AUSTRALIA VISA: Requirements + How to Apply Online

One sure way to make us smile is to mention Australia. Whenever a friend asks us a simple question about our time there, we can’t seem to stop talking passionately. Australia is incredible. It may be the world’s smallest continent, but it is teeming with adventures.

Within a month, we were able to visit four cities (Darwin, Sydney, Cairns, and Brisbane), three towns (Alice Springs, Yulara, Airlie Beach), and five national parks (Litchfield, Kakadu, Wattarka, Kata Tjuta-Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef). It is the most unforgettable trip we have been on to date, and we can’t wait for our readers to experience what the Land Down Under has to offer.

Fortunately, it is easy to get an Australian tourist visa. While you can still apply via VFS Global, a more hassle-free way is to do everything online.

     

First, let’s look at how Australia defines a “tourist.” The visa type you need is called “Visitor visa” (subclass 600). Under this visa, there are two streams: Tourist and Business. According to VFS, a tourist is a person visiting Australia temporarily “for a holiday, for a visit to relatives or friends, or for other short-term non-work purposes, including study for less than three months.”

The visa that we got was valid for 3 months, and must be used within 6 months of issuance.

Note that this post is for Filipino citizens applying for an Australian TOURIST Visa. If you’re eyeing another type (long-term study, business, residency visas), I’m afraid we can’t help you because we haven’t experienced it.

Here’s exactly how we did it.

Australian Immigration Website Interface
Australian Immigration Website Interface

 

1. Sign up for an ImmiAccount.

ImmiAccount means an account with Immi.gov.au, the Australian government’s official Immigration website. It is important to create an ImmiAccount because the whole process will be done on this website.

Important: Make sure you use a working email address. Any update about your application will be sent to this email (including the acknowledgment of receipt of your application and the actual visa grant). You will also get notified every time you log into your account.

To register, go to this site.

 

2. Accomplish the Application Form.

Once you have an account, you’ll receive a confirmation link via email. Check your inbox and follow the link.

Once confirmed, you may start filling out the application form. This is the equivalent of Form 1419 (Application for a Visitor visa – Tourist stream), except you don’t need to print this out. It will retain the information you enter as long as you save them.

What if you start accomplishing the form but can’t complete right then? It’s okay. You can SAVE the changes and continue editing in the future. As long as you SAVE it (and NOT SUBMIT), you can keep on editing the form.

DO NOT SUBMIT THE FORM if you’re not done yet.

3. Pay the Application Fee.

Online payments are done via credit card only.

If you have one, good for you. The fee is now AUD 135 (PHP 5387) (although at the time I applied, the fee was only AUD 130). A credit card surcharge was also collected. (In my case, it was AUD 1.34.)

If you don’t have a credit card, you can ask a family member or a friend who has one.

Can you pay even without submitting the supporting documents? Yes. You can upload the additional docs later.

 

4. Submit Supporting Documents.

On your application dashboard, you will find a field where you can upload the required and not-required-but-great-to-have documents. The key is to submit as many types as you can. Better safe than sorry.

Here a list of SCANNED items that I believe are of utmost importance.

  1. Info page of passport.
  2. NSO birth certificate.
  3. Passport-size photograph
  4. Bank statement. To prove that you have the financial capability to do this trip.
  5. Certificate of employment (if employee) or Business Registration (if self-employed). To prove that you have something to return for in the Philippines.
  6. Previous and Current Visas. We scanned all the pages of our old and current passports that have stamps.

Here are more documents that I did not submit because these didn’t apply to me, but if they apply to you, make sure you have them.

  1. Letter of invitation. Only if you’re visiting a friend or relative. Best if you have photos with that friend and relative showing that you really know each other.
  2. Identification Documents of Sponsor. If you declare that your trip will be paid for by someone other than yourself.
  3. Marriage Certificate. If your current last name is different from your last name in your birth certificate.

Here are additional documents that are not required but I believe can help your application go smoothly. (I submitted the following.)

  1. Cover Letter and Itinerary. This isn’t required, but it would help you a lot if you upload a letter explaining why you want to visit. Make sure that the letter summarizes and supports everything else you’re submitting. Remember, there will be no interview so it is best to let them know what you plan to do in Oz.
  2. Recent payslips or copy of Income Tax Return (ITR). To prove that you are employed and have the financial capability.
  3. Roundtrip flight and hotel booking. You are actually discouraged to book flights and hotels before you’re granted a visa (so your money won’t go to waste should your application be denied), but in our case, we already had confirmed bookings so we thought we might as well submit them. This might be helpful if you snagged low fares via seat sale. But if you don’t have tickets yet, don’t book. Wait for your visa before making flight arrangements.

