Australia boasts diverse landscapes and natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, and stunning beaches.
Tourists can also experience unique wildlife, such as kangaroos and koalas, and explore vibrant cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. Indigenous culture and heritage, including the traditional music and dance of the Aborigines, are also integral parts of Australia’s appeal to visitors.
Why Filipino visitors will like Australia
Filipino tourists are likely to enjoy Australia for its beautiful landscapes, outdoor activities, and friendly people. They may appreciate the similarity of Australia’s tropical climate to the Philippines and the opportunity to experience new adventures, such as snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef or exploring the Outback. Additionally, the multicultural and diverse society of Australia, including a large Filipino community, can make Filipinos feel welcomed and at home.
Filipinos who wish to visit Australia as tourists need to apply for Visitor Visa Subclass 600.
A Visitor Visa Subclass 600 has 4 streams, one of which is the Tourist stream. The tourist stream is for people who want to visit Australia temporarily. Reasons may be to go for a holiday, to visit folks or colleagues, or for other short-term non-work purposes including studying for not more than 3 months.
STEP 1: Preparing the Required Documents and the Checklist
There are several documents necessary in order for one to be able to apply for a Tourist visa in Australia. These documents must be arranged in the following order as written on the Checklist for the Australian Tourist Visa Application provided:
- Filled out Application Form 1419 the Application for a Visitor visa Tourist stream
- The manager’s Check is payable to the Australian Embassy for $150. In order to get the equivalent of this amount in pesos, an applicant should contact the VIA center because exchange rates vary from one institution to another.
- Personal Documents:
- A certified true copy of the biometric page of the applicant’s passport
- 1 recent, original passport-size photo
- A certified true copy of the Birth Certificate
- Financial Documents:
- Bank Certificate & official receipt
- Bank book history
- Copy of last 3 months’ payslip
- Latest Income Tax Return (BIR Form 2316)
- Copy of the most recent preferably the last 3 months’ credit card statements
- Other supporting documents may include but are not limited to:
- Certificate of Employment issued by applicant’s employer
- Support for approved vacation leave from the applicant’s employer may be in email or in a letter format
- Car registration, if any
- Other supporting documents show that one has an incentive and authority to return to home country.
- Trip documents:
- Flight information, if already booked
- Hotel or accommodation information (if booked)
- Travel insurance, if there is
- If the applicant has a sponsor in Australia, either an Australian citizen or permanent resident, their invitation letter for the applicant is needed
- Supporting documents of the applicant’s sponsor such as a Copy of his or her passport, driver’s license, loan statements, certificate of employment, phone, and private health tax invoice
- A travel itinerary during the applicant’s visit (ideally showing when, where, and what the applicant will be visiting)
- Any bookings or travel inquiries made in relation to the applicant’s trip
- Evidence that shows the applicant’s relationship with the sponsor (for instance photos with brief captions about them).
STEP TWO: Lodging the Application
Once the documents are already at hand, the applicant must lodge the application by contacting the Australian Embassy’s Call Center and have the visa application papers scheduled for pick up. A reference number will be assigned for the applicant’s case, specific instructions on closing the envelope will also be given, and the preferred pickup date will be confirmed. Visa will also be delivered once released.
An applicant can also choose to visit the VIA Center and lodge the application personally. No appointments are needed prior to the visit for application lodging. There are VIA centers in Makati and Cebu where lodging of visas is accepted. It is also important to take note that mailed visa applications are not accepted, only those personally brought to the center or those picked up by designated couriers.
Effective Monday 16 June 2014 Visa applications, except for Refugee and Humanitarian Entry, should be lodged at the nearest Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in the Philippines, operated by VFS Global. A fee will be charged for this service in addition to the scheduled fee charged by the Australian Government for all visa applications. For more information about visa lodging procedures, fees charged, contact details, office locations and office hours, visit VFS Global’s website.
For inquiries about one’s visa lodging, the VIA center has an inquiry line that’s open from Mondays to Saturdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The number to dial is +63-2-845-9200. They cater to inquiries regarding visa application processes and requirements.
Additional tips for visa applicants
Here are some additional tips when applying for an Australian tourist visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) as a Filipino citizen:
- Read the instructions carefully: Ensure you understand the requirements and conditions of the visa you are applying for before starting the process.
- Provide accurate information: Provide complete and accurate information on the online application form. Incomplete or false information can result in visa rejection or cancellation.
- Plan ahead: Apply for the visa well in advance of your planned travel date to avoid any unexpected delays.
- Keep a record of your application: Make a copy of your application and all supporting documents for your reference.
- Contact the visa office: If you have any questions or concerns about the visa application process, you can contact the Australian visa office for assistance.
- Follow visa conditions: Once your visa is granted, ensure you comply with all visa conditions during your stay in Australia.
Remember to check the latest visa requirements and guidelines on the official website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs before starting the process.
Waiting and Processing Times
The waiting and processing time may vary from 1 week to a month depending upon the applicant’s documents and the number of applications the embassy receives. Once a visa is granted, the center sends a Visa Grant Notice. It’s a one-page document summarizing the details and conditions of the applicant’s visa.
The VIA center does not conduct an interview and the embassy is not obliged to contact the applicant to confirm any information on his or her documents. In order to increase the applicant’s chances of success, one must make sure that the documents are accurate and complete.
Australian Embassy in the Philippines
Level 23-Tower 2
RCBC Plaza 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, 1200
Telephone: 757 8100 – Fax: 757 8268
Immigration and Visa Office: 757 8340