How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa (2013 edition)

[Update: September 15, 2014] Philippine passport holders can now apply for an Australian tourist visa online through the IMMI website. Application fee must be paid via credit card. You can still apply in person through VFS.

I am not a visa officer, nor am I migration agent. I am in no way affiliated with the Australian Embassy Manila nor with the Australian government. This post comes from my experience with preparing and submitting visa applications for family members and for myself. Also note that this entry pertains to my experience in applying for an Australian tourist visa in April 2013. This is geared towards applicants who holds a Philippine passport, though the preparation can be applied for other nationalities as well. The Australian immigration update their forms every 3 months. I will try to answer your questions the best way that I can, but bear in mind that I can’t answer all your questions. If you ask a question I’ve already answered in the post, I will ignore you.

Australian tourist visa

After almost seven years, I finally have an update to my now epic How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa series. I have written two posts on the topic, both garnering over a thousand comments, with one getting over 4,500! I have stopped replying to comments, since I don’t think I’m not the best person to be talking about it, as my knowledge of the visa process is largely obsolete, so the visitors have taken upon themselves to answer each other’s questions, with successful applicants coming back to share their good news and help others. It has become a mini forum of sorts and I have to admit I’m happy it turned out that way. I found it to be a great help when I took another chance to apply for an Australian tourist visa once more.

Before I get to the visa application process, here’s some background about me and my circumstances: I am a Philippine passport holder, and have applied and received a visa from Australia before. I have a valid US Visa, with used tourist visas to Canada, Japan, and Myanmar. I also have more than 70 arrival and departure stamps from various countries, and that’s just in one passport. I am single and have my own company registered with the DTI. I have a bank account and a couple of credit cards, and I have two sisters who live in Australia, one of which is a temporary resident and the other a citizen. My intention to visit was for a short break from life in Manila, and to hopefully visit places I missed during my first two trips to the Australia.

Step 1: Download and read the necessary pages, documents, and forms.

This is very important, I can’t stress that enough. It won’t do to just ask questions without reading these web pages and documents first, because you’ll look like an idiot. Majority of your questions would likely be answered by the information written in these files. All these are available for download at the Australian Immigration website,, and they are all free.

There is no need to print all of those pages or forms (unless you prefer to read them off the computer), but the one thing you should print is the visa application form. It’s a fillable form, wherein you can type in your answers on the form itself and print it afterwards. If you use Adobe Reader to open it, it will not save the changes to the form, so fill it out only when you are ready to print and submit. However, if you’re using Foxit PDF Reader, it can save the changes to the form, so you can fill it out and edit it later on before printing.

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Step 2: Gather the required documents

Page 15 of Form 1419, Part M is actually an application check list. The column on the left lists all the required documents, while the column on the right lists the additional documents you may submit.

Here are the documents I submitted:

  • Certified true copy of the identity page and pages with visa stamps of my valid passport
  • Recent passport photo taken within the last six months
  • Visa application charge in manager’s or cashier’s check

The Australian embassy do not affix visa labels anymore, so there’s no need to send your passport when you apply, unless you specify that you want a visa label. I would have done this, but the label costs AU$70.

Step 3: Gather your supporting documents

Here are the supporting documents I submitted. Remember that this vary depending on your circumstance. You’re not required to submit all of these, but it is advised that you submit as much supporting documents as you can to prove that you can fund your trip to Australia, and that you have a strong reason to come back to the Philippines.

  • Birth certificate printed on security paper
  • Certified true copy of my DTI Registration
  • Certified true copy of my BIR Registration (Form 2303)
  • Certified true copy of my Income Tax Return (From 1701)
  • Certified true copy of the invitation letter from my sister
  • Certified true copy of my sister’s pay slip
  • Certified true copy of my sister’s passport bio page and employee ID
  • NBI Clearance
  • Bank statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Itinerary

The Australian immigration require that all photocopied documents you submit are certified true copies. You can do this by going to the Notary Public.

