How to apply for an Australian Visa in the Philippines (via ImmiAccount)

I guess, in one way or another, we all have an idea of our dream destination. That for me would be the Land Down Under. This beautiful country has lots to offer! As I said before, I stayed there for a month and I haven't even scratched the surface. I just can't get enough of this wonderful place so I thought I would apply again for a tourist visa. Previously, I applied through VFS Global (which I will blog on a separate post). I decided to apply online because 1.) It is more economical and cost-effective 2.) I can do it at the comforts of home and 3.) It saves paper since everything is electronically submitted.

Register for an ImmiAccount
One of the very first things you need to do is to register for an ImmiAccount. I actually registered for an account a year back but haven't gotten around to using it until now.

Start a New Application
Once you have your account, it is pretty easy to navigate and create a new application. Since I am applying for a tourist visa. I chose a Visitor Visa (subclass 600). From there, you will fill out the application online containing questions similar to the one in the Form 1419 of the paper application.

The great thing about it is that you don't need to finish it in one go. You can save it and continue on a later date.

Complete the Form and Attach Your Supporting Documents
Once you finished the application form, you can go ahead and start attaching your supporting documents. There would be a list of required documents depending on your civil status. As well as different evidence types to classify your supporting documents.

Getting granted a visa is really a case to case basis. The most important thing is to be honest and transparent with your application. It is great if you can provide a lot of supporting documents to justify your travel and to prove that you will be going back to the Philippines.

In my case, I submitted copies of the following documents:

  • Passport's Front Page (Travel Document) 
  • ID Photo (Travel Document)
  • Cover Letter and Proposed Itinerary (Travel Document)
  • Entry/Exit stamped pages of current passport (Travel history, Evidence of)
  • Entry/Exit stamped pages of expired passport (Travel history, Evidence of)
  • Flight Tickets (Travel history, Evidence of)
  • NSO Birth Certificate (Birth or Age, Evidence of)
  • Certificate of Employment (Work Experience - Overseas, Evidence of)
  • Company ID (Work Experience - Overseas, Evidence of)
  • Bank Statement (Financial Capacity - Personal, Evidence of)
  • Income Tax Return 2015 (Financial Capacity - Personal, Evidence of)
  • Payslips (Financial Capacity - Personal, Evidence of)
  • Assets (Assets - Personal, Evidence of)

For each supporting evidence you upload, you need to classify it according to the Evidence type then Document Type. You may also opt to add a Description. At first, I was confused on where I should put my Cover Letter and Proposed Itinerary but decided to just put it in the Travel Document section. Some of the supporting documents don't have the exact category so you just need to be crafty and classify it to the best of your ability. Adding a description is also ideal ;)

Submit your Application and Pay the Visa Fee
Once you're done filling out your application and attaching your supporting documents, the next step would be to pay your visa fee. I used my credit card to pay for it and it was pretty straightforward. A receipt will also be issued after payment.

As for the Visa Fee amount, you can check the Visa Pricing Table. Price starts from AUD 135.00 or
PHP 5,000. A credit card surcharge will also be imposed when you make your payment online.

* You are also allowed to pay first the visa fee and attach documents after ;)

The Waiting Game
Now all you need to do is wait for the results. I know this is the most agonising part, not knowing if your visa will be granted or denied. The status of the application will initially be Application Received and once they made a decision will be changed to Finalised. I think I checked countless times the status of my application.

The decision will be sent through your email (unless you unchecked the email correspondence option then they will send it to you via snail mail). The standard processing time is 30 days (1 month).

I got my Visa Grant Notice after 21 days (including weekends). The Visa Grant Notice is a PDF file which contains Application, Applicant and Grant Details. No need for a visa label since they issue an electronic visa.

I was granted a Single Entry Visa (although I requested for a multiple entry visa but I guess they are stricter now as compared before) and a stay period of three (3) months from date of arrival. The visa is valid for six months.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit up the comments section of this blog post ;)

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