Applying for Australian Tourist Visa is easy breezy. Whether you have a family member, partner / boyfriend / fiance to sponsor or you’re someone who loves to travel, there are a lot of information online to help you get the visa to the Land Down Under.
First, there are two ways you can submit your application, online or personally in VFS.Global Philippines – through courier / postal (if you live away from VFS offices in Cebu and Manila). I applied online through Australian Government: Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Advantages in doing this includes: no courier / handling fee and avoiding traffic to travel to VFS office. Your sponsor can also help you upload documents if both parties are aware of the log in details.
You will be directed to a different page after clicking online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register.
After creating my account, I prepared all documents needed to be to be uploaded. Here’s the list of requirements philippines.embassy.gov.au/…/Subclass 600 Tourist Stream checklist – updated 24-06-2015.pdf.
In uploading your documents, please click border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Atta. 60 documents are allowed in a TV SubClass600. However, I collated similar information in each category to upload more in one go. You can see below how I named one file as Sponsor_Financial_Proof and included in that file are documents like bank statements, payslip and proof of accommodation from my sponsor. You can save each file in PDF, word or JPEG with maximum 5MB size per file. Please label each documents and photos accordingly. You may experience uploading documents twice like proof of identity (passport , BC), it’s normal, just put them in when needed.
I scanned all documents and some needs to be notarized like:
- Statutory Declaration (Commonwealth statutory declaration form [DOC 53KB]) from the sponsor
- Birth Certificate
There are a lot of notary public in the Philippines and it cost from Php50 to Php150 per document; price depends on the type of document. You can use your smart phones to take photos or scan documents. Free applications you can download on your phones itworld.com/…/8-best-scanner-apps-for-ios-and-android
Payment was done using credit card. Check this link for fees border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Fees. I started uploading documents after that; and also got an email confirmation from Immigration. I didn’t worry about completing the whole application in one go, as they allowed adding documents. I did go back a few times to add bits and pieces. I do recommend though to get the all important requirements be uploaded within a week.
My tourist visa SubClass 600 was sponsored by my fiance. Applying for a sponsored TV means;
- your sponsor must be eligible (financially & must be Australian citizen / resident) to support your stay in Australia – expenses, tickets, travel insurance etc. Documents that will prove this are: birth certificate, passport, statement, payslips, his/ her rent receipts / contract, or papers to prove that he/ she owns the house you’ll be staying. Other things that might help is a statutory declaration from the sponsor, stating that he / she is in relation to you and that he’s the sponsor(please see above form)
- you are related to your sponsor – whether he is a family member, friend, fiance, proofs are important. This includes, photos together, letters / emails for each other, messenger/skype/viber convos. If you are in a relationship (bf/gf, fiance) a brief history of the relationship will help. Birth Certificates if you are related by blood.
- Most importantly – the applicant’s strong ties to go back to his home country. This will include family, work and assets. Family – photos, BC. Work – Certificate of Employment, letter from your manager that you’re allowed for a vacation leave (include the dates), payslips. Assets – bank statement, investments, land / car / house titles / registrations.
Here are other things that might help:
- CoverLetter – from the applicant stating relationship with the sponsor, itinerary and reason for applying for the said visa.
- If you are already have a Fiance Visa application, you may indicate reference number in your letter. As having it doesn’t allow you to marry in Australia, until the Fiance Visa is approved. It also needs to be granted when the applicant is outside Australia.
Medical is only required when you are staying for more than 6 months. You have to wait for their advise when to get one. Or if you haven’t received any information about it within 2-3 days, you can click the HAPID button and get your reference number, email them that you applied for Visa for more than 3months stay and medical is needed. Usually they will reply within 5days and you may complete the requirements on the following accredited hospitals / clinics: border.gov.au/…/Help/Location/philippines. Applicants will undergo – x-ray and medical exam: border.gov.au/…rement/health-examinations. They will advise if the results are good or whether you need to do some additional tests. Results are forwarded to Immigration within 3-5 days. This clinic will advise you if there’s a need to go back for another check. You can also follow up if the results have been forwarded.
Tourist Visa can be a long wait. I received my visa grant notification after 35days .Others get it in less than two weeks. This depends on a lot of factors. People who apply need to make sure they have genuine motive of being a tourist and follow visa requirements and conditions.
I basically have to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow-up after 25days. Immigration does not recommenced booking the ticket / accommodation prior to application as this doesn’t guarantee approval, but we did it anyway and used it as one of the proofs. If you think that you have all documents and proof then you may do so.
Overall, applying is not as dreadful as it may seem. It’s the waiting game that gives you a bit of a nervous breakdown. I have never felt so nervous reading an email, but it’s worth it 🙂 opening the attachment was terrifying, but when I saw it was a visa grant, it was such a big relief.
**this is just to share my experience. I’m not a registered Immigration consultant or affiliated to company that can legally advise of any Visa application.