If you look at the form, it doesn’t list the birth certificate as part of the documents needed. I included it anyway, since I have an extra copy. Also, when I called to have my document picked up, they mentioned something about the NSO and I asked if I still need to get another since I already have a SECPA copy. They said I can include my copy instead of getting a new one.

Supplementary reading: How to apply for birth, death, and marriage documents in the Philippines – National Statistics Office (NSO)

The NBI clearance isn’t really required either, but I included it since I have it anyway. I got it because it was required in the previous form, 48R. A medical isn’t required, but you may be required to get one if you are applying for a 6-month visa, or if you’re over 75 years old. The medical is only done through accredited clinics. From what I understand, you have to submit your application and use the reference code the embassy will give you when you go for your medical.

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I also included a cover letter [Download sample of intent letter] explaining the purpose of my trip and that I wish to get a multiple-entry visa, since I want to make a side trip to New Zealand. This isn’t really necessary, since the form now asks for your trip’s purpose. You are also asked to provide an itinerary of your trip, though you are not required nor advised to make any bookings until your visa is approved.

Step 4: Buy a manager’s check for the visa fee

The visa fee is AU$115, which is Php 5,100, based on the conversion rate at the time. Please double check the fees and the conversion rate, as this can change anytime. I bought my manager’s check from BDO, since I have an account there. Based on the comments in the previous blog posts, there are banks that would not let you buy a manager’s check if you don’t have an account with them. Best to call and inquire with the banks in your area if they’ll let you buy a manager’s check from them even if you don’t have an account.

Step 5: Lodge your application

Required reading: Where to Apply

You don’t have to go to the embassy to submit your application. There are two ways to submit: you can either call the embassy hotline and have them pick up your documents or submit them in person at the VIA Center.

I opted to go with the call center, since it was summer and don’t want to be away for too long from my electric fan. Calling the hotline costs Php 32 per minute, not including the charges from your network provider, if you are calling from a mobile phone. My phone call took about 10 minutes (which included a long wait for them to finish a spiel, and another wait for an operator to be available), and cost me Php 339.29. If you’re going this route, listen closely at the start of the spiel, because there is an option to skip that and go directly to request for a pick up.

The courier fee for Metro Manila is Php 320, paid directly to the messenger who will pick up your documents. This fee covers both pick up and delivery after your application as been processed.

VIA Center have offices in Makati and Cebu.

Step 6: Wait for your visa

Visa processing takes about ten days all the way to 30 days. I called to have my documents picked up on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. It was almost 5pm when I called, and was told that they have already reached the quota for pick up the follwing day. My documents were picked up on Thursday, April 4. I received a text from the embassy that my documents were received on Monday, April 8.

By the third week of April, I was wondering what’s happening to my application. Someone who commented on my previous post said her application was received around the same time and she already has her visa. I started worrying when someone who submitted a week after I did said she already got her visa grant. That’s when I also found out that the embassy conducts phone interviews.

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Apparently, they don’t do this to all applicants, only for those they feel they need to clarify certain answers to the application form. Worry changed to distress when I missed not one, but FOUR calls from the embassy. The first call was to our house phone, and my sister gave them my mobile number since I was out of the house. The first call to my mobile came while I was struggling to get off a packed LRT, so I had to cancel it. The next two came when the phone was in silent mode because I was at an event. You can just imagine how frantic I was.

I ended up calling the number, but it was the consulate’s trunkline number. I was told to just call the visa information number (845 9200). Because I do not know how to follow instructions, I called the hotline instead, and was told to send them an e-mail, which can be found on the immigration website. I sent an e-mail using the contact form there, and did not receive any response.

On May 7, just a day shy of one month since they received my documents, I called the hotline again, after getting no response or call from the embassy. The operator took pity and gave me a number to contact, which is the consulate hotline. I wasn’t able to talk to anybody, but I did get an e-mail address. I sent another e-mail, which again did not receive any response.

