Of all my visa applications, I can say that applying for an Australia tourist visa or visitor visa, was the easiest for me. Simply because it can all be done online. Plus, an Income Tax Return (ITR) is not a requirement. Isn’t it great? This makes it easier for freelancers who still don’t have this document for their self-employment.
By the way, one of my travel buddies got denied on his first attempt to apply for an Australia visitor visa. But the good thing about the Australian visa is that you can re-apply as soon as you get denied. I’ll share with you the tips on how my friend got approved on his second application. Meanwhile, make sure you follow these steps carefully:
Go to the ImmiAccount portal and click “Create ImmiAccount”. Write your new user details such as complete name, contact numbers, and email address. Then, you indicate your username, password, and secret questions.
To continue, you have to agree to their terms and conditions. Once you submit, an email verification will be sent to you.
Tip: Make sure that your email is valid and active. All notices, updates, and your final Australia visitor visa will be sent there.
Step 2: Log in to create your Australia visitor visa application
Once your email is verified, log in to your ImmiAccount and create your Australian tourist visa application. Select Visitor Visa (600) if you’re travelling to Australia as a tourist for not more than one year. You will have to fill in and answer about 20 pages but you don’t have to answer them all at once. Answer any that you can. Click “Next” if you want to proceed to the next page, and “Save” if you want to take a break first and complete it later.
Tip: It took me about three days to finish all the pages, so take your time. Double check or triple check all details before you finally click “Submit”. Any errors or data inconsistencies could compromise your Australian visa application.
Step 3: Scan and attach your Australia visa requirements
On the last part of your application, you will have to attach your Australia visa requirements proving your identity and travel capacity. You can submit and attach up to 60 documents. Here’s how to attach documents in your ImmiAccount.
Here’s a list of what I submitted and attached for my Australia visitor visa:
Passport Size Photo (front and back with signature)
Passport Bio Page (current and old passport)
NSO Birth Certificate
Old Visas and Entry/Exit Stamps
Employment Certificate with Approved Leaves
Bank Statement and Bank Certificate
Daily Itinerary and Flight Tickets
Tip: Download CamScanner app on your mobile phone. I used this mobile app to scan my documents. You can scan, crop and edit your documents to make them clear.
Step 4: Pay the Australian tourist visa application fee
Submit all your documents and pay the Australia visa application fee. You can pay using PayPal or credit card. I paid ₱5,776.15 (AU$141.37) inclusive of credit card charges back then, but you may check the Australia visa fees now. Once you pay, you will then get an acknowledgement email that your Australian tourist visa application has been received.
Step 5: Keep calm and wait for your Australia tourist visa
Australia visa processing time could vary from 48 hours to 20 working days. Fortunately, I got my multiple-entry Visitor Visa (subclass 600) after five working days. That quick!
Breakdown of my Australian visa expenses
Australia visa application fee = ₱5,776.15 (AU$141.37)
Bank certificate / statements = ₱100
Passport photo = ₱150
Total = ₱6,026.15
Australia visitor visa application tips to increase chances of approval
As what I’ve said, my friend was denied on his first Australian tourist visa application, but he applied right after adding more supporting documents. If you get denied, re-evaluate your application, correct any error, add more proofs of travel capacity, and re-apply as soon as you can! There is no holding time for Australia visa re-application.
Tip #1: Submit certified true copies of documents
If your documents look dubious, I recommend that you submit certified true copies of these documents before scanning and submitting them online. My friend submitted a not-so-professional-looking payslip. We think it was a major factor for his visa denial.
Tip #2: Attach supporting documents
Flight tickets and hotel reservations are NOT required, but they could show proof that you are capable of paying for your travels and that you will return to your home country because you already booked a return ticket. My friend didn’t attach these documents on his first application.
Tip #3: Scan the printed copies of your bank statements
Downloaded copies of your online bank statements do not count as official bank statements. My friend did this in his attempt to save money. Do not scrimp on your official documents.
Tip #4: Show proof of travel history
You may attach old visas, eVisas, and passport stamps on your old and new passport.
Tip #5: Create a cover letter
A cover letter is not required for Australia visa, but it doesn’t hurt to submit one especially if your situation needs to be explained. My friend submitted a cover letter on his re-application, and it worked!
Tip #6: When travelling as a group, input your group name
If you are travelling with someone or with a group, you could indicate this in Step 2. You can assign a group name with a list of members. Tell your travel buddies to input the same group name when they apply for their own visas individually. With this, the Australian embassy can tell who you’re travelling with, and crosscheck all your information.
Hope you find this Australian visa guide helpful. Best of luck in your application soon!
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be a visa expert here. Although I was granted a multiple-entry Australia Visitor Visa, I still recommend that you check out Immigration Australia or the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for your questions and concerns. Visit their official website here.