How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa Online: A guide for Filipinos

Back in September, my sister in Australia told me over Viber that she’s considering asking our mother to spend New Year’s with them again in Melbourne, and asked me if I am willing to accompany our mother to Australia. Of course, I am!

I’ve heard from friends and read in the comments section of my previous visa application guides that Philippine passport holders can now apply for an Australian tourist visa online. Since I do not like the stress that Manila traffic brings, and I do like doing business online, this was very appealing to me.

Create an ImmiAccount

The first step in applying for an Australian tourist visa online is to create an ImmiAccount. To create an account, you will need a valid email address. Make sure that you type in your email address correctly, and that you use an email address you regularly check. The embassy will be communicating with you using this address, so make sure that you check this email address often.

Application Form

Once you have created an account, you can start an application. This is basically the online, fillable version of Form 1419, so there is no need for you to download the form, fill it out, and upload it.

You can start filling out the application form, even if you have not completed compiling your documents yet. Make sure that the information you put in the application form are the same as the information in the supporting documents that you are submitting.

If you have filled out the form, but are not ready to submit yet, click on the Save button. This saves your answers in their database, and once you log back in, you can see your application, check the entries, and make edits.

Once you are ready to submit your application and upload your supporting documents, click on Submit.




Application Fee

When you submit your application form, you will be prompted to pay the Australian tourist visa application fee. For online applications, the only way to pay is through credit cards. If you do not have a credit card, or access to a credit card, I read that you can use prepaid debit cards.

Your card will be charged AU$135 + credit card surcharge fee. Based on BPI’s foreign exchange rate at the time, I paid Php 4,547.26. If you are applying via courier or VFS, the fixed visa fee is Php 4,900, and you would still have to pay for the VFS fee, courier fee, and the fee for the manager’s check.

Supporting Documents

I made sure that all of my supporting documents are complete before I submitted my application and paid the fee. I created my ImmiAccount and filled out the form on September 20, but I didn’t submit until October 5.

As soon as my payment has cleared, I uploaded my scanned documents. The Australian Embassy sets a limit of 30 files for Visitor Visa online applications, and none of the files must be more than 5MB in size. To keep file sizes small, they recommend that you scan your documents at 96 dpi, and to not attach photos in Office document files, as this will increase the file size greatly.

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SupportingDocuments

Since I know my documents will have more than 30 pages, I merged and grouped them together. Also, instead of submitting separate photo files, I created a collage on Photoshop and added captions. I saved them as Portable Document Files (optimized), and used a service like PDFMerge.com to merge the PDFs into one file.

Here are the documents that I submitted:

Passport Photo

They did not give any specifications for the photo file, so I just scanned my passport picture at 180 dpi and saved it as JPG.

Cover Letter

I wrote a letter addressed to the consul explaining the purpose of my trip, who will be sponsoring my trip, why I need a multiple entry visa, and the reason why I need to come back to the Philippines. I included the ways in which they can reach me, should they need to get in touch for an interview. I also mentioned that I will be traveling, and the dates when I will be out of the country.

The supporting documents I submitted corroborates the content of my cover letter, which means that I provided proof of the purpose of the trip, proof that my sponsor can afford to shoulder my trip, proof of my relationship with my sponsor, and proof of my activities and relationships in the Philippines.

Certified Identification Documents

This is a requirement of the embassy: a certified or notarized copy of my passport and birth certificate.

Letter of Invitation

In my previous applications, my sister would send me letters via mail, which I include with my documents. Since I am applying online, I told her to just email me, instead of writing a letter, which would have taken weeks.
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In her email, she stated that she wants me to accompany our mother to Melbourne, and that she will provide our tickets, and that we have the option to stay at her house, or my other sister’s house. She also stated she wants us to have a short holiday in New Zealand.

Along with the email, I also included a scan of my mother’s passport and her visa grant letter (she has a 3-year multiple entry Australian tourist visa).

You can save the email as PDF by clicking on Print, and then selecting Save as PDF/Export as PDF in your browser or email client.

Sponsor Documents

Since my sister is my sponsor, I had her send me a copy of her passport bio page, as well as her last four payslips, as evidence that she has the capacity to shoulder the cost of our trip to Melbourne.

Business Registration

Since I am self-employed and have my own business, I included my business registration papers in lieu of a Certificate of Employment.

Income Tax Return

As evidence of my income, I attached my latest Income Tax Return, which was submitted to the BIR last April 2015.

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Most Recent Credit Card Statement

I also stated in my application that I will be using my credit card as a way to pay for goods and services while in the country.

Bank Statements

I submitted the Statement of Account for the previous 3-6 months. I did not request for a Bank Certificate anymore.

Family Photos

This was comprised of photos of me and my two sisters when we holidayed together in Tasmania during my previous visit, photos of me with my sisters’ families in Melbourne, photos of me with my family in the Philippines, and photos of me with my friend Khursten when I visited her in Sydney in 2013, and when we traveled to Japan together in 2014.