I finally got a text on May 14 that my documents have been dispatched to the courier for delivery. It did not mention if my visa was granted or not. My documents came the following day, and I was so relieved that my application was granted. It wasn’t a multiple entry visa, as I was hoping for. The visa was granted on May 10, and since it was a long weekend, it wasn’t dispatched until after election day.

Unlike before, the embassy not just issue visa grant letters for tourists. You need to bring this when you leave Manila, as the local immigration would ask for your visa before they stamp you out of the country. Also, instead of having a one-year validity, my Australian tourist visa is only valid until November 2013.

Supplementary reading: Frequently Asked Question – Australian Embassy Manila

I hope you find this helpful. I would also suggest you check the previous entries, How to apply for an Australian visa and Applying for an Australian tourist visa, because the discussions over there are a great resource, as it have inputs from applicants with different circumstances.

You’re welcome to post your questions here, but please read the entire blog post and read all the documents I linked to before asking. Did you apply for an Australian tourist visa recently? How was your experience?

Published by

Nina Fuentes

Nina started traveling in 2006, after realizing that her life is going nowhere. Now, she's trying to go everywhere. Read more...

4,393 thoughts on “How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa (2013 edition)”

  1. Sorry to hear that sis aj. Its been 9 months waiting.. How you lodge ur applications? Bka sis my hinihingi p saung requirements. I am planning to lodge my application this november or december.

    1. I lodge my pmv or fiancee visa app tru vfs last jan 5…ganun tlga ang standard processing time ng fiancee visa between 9 and 12 months sobrang tagal at sobrang mahal kc last jan for the visa fee it costs P190,600 at ngaun ng check ko mas lalong mahal 244 thou plus…

    2. Sis aj. Sobra ngang mahal. Wait p nmin pera kya waiting aq. Kelan b ung plan nyo pkasal? Kc alam ko pg mlpit n ung kasal d nila pttgalin un. Ung 9 to 12 alam ko s partner visa un.

      1. Ang snulat namin xa application form na mgpakasal kami sept 19..xa pmv gnun dn ang processing time sis bet 9 -12 months…

      2. Gnun sis ai? Plan nmin pkasal dis june 2016. Gusto n tlaga ko mkuha ng fiance q. Naiinip n xa. Kya fiance visa pra d n q bblik ng pilipinas.. Kc after ikasal process nmn ng partner visa. San sa australia fiance mo sis

      3. Yes ganun Sis..a bit expensive ang visa cost ng fiancee and 9-12 mos ang standard processing time…anyways sa bendigo,victoria ang fiancee ko..hopefully igrant na nla ang visa ko soon and b4 xmass andun na kami,..’

  2. hello mga sisters…..

    sino po sa inyo ang magta travel next week, manila – melbourne…sabay po tayo para my ka chekahan naman si ako.. hehe! october 8 po ang alis ko..GOD bless guys!

  3. Hi sis Josephine ask q lng if ung first visa mo single entry lang ba yun then WALANG no further stay condition nakalagay db then ngextend ka which was granted ng multiple entry until Dec. This year? Pede nmn db mag apply ng extension hir in australia even single entry basta walang no further stay condition..Same form din ba ginamit mo nung nag apply ka ng extension hir in oz? Nag pass kp uli ng bank statement mo even sponsored Ni bf with ur extension visa? Hope to hear from you..thanks

    1. Hi sis JAV, Yes single entry lang yong first visa ko. Pwdi tau maka apply ng extension dito oz basta condition walang nakalagay na no further to stay. My extension granted multiple entry pero hanggang dec 1 to stay lang ako here. Yes same form parin gamitin yes nag submit parin ako. Pero yong tinitingnan nila yong capacity ng sponsor natin na kaya nila tau sponsoran for another 3 months at kailangan pasa din tayo ng prove na balik tau me my anak ako sa pinas so pinasa ko birth cert din ng anak ko…Thanks…

      1. Ur welcome sis JAV. saan ka sa Autralia sis? Thats good if my anak tau sa pinas para uwi talaga tau sis hehe.uwi kani this coming nov 28 pero stay pa kami sa Singapore for 3 nights hehe

    2. Hi sis jav ask q lang sana kung ok lang ba mag pakasal kme dto kahit tourist
      and single entry lang aq dto ksi. Balak namen mag pakasal ng fiance q next month. Ano mga kailangan qng docs. Kse gusto nya pag kakasala namen asikasuhin na namen yung mga papel namen bago aq umuwi ng pinas ng dec. Then gusto nya mag apply kme ng bagong visa. Ksi kasal na kme. Ano ba fapat gawin. Please help me naman poh! Para alam q din gagawin qoh.

