how to get australia visa

We had our Australia trip last April where we went to Adelaide, Canberra, and Sydney. But since we are Philippine passports holders, we need a tourist Visa or visit Visa before we can enter Australia.

My husband, Erick, is still working in Singapore while we are in Cebu. I’m confused as to how to apply with a situation like ours. I’ve been searching on the Internet if there’s a case similar to ours. But none. Well, it really wouldn’t matter wherever you are because Australian visa application is just done online. But I still want to share our experience because I know somehow a family like ours is also looking for some guidance.

A year ago, I shared with Erick that maybe we can travel to Australia while my cousin is there and is willing to let us stay at her place. And of course, he agreed. Plus, applying for a visa is just through online. No need to go to the embassy for interviews, which is a good thing if you have small kids with you.

We also contacted our friends in Canberra and Sydney to ask for some tips. And they are pleased to offer us their homes, too. That made our planning less complicated. So we started our document filing.

First, we made our Immiaccount from this website https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login. This is where all the application takes place. You fill up a questionnaire, around 20 pages (yup, it’s long). It’s just about yourself — your identity, your character, your travel plans. The good thing about this Immiaccount is you can stop or pause and log out and as long as you press save, your answers will just be there when you log in again.

After filling up the form, you can start attaching the requirements. You can start first with what you have and continue along as you gather other documents. And as long as you saved it and not submit it yet, you can always pause, log out and finish it when you can. Of course, it’s better to finish it as soon as possible especially if you have bought airplane tickets already.

The requirements for getting a visa: (Take note that these are the requirements that I submitted, a stay-at-home mother — not employed).

1. Travel document or passport (not less than 6 months validity on the time of travel)
2. Photograph (45mm x 35mm) with a plain background
-6 months old
– With name at the back
3. Evidence of previous travel/s
– Entry/exit stamps on passports
– Visa from other countries visited
4. Evidence of the financial status and funding for the visit
– Bank statements (I submitted 3 months back)
5. Group tour details or itinerary
– Since we have set a date and we found a good price for airfares, we already bought airplane
tickets but it’s really not necessary. You can just write a detailed plan about this. Like our bus
ride from Canberra to Sydney, we didn’t buy tickets yet, but we just wrote down the time we plan
to go.
6. Planned tourism activities
– We made an outline of what activities and where we are planning to go.
7. Family register and composition form (if applicable)
– Accomplished form 54 is about family composition. You can just download the form from the site.
– I also added birth certificates of family members that are part of the travel
– Marriage certificate
8. Invitation from family, friends or organization
– My cousins who went there earlier said it’s not needed but we still asked a letter of invitation
from our friends stating that we are going to stay at their house.
– We also asked for supporting documents from them where their Australian address can be verified.

For Erick, who is employed and an OFW at that, he has additional requirements, aside from the things listed for my application.

1. Visa for the country of residence (and right to return)
-Since he’s living and working in Singapore, he included his employment pass or work visa.
2. Evidence of current employment or self-employment
– Letter from employer stating his current role
3. Evidence of financial status
– Bank statement
– Credit card statement
– Payslips (3 months)

For my two children, we have to make an Immiaccount for each of them. We just used Erick’s email address, though. And they have their own requirements, too. This is applicable for under 18 years of age.

1.Consent documents for children under 18 (Form 1229)
-Form 1229 (from the site)
-Birth certificate
-Birth certificate of parents
-Marriage certificate of parents
-Passport details of parents
2. Evidence of planned tourism activities
-Same as what we have
3. Family register and composition
-Form 54 (from the site)
4. Travel document or passport
5. Group tour details or itinerary
-Same as what we have
6. Form 956A Appointment or Withdrawal of authorized recipient
-The form is from the site
7. Photograph (45mm x 35mm) plain background
-6 months old
-With name at the back
8. Evidence of previous travel
-Entry/exit stamps
9. Evidence of financial status and funding for the visit
-Parents’ bank statement
10. Invitation from family, friends & organizations

That’s it. Seems a lot but everything is just attainable. The only thing that I have to work on is the bank statement as I really have to go to the bank. By the way, there’s no exact amount on how much the embassy wants to see inside your bank account but let’s just say that you should be capable in funding the whole duration of your trip.

We also paid 140 AUD each using a credit card. I’m not sure what are the other options in paying. But this is what we did.

The last thing, Erick was asked to go to the Australian Embassy in Singapore for biometrics. From my reading, all nationalities living in Singapore are asked to do this for visa applications. For our part, we weren’t asked.

A day after Erick’s biometrics, he received the grant letter through email. And together with my children, I received my letter a week after submitting the application. We were all granted multiple entries for 1 year. And so off we go.

I hope this somehow shed some light on your research about getting that family tourist visa to Australia. So where to next?

About the Writer:Elsbeth M. PerezElsbeth is a wife of an OFW and has lived in Singapore for 6 years. She is currently in Cebu as a stay-at-home mother of Elnathan and Elisha. She loves sports and is an adventure junkie herself. An architect by trade but has the passion for traveling and photography.

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