Travel Plans in 2016

To show that I have strong reasons to come back to the Philippines after my trip to Australia, I included the plane tickets that I have already booked. Since one of my travel plans include accompanying my mother and aunt to their hometown in Sorsogon in 2016, I included a photo collage from our trip last summer with extended family members.

One of my close friends is also getting married next year, so I included a scan of their wedding invitation, photos of me and my close friend during our trip to Japan together last year, and a photo of me together with my friend and her fiancé.

Current Passport Visas and Stamps

Since the application checklist includes evidence of previous travels, I scanned all the entry and exit stamps from my previous travels in my current passport.

Previous Passport Visas and Stamps

My last Australian tourist visa is under my old passport, so I included it as well. My old passport also has my other visas, which includes a used visa for Canada, China, and Schengen, as well as valid multiple entry visas for Japan and the United States. I also included the pages with entry and exit stamps from my trips between 2011 and 2013.

Acknowledgement

I submitted my application in the early morning of October 5. I received an acknowledgement immediately after. On October 6, the Immigration and Visa Office of the Australian Embassy Philippines sent me an email requiring me to fill out a short online questionnaire. The questionnaire is basically the Application Checklist. Luckily, I was still at home when the email came, so I was able to quickly respond to their request.

This is why it’s very important that you type your email address correctly, and why you should always check your email after submitting your application online.

Grant Notification

Almost immediately after I submitted my filled out questionnaire, I left the house to go to the airport. By the following day, I received an email again from the Immigration Office, this time saying that my visa has already been granted.

To summarize my timeline:
September 20 – Created ImmiAccount, started filling out application form
October 1 – Requested statement of account from banks, notarized documents
October 2 – Scanned documents and created PDF
October 5 – Submitted application, paid visa fee, attached supporting documents
October 6 – Submitted Immigration Manila’s online questionnaire
October 7 – Received Visa Grant Notice

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I remember back in 2006, when I first applied for an Australian visitor visa, I also submitted around this time of the year, and was granted in just a matter of days — I received notification of my visa grant while on a trip as well! Maybe there’s something about October?

Do you need a sponsor or to have a family in Australia to visit? Absolutely not! Many applicants are just there to tour the country. If you are a tourist, or visiting for a specific purpose (e.g. watching the Australian Open), make sure to include documents pertaining to them (tickets, bookings, etc.) with your application.

This is based on my personal experience in applying for an Australian tourist visa online. I’ve already written down everything I know. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, but I can’t really answer if your situation is different from mine (e.g. no work, no bank statement, no previous travel, etc.) however, there’s bound to be someone who is in the same boat, who may be able to answer your question. The visa discussions in the comments of this blog can get quite lively.

[EDIT October 22, 2015] Many in the comments both in this post and previous visa posts said that their application, even when lodged online took a month or more to get processed. I got really lucky with my application, and up until now, I don’t know why my application was granted so quickly. Is it because I said I was accompanying my 80-year old mother, because my sister is sponsoring me, because this is my third application, because I provided proof of my plans in 2016, or because I said I was going to watch the Australian Open?

Bear in mind that the Australian Embassy website that average processing time for a tourist visa is one month. To be safe, consider this as a minimum, rather than a maximum, and apply for a tourist visa as soon as you can, instead of waiting for the last minute and fretting over the long processing time as your flight date looms closer.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 1,067 Comments
  1. Grace says:

    Hello everyone, ask ko lang po should i need to include our hotel voucher when we’re together? Or ok na kahit na ung itinerary flights nalang namin ni bf? Im applying for TV. Thanks guys

  2. Kim says:

    Hello inapply ko po Visa ay tourist for 3 months po Kaso support lng po Ng bf ko ang tanong ko po Meron po bang show money? Saan ba yun pinapakita at kailangan po un kailangan

  3. May says:

    Hi just want to ask lang in regards sa TV applying kasi ang Tita ko. My tita has a US visa multiple and ask ko naman if ano requirements pag ganun. Same din ba sa first time tourist na lahat ng requirements need. TIA

  4. Hi po ask ko lang po ilan days po bago makuha ang tourist visa after interview,, at ilang months lang po ito magagamit sa mga first time po,,, first time ko po

    • Grace says:

      Hello sweetie Nicole wala pong interview when ur applying for TV. For single entry once lang, TV your allowed to stay in OZ for 3 months / 90 days only

  5. Angel says:

    Hi to everyone. I lodged my tourist visa application March 16 (Thursday). Sino sa inyo ang same day sa akin? Or ilan days bago nyo nareceive grant visa?

  6. Ange says:

    I just want to share.. I submitted my tourist application sunday night march 12 I received the grant notice afternoon of Tuesday this blog is very helpful ?

  7. chrissy says:

    Hello po! Anyone in Perth now?

  8. chrissy says:

    High wycombe po, just near airport.. how about you?

  9. Grace says:

    I lodged my TV last night around 7pm. I got notification granted today at 12noon. Grabe ang bilis, in less than 24hrs i got my TV. Thank u for this blog. Good luck to everyone.

