Xavy just recently got his passport and as much as we’d like to travel internationally, we don’t have that much money. My mom recently applied for an Australian vistor visa and she was granted multiple entry valid for one (1) year and maximum duration of six (6) months. And all that was approved in a week, no medical exam and all that other stuff, all she had to do was submit the requirements online. But that was my Mom, who’s a retired government employee and a senior citizen. I don’t know if we’d get the same treatment as her.
For both of us, this is our first visa application and I was not feeling so confident because: 1) we don’t have have a lot in the bank, and 2) Xavy is an illegitimate child travelling with only one parent. Check out our blog post on things to remember for Filipino minors travelling abroad. But we persisted with the application, submitted all the requirements that were available and prayed a lot.
Anyways, for Filipinos who want to visit as tourist, to see family and friends or for purposes other than business or medical treatment, the applicable visa type is Visitor visa (subclass 600). Learn more about this visa at the Australian Immigration website. So basically this blog post is for this type of visa only. I don’t know how the application of the other visa types work.
So here’s what I prepped for the required documents (all scanned copies):
- Passport size photo – 45cm x 35cm, white background
- Passport – the page with the personal information (if you have the new passport, include the signature page)
- Evidence of previous travel – scanned all the passport pages with stamps and any visa documents that’s not in your passport should also be submitted
And for the supporting documents, the more the merrier. 😀 I mean, all documents you can provide to basically prove that you’re not going TNT over there and you’ll be financially okay during your stay. Here’s what we submitted:
- Evidence of current employment or self-employment
- Certificate of Employment
- Certificate of Leave of Absence – I requested our HR to create one for me saying that I will only be out for a month after which I’m expected to report to work
- Evidence of planned tourism activities in Australia – yes, I really made one just because! You can check it out here.
- Family register and composition form – birth certificate issued from NSO. Check out our blog post on How to get PSA (NSO) Birth Certificate online.
- Invitation from family, friends or organisations – fortunately, my sister is an Australian citizen, so we had an invitation and support letter.
- Evidence of the financial status and funding for visit
- Bank Statement – I got a copy of my bank’s statement of account. Like I mentioned, we’re not rich, my ADB was only around 30k for the past three (3) months.
- Mortgage Document – I submitted our chattel mortgage, you should submit if you any, I feel like this is a proof that you have responsibilities in the country so you’re definitely coming back
- Tax Document – my sister sent me their tax return
- Payslip – my sister and I submitted both our payslips for the past 3 months
- Certificate of Earnings – this is from my online job at Upwork
So once you got everything all set, create an account at their Immigration website and submit your application. I only created one account for both of us, it wouldn’t make sense that a six (6) year old would have his own account. When I submitted Xavy’s application, he was missing one required document (evidence of previous travel). There was a pop-up asking me to explain why he’s missing that, I just had to explain that this is his first travel. So for this visitor visa, we paid P5,364.80 each (AUD140.00). I submitted it on a Sunday and we got approved on Wednesday of the same week.
Although we got single entry visas, we could actually stay for as long as 3 months and valid for one year. Who knows maybe next time we’ll get multiple entries!