I know friends who also submitted their latest credit card statement. This is to show them that you have additional source of travel funds. I have a credit card but didn’t submit mine.

 

That’s it! Once you have submitted your application, you should receive an Acknowledgment of Application Receipt in your email. I got mine on the same day of submission.

From here, it’s gonna be a nerve-racking waiting game. Note that they will never give you an update from the moment you submit until a decision is made. This means that the next email you’re going to receive from them will tell you whether you have been granted or denied a visa.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will I be informed of the results of my application?

The processing can take a few days to one month, depending on your case. Ours took almost a month. I submitted my application on May 9 and received my visa on June 5. This was in 2015.

However, it seems like it’s much faster lately. Some of our friends who had applied in the past year got theirs after only 1-2 days!

 

2. How long is the validity of the Australian visa?

In my case, even though I applied for a 3-week stay, I was granted a visa valid for 3 months. I think that’s the standard length for non-working visas.

 

3. How early should I apply for an Australian visa?

Not earlier than 6 months before your trip. In the visa, the last day I can enter Australia was clearly specified: 6 months after the visa was granted. Again, I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but that’s what was indicated on mine.

 

4. How much money should I have in the bank to get approved?

No one knows exactly. They don’t explicitly say. But to give you an idea for a ballpark figure, the Embassy of France now requires from Schengen visa applicants EUR 120 per day of stay.

 

5. What are the reasons why my application would be denied?
  • You can’t prove that you intend to return to the Philippines. You probably don’t have a stable job at this point or are newly employed or newly resigned, and it’s giving the impression that you plan on staying longer than your declared duration.
  • You can’t prove that you can financially support yourself on this trip. You or your sponsor may not be in good financial standing.
  • You seem to not know the details of your trip. You may have appeared as though you’re not really doing what you declared you would be doing, which may raise some red flags.
  • Your purpose in Australia is unclear. This is why it is best to be specific when you’re detailing the reasons for your visit.

 

6. What does an Australian Visa look like?

Here’s what the Australian Visa looks like when you receive it online. It doesn’t get attached to the passport. Just bring a copy and show the Immigration Officer when you arrive:

 

If you have questions or something to add to this post, holler in the comments section below! 🙂


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Comments

  1. Backpacking Buds says:

    This is going to help us so much with sorting out our Aussie visas! Thanks for the informative post guys, much appreciated.

    Kyle 🙂

  2. Rcliza Mae Co says:

    Hi Yoshke,

    What is a notarized NSO birth certificae? Is it the yellow green document?

    Also, what is a notarized passport info page? Is it a certified true copy that should be requested from the DFA?

    Thanks,
    RC

    • yoshke says:

      Hello! 🙂

      Yep, but I remember, we didn’t have ours notarized but they accepted it. (Updating the post now. Sorry for the trouble.)

      The passport info page is the first page of the passport. The one with your picture. 🙂

      • Jen says:

        Hi!

        Just a follow-up question, do you mean that this is just a photocopy of the first page of the passport and then notarized and scanned?

        Thanks!

        • Elaine says:

          Scanned copy of your passport will do. That’s what I did in my application and they accepted it.

  3. Law says:

    HI how much is the minimum funds for the bank statement? Do you have any idea? Cheers.

    • Elaine says:

      Depends on your situation: if you are self-funded or sponsored. Assuming that you are funding the trip, there’s no definite $$$ for as long as you can prove that you are financially capable and you have a good financial standing (bank acct should be atleast 3months old, stable source of income etc.). What I did was, I created an itinerary and estimated the cost of the entire trip. That should give you an idea of what amount should you have in your bank. 🙂

      • Benedic says:

        Hi, how about if someone’s going to sponsor you, with all yhe expenses such as tickets, accommodation and cost of living during visit period do you still need to show a bank statement? Or just the letter of invitation from your sponsor? Thanks!

  4. Law says:

    Hi, Do you know the minimum or ideal amount of funds needed in the bank for the ‘show money’? Cheers.

  5. bubbydoll says:

    hi, im over 18 and my dad is my primary source of income. ive never had a job before. how can i present that on the application. also, the website advises the documents added to the app must be in .bmp format, what kind of format were your documents (birthcertificate, passport)? thank you.