  4. Guys…. pwede pa help???!! Please.. naguguluhan ako… number 41.
    Is your sponsor or someone else providing support for your visit to Australia? YES OR NO? May friend ako sabi yes meron din no… kinakabahan kase ako… binasa ko naman I just want to make it sure lng.. Thank you so much

  5. Hi sis Josephine dito kmi sa brisbane Ni fiance, filipino rin fiance q..last August 15 aq dumating dito bale Nov . pa ung expire ng visa q but mgapply kmi ng extension cgro last wk ng Oct. Peo nakasched kmi ng civil wedding on the 21st d2 sa oz then sa pinas nlang church kc lam mo na ndun lht relatives. .peo australian citizen nmn na xa. Goodluck sis I’m sure mgeenjoy c bf mo satin pguwi nyo..thanks ulit

    1. Hi Jav, first time ko magaapply for a Visa. May sponsor naman ako dun but what do they need to provide as a sponsor. Pwede bang Pay Slip and Passport lang or needed talaga ng Bank Cert? And on my end, im just really worried kasi first time ko to get a visa. Thanks!

      1. Hi sis lea actually ung nag apply aq hindi na nmin sinama ng fiance q ung bank statement nya..we jz passed his updated payslip then passport, COE nya, certificate of citizenship nya cz filipino ung fiance q last yr.lng na grant ung citizenship nya kya pinasa nmin un, then ung billing address lng passed nmin sa knya tsaka letter of invitation from ur sponsor stating he will support ur stay hir gnn..lht 2x sis ung expenses mo at accommodation while ur hir..

    1. Hi sis Rachel need nyo magpasa ng NOIM a month b4 ng marriage nyo. Passport lng ask samin and birth certificate but we passed also CENOMAR even indi hiningi nung celebrant but we submit rin para cgrado. .Then xempre ung name ng mga witness nyo sa pag fill up ng NOIM place and date of wedding xempre Impt. un…hope that helps

      1. Heller sis JAV,
        My plano din kami magpkasal ng fiance ko pag nasa oz na ako pro tourist visa lng ako.. ok lng pala yun? Madali lng ba mag process ng docs for civil wedding jan?

    2. Sis jav what is NOIM? Mg apply p lng kc aq ng fiance visa sis. Pero gusto q asikasuhin n lahat. Sis ang cenomar b my expiration? Dpt pla asikasuhin n ng fiancee q ung sked ng kasal nmin. Sis where k s australia? Sa nsw fiancee q

      1. Notice of intended marriage un sis Rachel. Are u hir now in oz ba? As far as I know nided mo magpasa ng NOIM kc fiance visa ung apply mo. You should read din ung partner migration booklet sa website ng DIAC it will help u a lot..u can download ung form ng NOIM nmn para u can check. .sa Google pede mo ring search.Brisbane aq sis

      2. Sis Rachel ung NOIM form one of the requirements un kailangan may pirma frm the wedding celebrant…and ung bwt sa CENOMAR wait ka lang pag ngrequest na ang embassy kc ang gusto nla ung office ng NSO ang mgpadala xa kni ung cenomar form mo.

      1. Nope actually tourist lng visa q now but d2 kmi Ikakasal sa oz dis 21st ng Oct. Civil rites lng cz simple ceremony lng then pinas na ung church cz lht ng relatives ndun. Then after apply kmi spouse visa..depende kung mg onshore kmi or offshore apply

      2. Sis ai and sis jav… Ung noim b ffill-upan q ksama nung form q s fiance visa o pg nsa australia n lng aq. Nlilito q s pg aasikaso ng fiancee visa.

