While everyone has been planning their dream itineraries around Asia or Europe, there’s one country—nay, a continent—that you may not have considered yet: the Land Down Under. A unique place with outstanding natural sights, wildlife, and a bustling nightlife scene, Australia is just brimming with different places and experiences for you to visit from coast to coast.
There is just a wide range of activities you can plan for your visit: You may choose to spend a weekend with surfers at Bondi Beach, immerse yourself in the local third wave coffee scene in Melbourne, or see a kangaroo and a koala in the flesh!
With a country so large and diverse, there’s an experience for everyone in Australia. The best thing about applying for an Australian tourist visa is that you can conduct the whole application online. Here’s all you need to know about scoring an Australian tourist visa so you can visit the Gold Coast.
How to Apply for an Australia Tourist Visa
First, you need to determine which type of visa you need. For those visiting as tourists or on business, this falls under the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), which allows visitors to enter Australia for leisure or for business for up to three, six, or 12 months.
Travelers granted a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) can have a vacation, visit friends and families, undertake business visitor activities, and even study for up to three months.
You also need to create an ImmiAccount, an online service overseen by the Australian government where you can access the online requirements as well as the visa application process. You cannot proceed with the visa application without an ImmiAccount.
If you’re traveling in a group, only one needs to create an account. It’s also important to include a working email address that you actually use, as they send updates on your application through email.
These are the requirements when applying for an Australia tourist visa:
1. A Philippine passport with at least six months’ validity and with at least two blank pages.
Always remember to check the expiry date on your passport before submitting an application. Damaged or dilapidated passports will not be accepted.
2. An accomplished application form via the ImmiAccount website
You may access the online application form after completing your ImmiAccount registration. Questions on the form will include information such as personal details, reason for traveling, travel history, financial capacity, your purpose of visit and health conditions.
Remember to review all the information written in the fields to make sure that everything is accurate and complete. Do not click on Submit if you are not yet done reviewing your application.
3. A photo ID taken within the last six months
You are also required to submit a recently taken 45 mm x 35 mm ID photo taken against a white background. Your name must also be written at the back of the photo.
4. Your birth certificate from PSA
You are also required to submit your birth certificate issued within one year from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA, formerly known as NSO) Main Office or Serbilis Outlet Center. If your current last name is different from the one on your birth certificate because of marriage, submit your marriage certificate.
5. Previous and current travel visas
You will need to prove your travel history upon application. Scan all pages of valid and expired visas and stamps.
6. Daily schedule in Australia
When applying for your visa, you will be requested to submit a list of your itinerary in Australia that covers your entire stay. Even if you haven’t planned out your trip to the T yet, a general outline will do.
7. Provide evidence of your financial status and travel funds
It is highly encouraged to supply the printed version of your bank statement and bank certificate. You may also submit a copy of your ITR (income tax return), as well as other assets such as land titles, car registration certificate to show that you own properties in the Philippines.
8. A certificate of employment or an employment contract
You will need to submit a certificate of employment as well as a document approving your leave of absence. For business owners and self-employed people (like freelancers), you may submit your business registration documents, your ITR, as well as your project invoices. Students may submit their certificate of enrollment. If someone else is sponsoring your trip, submit that sponsor’s pertinent documents.
9. The visa fee
You may pay for the visa fee through credit card, debit card, PayPal, or UnionPay. As of writing, the visa fee costs A$145 (approximately P5047). Visit here for updated visa fee rates.
How can I increase my chances of getting my visa approved?
If you have your heart set on traveling to Australia soon, there are other documents you may submit, although not required, in order to strengthen your case. The following is a list of other supporting documents you may choose to submit with your application in order to prove your ties to the Philippines. Each applicant may submit up to 60 files, so feel free to submit other documents that strengthen your application.
1. Submit a cover letter.
While this isn’t required, a cover letter explaining your purpose of visit to Australia could help strengthen your case. Remember that there is no in-person interview required and everything is conducted online. Hence, a letter that details your intentions and covers your bases could help get that message across even better.
2. Apply for the visa at least three months before.
It is recommended to apply for the visa three months before your intended departure date in order to give ample time for the application to be processed.
3. Include your flight reservations.
In most cases, submitting copies of your flight and hotel reservations before having your visa approved is actually discouraged. However, in cases such as having been able to score discounted tickets, this could likely work in your favor as it further proves how you are able to afford your trip.
These tips could just help you score that much-coveted visa to the Land Down Under. Plan your vacation to Australia soon!