    • Elaine says:

      You can state that your trip is funded by your dad. He needs to provide proof of income, etc. They allow pdf and jpeg as well.

  6. Erika Shrestha says:

    hi, i m a foreigner taking my masters degree in phillipines. i want to apply for australian tourist visa to visit my sister in australia during summer break. what additional documents do i need to submit? thank u po.

    • Elaine says:

      If she is sponsoring you, she has to write an invitation letter, copy of her passport, proof of assets (title of house and bank statements). Given that you are a student, I would suggest asking your sister to sponsor the whole trip or make it appear on your visa application.

  7. noelpuru says:

    how did you receive the visa? Are they gonna mail it to you? Or just email and you can print it? Thanks

  8. Ram says:

    Hi. Is there a chance that I will be given a visa if my reason is to only travel for a couple of days in aussie but will be flying to another country with a multiple entry? My proof of evidence will only be the visa of that country and PH employment certificate (given that I recently resigned)?

    • Elaine says:

      There is. Just make sure to create a comprehensive cover letter and include the details of your flights.

  9. ivy rose Javier says:

    Hello. I just want to confirm that the tourist visa is valid for 1 year upon approval. Thank you.

    • Tin Navarro says:

      Hi! Can i get a clarification… so the visa does not have a definite period, like from June 20,2017-August 20,2017? It will just say that the visa is good for so and so number of months? I am planning to apply for one soon, but would like to travel in December pa. Thanks!

    • Elaine says:

      Depends on the visa granted to you. I think, the minimum is 3 months validity (single or multiple entry). If you will apply for a 12 month visa, I think you have to undergo medical exam.

  10. mm says:

    Hello. Is it okay to not present ITR since I’ve just resigned from my job. And AU will just be a stopover since Im going to another country..

  11. Iris Lyn says:

    hello! should i just scan my passport including my past travels or do i have to photocopy it, notarized and then scan and upload on their website? thanks in advance.

    • Angela Celis says:

      I have the same question, is it necessary for the documents to be notarized? Or are colored scans good enough? thank you!

      • yoshke says:

        Hi Angela, when we applied, the list of requirements indicated that the passport has to be notarized. We didn’t have ours notarized, though. But our application still got approved. 🙂

  12. Ben Covina says:

    hello….do we need to get a travel insurance as well? is it a must/requirement?

  13. lara says:

    for the bank statement, how far historically should you show? 6 months? 1 year?

  14. Eleni says:

    Hi! Your blog post is very helpful, though I have few more questions! Haha When should one apply for a tourist visa? Can I apply 6 mos in advance or they have a rule that the earliest is 3 mos before like Schengen visa? I’ll be flying on Oct 28th this year, and I’m not really sure if I should book now or wait in August. I’m scared If I apply now valid pa din kaya visa ko sa october. Thank you so much 🙂

    • yoshke says:

      Hi Eleni! The visa we received must be used within 6 months of issuance. We applied in June and we needed to enter Australia before December.

  15. Seth says:

    Hi! If I’ll apply for a family visa (group of 5), should I create an ImmiAccount individually? Also, I’ll be flying on Nov this year and my passport will expire Feb 2018, can I apply for a visa now kahit sa September 2017 pa yung schedule for renewal ko?

  16. Jess Sebastian says:

    Hi Yosh, can I use a bank certificate instead of a bank statement? Thank you 🙂

  17. Patty says:

    Hi! I will be applying for an Australian visa next week. I am a student and okay lang ba if I show my bank certificate instead of bank statements as proof on how I can fund for my trip?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I will be applying for an Australian visa next week. I am a student and okay lang ba if I show my bank certificate instead of bank statements as proof of how I can fund for my trip? Also, how much should I show if I will be staying for 1 week?

    • Elaine says:

      I guess this comment is a week late, sorry. If you’re a student, how can you afford to go on a trip? Technically, you have no source of income. I would suggest asking your parents to declare sponsorship. Bank statement or certificate will do. As for the money, consider which state are you visiting. Some costs higher than the others. Check the hotel rates, activities you want to try and transportation. Make sure you have an extra money in case of emergencies.

  19. Jeff says:

    Hi,

    About the bank statement, did you just took a photo of your hard copy bank statement? Or is it okay to just take a screenshot of my online banking account?

  20. Nelle says:

    Hello!