      3. Hi sis Rachel dpt c fiance mo magasikaso ng NOIM nyo..pede u nmn sign un kpg nd2 kn sa oz cz nided sign un in front of ur celebrant. Pede c fiance muna mag sign nung part lng nya then ung sau pede kpg nd2 kn oz..tama c sis Rachel wag ka muna magpasa ng CENOMAR cz magaask sau ang embassy nyan wc is from NSO direct to embassy..Sa part q kc indi aq ng file ng fiance visa tourist lng me hir and while I’m hir pakasal na rin km Ni fiance cz gus2 N rin nmin mg settle but after ung pmv na file nmin so bk offshore application nmin cz mrmi rin nid na docs.

      4. Ok sis jav! Thank you. D p hihinging sken ng embassy ang noim? Plan q kc sis sa online aq mgfile. Sis add mo naman aq s skype rachel_atchie042911 chat tau.. Ok lng ba? Thank u

      5. Sis Rachel ung NOIM form one of requirements un so ipasa mo din un pg naglodge kna,,,advice lng isearch mo ung application checklist for prospective marriage visa(subclass 300) para paglodge mo ng visa application kompleto..

      6. Thanks sis Rachel. .tama c sis Ai kasama rin ung NOIM sa ipapasa mo sa embassy cz isa yun sa requirements better read ung checklist ng prospective marriage visa subclass 300 para complete Yung maisubmit mo sa embassy. .Maige kc na complete ung isasubmit natin sa embassy..indi aq ng iiSkype sis Rachel xenxa na..

  6. Good day! Nagsubmit po ako ng sa VFS last September 30 ng Tourist Visa, then ang target date ko sa November 12 if ever maapprove ako. Sa tingin nyo po ba magrant ako by first week ng November? Nageemail ba talaga sila right away? Kasi ang approved leave ko ay 25 days lang. Sayang naman kung di agad ako makaalis. Thank you.

  7. Hi sis Anne, yup pwede nmn mgpakasal hir kht tourist tau, madali lang nmn ung processing u nid to contact lng ng celebrant make sure registered ung celebrant mo. .but kung after kau mgpakasal mg process ka ng onshore partner visa just make sure u will be able to prove na genuine at u can give more evidence sa immigration about ur shared life together in just a matter of time ..Best suggestion q sis read ung partner migration booklet so u will have more knowledge nandun na lahat ng nid natin malaman. .Goodluck sis

  8. Hi sissies, just want to share. I lodged my TV last Sept 29 granted Oct 5 multiple entries. Those are still waiting just keep on praying magagrant din kayo. Good luck!

  9. Hi Ms. Yap ni lodged KO thru VFS sa Makati. Rcvd ko grant notice via email. D KO na inavail yung SMS ksi additional gastos lang and yes may sponsor ako.kaw San ka naglodge?

  10. Guys pwede mg ask anu ibig sabihin nung centerlink na may makuha daw galing sa government? Hindi ko kase gets nabasa ko lng din… about sa baby support ata? infairness baka makatulong if ever in the future… Thanks sa sasagot.

    1. Hi Jezreel, same here. My hubby applied via VFS global naman in Makati on September 2 and until now wala pa rin yung visa nya. We sent an enquiry form through DIBP website pero wala naman response. Anyone here knows how to follow-up a Visitor Visa application? Please send us a reply. Thanks! :)

      1. hi nels,..if you lodged thru vfs pwd mu etrack yung applicati0n with vfs site…open mu lng yung site nila and merun dun track application,..enter mu lang Ang VLN at birthdate mo tpos submit..