  10. Mila Lauigan says:

    If I apply online how will I be able to affix my signature to the application. Do I meed to download the form, sign and then scan considering that the other parts of the application will be answered directly on the form provided in their website

  11. Dhey says:

    Hi guys! Sino dito taga south east melbourne? Meet tayo?

  12. Regina says:

    Hi Nina! May I ask how your mom got her 3-year multiple entry visa? I’ve had single entry and 1-year multiple entry visas but never heard of anybody getting 3 years.

  13. Amber says:

    Hello mga sis.. ask ko lng. Anu ang hint malapit na lumabas ang result ng spouse visa? Immigration emailed me about police check of my husband & some photos the day I came here upto present but hindi ngask for medical.. for some nka experience at granted na ang spouse visa.. baka may same experience. Thank you

  14. Grace says:

    Hi amber nun nagapply ka ng spouse visa offshore how many days bago mo nareceive acknowledgement letter.

  15. Kim says:

    Hi. Ask ko lang kasi plan ko mag apply ulit ng tv pero since 1st punta ko sa Australia nkpag stay ako ng 10months pabalik balik in 18months. Kelan kya ako ulit pwede magapply. Need pba wait ng 6months bfore mg apply? Thank you

  16. Cassandra says:

    Hi guys ask ko lng if pwede ba mgdala ng perfumes pauwi??? May limit ba kase yun ang ipapasalubong ko pag uuwi ako. Thank you

  17. Grace says:

    Im having a problem with the jetstar, because my sponsor booked my flight thru online using his credit card. Then jetstar had a policy for the verification of the credit card upon check-in in the airport, the card should be physically present. We didnt know about this policy. Is there anyone experience the same case with mine?

    • Kim says:

      I remember before some airlines also have that policy and ask for my credit card. Cguro tell them nalang na kun sino ang nag book at scan and print na lang yun card.

    • MMJ says:

      I experienced it before. Just scan the credit card front and back and a photocopy of your sponsor passport.

      • Grace says:

        Hi mmj, is it jetstar airlines too? Because ive been reading some blogs and it says that jetstar dont allow it. They really need the physical credit card to swipe it. Though some airlines needs a photocopy of card, authorization letter and valid id of the card holder.

      • MMJ says:

        Yes its Jetstar po. I showes them the passport copy of my Partner and scan of credit card. How would it be possible if your sponsor’s credit card is here In Oz.
        Try your sponsor to make a letter with his sign and show to the Jetstar personnel.

  18. Mars says:

    Hi, I plan to apply for a tourist visa for australia for a 1 week course. However, I plan to not pay it before granting the visa. Also, I will not be staying long for I’ll travel to another country right after the course. My concern now is I’m unemployed and I dont have an ITR..will the payslip of the past work be okay as a an evidence? but i’m not paying for BIR… Thank you.

  19. buchoy says:

    Hi there. So I am planning to apply for visitor’s visa. I have a work visa in NZ. However, I’m currently unemployed. Will there be a chance for the immigration in OZ to grant my visa? Is my visa in NZ enough to grant my visa?

  20. marian says:

    Hello! Hope someone can answer my question. My partner will be shouldering my airfare, accommodation and daily living expenses. What documents should I present our immigration officers/airline crew (upon check in) here in the Philippines? My fiance will be the one to book my flights using his ATM, I have read previous comments regarding Jetstar requiring proof of booking. In my case, since my fiance is using his ATM and not credit card, what proofs should I present? Hope someone can answer me. Thank you.

    • Grace says:

      Make sure lang sis marian na dlhin mo ung mga supporting documents mo na sinubmit mo for applying ur visa, like his passport and invitation later and also ur proof na bbalik ka ng pinas. Im having problem with jetstar now, much better ibook nya ung ticket mo thru travel agent so no need for verification of cards or he can also pay ur ticket thru cash. Hanap ka din na ibang airline na wlang card verification or kahit hnd ganon kastrict when it comes to that.

      • marian says:

        Hi sis Grace, thanks for responding. Naku, Jetstar pa naman lagi ang binobook namin when we go overseas but it will be my first time visiting Australia. I have two Japan visit visas on my passport. Do you think they would still look for proof of booking? Ano po ang hinihingi sa inyo ng Jetstar sis? It’s my first time traveling without him so I want to make sure I have everything. Please update me po with your jetstar situation sis. Do you have fb? 🙂

      • Grace says:

        Here is my fb gracious villaflor.

      • marian says:

        Hi Ms. Grace, what’s your fb profile photo? Hope i msged the right person in fb hehe.

  21. marian says:

    Hi there, marian again here. Does anyone here know auhtorized acquisition of CERTIFICATE OF IMPEDIMENT (CNI) via courier? My fiance will authorize me to get his CNI in the australian embassy here in the ph. Anyone here knows who are the eligible witnesses when my fiance signs the application form? Would appreciate any help. Thank you! 🙂

  22. coochie says:

    Hi, jen here.. Im planning to apply for a tourist visa since my previous application (dependent visa) was refused.. My husband has student visa in Aus.. ok lang po ba na yung bro in law ko mag sponsor and mag send ng invitation letter kasi PR naman sya dun??

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