    Thank you for the helpful blog! One question, though. The documents need to be scanned or can we just take photos of those and submit?

    Thanks and appreciate your response!

    • Elaine says:

      For as long as you can take a clear photo of the document, that should be alright. I would recommend scanning tho.

      • Grech says:

        With regards to required documents to be attached, there’s no limit per file?.. or is it required to have a minimum 500kb per file?..

  21. butch says:

    thanks for the info, but can i apply tourist visa without the bank statement? my aunt will shoulder all the expenses? thanks and I didn’t have a job can it be possible?

    • Elaine says:

      That is possible. If your aunt will cover all your expenses, your bank statement is not a problem. But if you have any amount in the bank, I would suggest that you include it no matter how little it is. As for the job, well, some people get their visa application denied because they have weak PH ties or not enough reason that you’ll go back to the PH.

  22. Clea says:

    Hi, I am planning to apply for tourist visa. I am currently staying in Singapore. Do I need to go for biometrics collection even though I would apply online? Thanks

  23. Kris says:

    Hello…..i just want to ask if same on mine ..i dont have any property or own a Business like having business permit…..i have only friend there in australia and hes the one paying for all ….what should i do…hope theres someone give some advice on me.

  24. Ime says:

    Hi hope u cud help me…. i am applying online and i am in the portion of attaching the files…. i scanned the documents using adobe and saved it in the icloud drive of my ipad…. however, i could not access or click on the files in my icloud drive to attach these… what could be the reason?…. i used the same procedure and files for my new zealand visa application and it was fine…. thank you in advance!

  25. Sally says:

    Hi!

    Can i ask you a favor to please send me an example of cover letter and itinerary you submit when you applied. Here is my email syrhene1109@gmail.com thank you in advanced and thanx for this wonderful blog you help so much specially for the first time traveller. Have a nice weekend and God Bless
    I will wait for ur reply.. thanx again

  26. kristian says:

    good evening, can i ask po kung paano process po ng pag bayad ng visa fee for tourist visa sub 600.. i am planning to apply my visa by next week.. thank you.

    by the way you can email me your answer:
    kristian.david22@yahoo.com

    thank you in advance

  27. Ann says:

    Hello, I just want to ask because I don’t have any bank statements or any account is it okay because all my expenses will be shoulder to my Aussie boyfriend and his family, what should I do? Thanks
    or you can email me at @annscottarmasa@gmail.com

  28. Carlo says:

    Hi! Thanks for the useful info. Anyway, I’d like to ask if having a medical examination is strictly required in all cases? Will my application be denied if I didn’t take a medical examination? I’m just staying there for 6 days, yet the examination will cost me 6000 bucks. Thanks!

  29. Gian says:

    Hi there! I’m applying for tourist visa online. Where do I attach my passport size picture? Thanks

  30. Airica S. Catindoy says:

    Hi . ask lang ako if makakakuha ba akong ng visa sa Australia ? Unemployed po kasi akong as in sa bahay lang ? E yung friend ko sa Australia yinayaya akong magbaskyon ng 10days? Pero diko Alan paano ako makakakuha ng visa? Wala din akong pera sa bank account na malaki? Maibibigay ko lang is I.d and birth certificate … Pero yung nag invite sken na friends ko sagot nya lahat expenses ko dun roundtrip ticket ko as in lahat. Paano po ba ?? Help naman po…. Reply pls.

  31. Fhemie says:

    Hi Sir!
    I need your advice po Im planning to lodge my tourist visa to Oz soon. I’m self-employed ngayon, but i have yet to complete my business registration papers. Wala naman po kayang problem if ever newly-issued lang yung isa-submit kong documents? Also, aside from DTI and Mayor’s Permit, what other documents ang pwede pa po iattach? Thanks!!

    • Hi Fhemie, I think it would raise questions. But if you have other ways to prove that you’re earning (invoices, ITR, etc.), those would help.

  32. Chris says:

    Hi. I’m pretty much ok with my application. But they’re requiring past travel documents to be attached. The last time i travelled out of the country was back in 2010 to HK. Do you think it’s really required? Also I was declined for a US visa in 2010 as well. Should I declare that in my application?

    • Hi Chris! You can submit your HK trip even if it was in 2010.

      Regarding the US visa refusal, if they ask, you should tell the truth. (Not sure if they ask in the form.)