  11. Hi @sis Jenny…. at sa mga ka sis ko dito/// pwede mg ask kng ilang pirasa pinasa mong skype cam to cam nyo? Pwede na ba 8 pages? kase yung sakin madami kaso nung na print out na super dark ng outcome even light naman siya sa pag capture color contrast ata kaya pinili ko nlng yung lighter at yung clear… okay na ba kahit 8 pieces lang mga sis? pero yung conversation namin sobrang dami from the very start until now. Thank you po

  12. hi sis Claude, ung sakin 9 pieces lng sinubmit ko sa conversation namin..pero dinamihan ko s mga pictures. may friend ako kakagrant lng ng TV nya last september, ung conversation nila last 2014 till now tlgang pinasa nya lahat haha, pra daw spousal visa inaaplayan nya..pero ok n ung sobra kesa sa kulang. sana mgrant din ung sa akin. :)

  13. May nakaexperience na ba dito na naglodge ng tv pero hindi nakareceive ng text or email na nalodge na? Dapat ba ako mag-email sa kanila na wala akong nareceive or maghintay lang ako?

      1. Yes sis mgc, weird nga wala ako nareceive. Pero nung nagtrack ako processing naman nakalagay kaso isip ko lang baka mamaya di rin ako maemail nung result?

    1. Hi Shie! Yup, hintay lang.. yung sa hubby ko nag lodge sya through VFS Global tapos wala rin sya nareceive na kahit na ano. We waited 37 days, tapos today nag email na sa kanya ng visa grant notice yung immi.. ^_^ I’m soo excited! magkakasama na kami, no more LDR for us.. hehe.. ^_^ God bless on your application.. :)

  14. Hello po. I just need help if how to process visa, which is better po ba? Walk in or online? And pano po payment? Ano po ba yung managers cheque? Confuse talaga ako. Do I need to send our pictures together po ba and conversation to prove that our relationship is genuine?

    And one more thing is that my bf is unemployed at the moment, he just getting pension from government but he will still shoulder all of my expenses do you think it will be a big problem? He’s currently looking for job

    Please reply po. Salamat sa nga sasagot. Bless you all :)

  15. Shie

    nun sakin kz after i lodge my application the same day i recieved a txt msg and email from vfs confirming that my visa is being processed.

  16. Hi to all. Just wanna ask Lang yung Skype at fb conversations nyo, gano ba kadami yung pinasa nyo? Sa Amin Kase Nung fiancé ko more than 2 yrs na kami. So let’s say from 2013 to 2015, ilang conversation per month? 2x ba or 3x per month? Thanks a lot!

    1. Ako sis every month and may time and date logs talaga just to make sure bahala sobra kesa naman kulang diba.. hehehehe hahahaha sobrang dami pero sabi ng iba wag na daw sobrang dami as long as you prove to them your genuine relationship. pero sa akin is parang mag migrate tlga, might sounds funny but more is better than less. Hahaha ewan ko lng sa iba

  17. Guys……… I need some help and encouragement lng din sana… Me and my bf is in a relationship for 1 year na then we haven’t met yet dahil busy sa work niya and no time to travel kase 3 days lng ang pwede, he planned to go here sana this holiday kaso naisip namin mahal ang expenses and 3 days lng ininvite nya ako sa Australia…. I would like to ask if there is a chance now? I mean, binasa ko lahat ng comments from page 1 up to last page… I want to know sana kng may na grant this time na hindi pa ng meet pero granted? I am so nervous tlga but I gathered all the documents needed.. bf ko is negative thinker din walang tiwala dahil baka denied… nadadamay ako sa kanegahan niya.. please po sana may sumagot to encourage me na may pag.asa huhuhuhu I am so stressed din dahil dito, ngresign na din ako sa work due to my bf’s favor……….. :(

    1. Thanks sis Ruby… Dapat focus sa positive… si bf lng tlga yung negative sa lahat. Ughh! Can’t blame din kase sa side nya kabado and stressed din siya. Stay cool and thank you kase madaming tumutulong sa site na ito. Madami akong nabasa na granted even though hindi ng meet pero lately wala akong nababalitaan kaya naparanoid na din konti. Ahuhuhu

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