants can also attach the following documents from their sponsor(s): Certificate of Employment of the sponsor(s), Passport of the sponsor(s), and tenancy agreement (if possible).
- Evidence of Travel History (if applicable). These are the stamps the applicants collected from previous trips outside the country. This can be used as a proof that the applicant did not stay longer than expected and/or approved length of stay in other countries.
All documents are to be scanned, so we suggest to prepare all original documents. The Australian Government evaluates the applicant’s risk level through the documents the applicant submits. Just like in raffle draws, the more entries you submit, the higher chances of winning. Same goes in applying for your visa, the more documents you submit, the higher chances your application will be granted. And remember, always be true with your documents. Do not attempt to falsify documents, and attach it to your application.
Once the documents are ready, you may proceed in creating your account (ImmiAccount) in the Australian Government website. Each applicant should create their own individual account. Fill-up all necessary fields. Make sure that you use your most active e-mail account, as the Australian Immigration communicates with the applicant through their e-mail accounts. Make sure that you remember the password that you have set since you will be using it for the entire processing of your visa. Your ImmiAccount will be your gateway to Australia.
Once you have created and managed your account, you are now ready to start the application proper. Application proper is consists four (4) major steps. They are as follows:
- Filling-up the forms. Application proper starts in selecting “New Application”. Select the visa type and subclass that you are applying for (on this case, it’s Visitor Visa – SubClass 600). Once the applicant selected the visa type and subclass, a 20-paged form will appear. Applicants should fill it up correctly and truthfully. It serves as your application form. Take your time in answering the form. Make sure all necessary details are listed on it. Do not leave any item blank.
- Attaching Documents. Once the form has been completed, applicants should attach all supporting documents prepared previously. All documents should be scanned and properly labeled (we suggest that you include your name on the filename of each and every document).Attach and upload your documents accordingly.
- Submit Application. Before you submit your application, go back, scan the form from start until the last page, double check all attachments, and make sure you have not missed out anything. Once you have submitted the application, the next thing that you will wait for is if your application has been granted or not. After confirming that you have not missed out anything, hit that submit button.
- Pay the Processing Fee. Prepare your credit cards. Once the application has been submitted, it will prompt you to settle the payment. Visa Application costs approximately 5,000.00php per applicant (as of October 2016).
Now that you have submitted your application, the waiting game begins. For some cases, the results of the application are being released after a week or two. However, in our case, it only took less than 24hrs before we received our Visa Grant Letter. Others say that the duration of the process depends on the risk level of the applicant. Low-Risk Applicant gets their visa approved much quicker, and takes long for the High-Risk Applicant.
So that’s it! As we have told you, it is as simple as A-B-C. We do hope that we have fully guided you in your quest to travel Australia. Good luck fellow traveler!