  33. Molly says:

    HI! applying visa next week, i would like to ask if you could help me or can i use your submitted cover letter as a pattern? And can u share your itinerary and hotel?

    Thanks alot!

  34. Shandy Cadungog says:

    Hii…..i would to know how to apply the visa… I born and lived in Malaysia but I am a Philippines pasport holder… how can i fill the visa requirement if i dont have Philippines birth certificate..Nso…bank statement and so so on

  35. Qirk says:

    Is this process applicable to all filipinos regardless where are you working right now (curretly working in mid east)??? Thank you

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Qirk. I think so. But not sure. If I remember correctly, they will be asking questions about your location on the IMMI website. (It’s been a while so I’m not sure I’m remembering it right.)

  36. Parrara says:

    Hi just want to ask if ok ba na isubmit ko yung 2 nso cert. Of my 2 kids just to make sure na i’ll come back? Wala kc akong work but i have credit cards extention of my mother in law in the states?

  37. Koleen says:

    Hi Yoshke! I hope you can help me. I have a question kasi. I’m filling out an online application form and I’m being asked what is the relationship between me and the one who will support my travel. Since my boyfriend is the one sponsoring my trip I was hoping I could choose “friend” to best describe the relationship. I could’t find friend on the drop down list. Do you know what could be the problem? Did I miss anything? This is page 13/20 on the form. Thank you!

      • Koleen says:

        It’s okay. Another question, is it okay if I submit 3 recent payslips instead of ITR and one bank certificate to establish that I am working and have a personal savings? Pang additional evidence lang. Thank you!

  38. Julie says:

    Hi koleen…where u able to get australian visa? Hows the process going? I want to ask what relationship did u put on ur application? Thanks.

  39. Julie says:

    Hi yoshke,
    Thank u for this useful blog…I want to ask if how much the minimum amount of money to show in the bank statement? How long u’ve got ur approval letter? And lastly, is it okay to put there 2weeks planning to stay in australia but my real intention is to stay for 2months? Would it matter? Since i didn’t saw ur visa letter the valid date
    Pls reply….thanks!
    Cheers!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Julie! Here are my answers.

      how much the minimum amount of money to show in the bank statement?
      —- I dunno. They don’t explicitly say. But to give you an idea, the embassy of France requires 120 euro per day from Schengen applicants. Maybe you can use that as basis to get a ballpark figure?

      How long u’ve got ur approval letter?
      — Almost a month. But this was in 2015. It’s much shorter these days. Some get theirs in 1-2 days.

      Is it okay to put there 2weeks planning to stay in australia but my real intention is t stay for 2months?
      —- We always encourage being truthful in visa applications. But we applied for a 3-week stay and were granted a visa valid for 3 months.

  40. Ann says:

    Hi there! Would like to ask if screenshots ng credit card and bank statements pwede as attachments? Thank you

  41. Peter says:

    Hi, perhaps someone may be able to help me with this, I am an Australian, previously working and living in Malaysia and still currently residing , or staying there, (in Malaysia) for an extended holiday on a tourist visa. I wish to take my girlfriend, who is a Filipina and who is currently working in Malaysia (as a maid) though, not my maid, on a trip down to Australia. Obviously I will be financing the trip and all her expenses will be covered by me. Does anyone know from perhaps a similar situation whether there maybe difficulties in securing the visa.

  42. Rus says:

    Hi! I would be applying for tourist visa this month. I’m planning to lodge my application online without going thru an agency. I’ve scanned all the requirements. May i know what specific documents need to be notarized? Thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Rus! There was a note that the passport copy had to be notarized when we applied. Not sure if that’s still true now. You’ll know when you begin your application. It’s usually indicated on the application dashboard.

  43. Aileen says:

    What if I have Australian sponson who is not living im Australia?
    I have Australian bf who wants me to travel with him to Australia for a holiday.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Aileen. Naku, we can only speak from experience so hindi namin alam pag ganyan ung case. 🙁

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Gie. Yes you can. The application is 100% done online (unless you’re summoned).

  44. Jane says:

    Hello, ask ko lang po kung paano ma.affix yong signature ng applicant through online application. Do they ask for medical if 3 or 6 months holiday only?

  45. Micah says:

    May I ask if to whom should I address the cover letter if I’ll be applying online?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      I addressed it to:

      Australian Embassy Manila
      Level 23-Tower 2 RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue 1200

      Not sure if that’s right, but that’s what I submitted. 🙂

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