The Land Down Under offers a lot of adventures and opportunities. You can visit Australia for leisure, adventure, business, work, and even medical treatment. Whatever your purpose is, you need an Australia visa to enter and stay in the country for a certain period of time.
Applying for an Australian visa is pretty easy and straightforward. You can either apply online using Immi Account or through the Australian Visa Application Center (AVAC) in the Philippines. In the Philippines, it is managed by VFS Global.
Before starting with your application, you need to be clear with your purpose for visiting the country. This will determine the type of visa to apply for, the requirements you need to comply with, and whether you can apply online or through the AVAC.
Common types of Australia Visa
The following are common types of Australia visa you can apply for as Philippine passport holders depending on your purpose of visit:
Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)
Visitor visa allows temporary entry for those who want to visit Australia for tourism or for business. You may apply a Visitor’s visa online or through AVAC.
- Tourism stream – This is for those who want to visit Australia for non-work purposes, such as for a holiday, to visit relatives or friends, or to study for less than three months.
- Business stream – This is for those who want to do business visiting activities, such as general business or government enquiries, negotiations, government visits, as well as conferences, seminars, job interviews, and professional examinations.[i]
Medical Treatment Visa (Subclass 602)
If you want to visit Australia for medical treatment or consultation (except surrogate motherhood)[ii] or if you are going to donate an organ, you can apply for a Medical Treatment visa. Furthermore, you can also apply for this visa if you are going to support and accompany someone needing medical treatment in Australia who holds or has also applied for this type of visa.[iii]
Applying for Medical Treatment visa may be done only through AVAC (VFS Global).
Student Visa (subclass 500)
Anyone who wishes to study in Australia will need to apply for the Student Visa regardless of the course or field of study. Applications must be processed online.[iv]
To qualify for a Student visa application, you must have applied for and been accepted by an educational institution in Australia to study a full time course in their institution. For those under 18 years of age, you have must have arranged welfare for the duration of your intended stay and study in Australia.[v]
Transit visa is for those who will be making a stop-over in Australia during their travel to another country. It is also for those who will be passing through Australia to join a ship as crew. This visa is valid for 72 hours and is required whether or not you will remain in the airport transit lounge and whether or not you will fly on the same aircraft on which you arrived.[vi]
You can apply for the transit visa only through AVAC (VFS Global).
Temporary Activity Work Visa
This type of visa will allow you to temporarily work in Australia. Sub-classes include Temporary Work Visa – Short Stay Specialist (Subclass 400), Temporary Work Visa – International Relations (Subclass 403), Training Visa (Subclass 407), and Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408).
Subclass 403 visa can applied either online or by paper through AVAC, while Subclasses 400, 407, and 408 can only be applied online. [vii]
Partner Migration Visa
The Partner Migration Visa allows a partner of a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, as well as partner of New Zealand citizen to migrate to Australia. There are two sub-classes for this type of visa, including the Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa and the Spouse/Partner Migration (subclass 309/100) visa.
Prospective Marriage Visa is for those who are engaged to their sponsor and intend to marry within nine months after the granting of the visa. The Spouse/Partner Migration visa, on the other hand, is for someone who is married to or in a de facto relationship with their sponsor and are in a true and ongoing relationship. [viii]
Partner visa applicants are encouraged to lodge their application online.
Child Migration Visa
In this type of visa, the sponsor parent will apply the visa in behalf of the child through AVAC. There are different types of child migration visas, including the following:
- Child Visa (Subclass 101) – intended for those children who are dependents of Australian citizens or permanent residents, as well as dependents of New Zealand citizens;
- Adoption Visa (Subclass 102) – for children under 18 years old, who are about to be or have been adopted by an Australian citizen/permanent resident or New Zealand Citizen;
- Orphan Relative Visa (Subclass 117) – for children under 18 years old, who don’t have parents who can care for them; and
- Dependent child visa (subclass 445) – for children or stepchildren of a parents who are currently holding temporary partner visa in Australia.
Other visas you can apply for in Australia include the Resident Return Visa, Citizenship by Descent, Aged Dependent Relative Visa, Remaining Relative visa, and Carer Visa.[ix]
If you are not sure of type of Australian visa to apply for, you may always avail of our free consultation to make things easier for you.
Steps in Applying for Australia Visa
Now that you know the type of Australian visa to apply for, you can now proceed with the application. You can either do it online using ImmiAccount or through AVAC (VFS Global).
1. Create an ImmiAccount
ImmiAccount is where you can log in to the Australia’s immigration department to process your Australia visa application from start to finish. You can click here to start.
2. Complete the application form
After registering with ImmiAccount, confirm your registration by following the confirmation link sent to your email address. Once you have confirmed your registration, you can proceed with filling up your visa application form.
If you cannot finish the application form in one sitting, you can save your application. Click “submit” only when the form has been completely filled up.
3. Pay the application fee online
The application fee shall be paid in peso equivalent using your credit card, Bpay or Paypal.[x] The fee depends on the type of Australian visa you are applying for. There will also be a credit card surcharge to be collected when paying online using your credit card.
You can visit the Price estimator support page of the Australian Government’s Immigration website to view the estimated application fee of the visa you wish to apply for.
4. Submit the required documents
The required documents also vary depending on the visa you wish to apply for. You can find the list of these documents on your ImmiAccount application dashboard. Submit as many documents as you can to be safe.[xi]
After submitting your application, you will receive an Acknowledgment of Application Receipt sent to your email. From here, you would have to wait for your Visa letter to be emailed by the Australian Immigration Department.
AVAC (through VFS Global)
1. Fill up the visa application form
Assuming you know the subclass of the visa you need to apply for, download the application form found here . Print the form and fill it up completely and honestly. Affix your signature and attach your photograph on it. Set aside for submission.
2. Gather the complete visa application requirements
Along with your application form, you will also be submitting certain requirements depending on the visa you are applying for. You may find the checklist here, which you can then download and print. Gather everything that is required from you and do not forget to sign the checklist. The signed checklist will also be submitted along with your application form and documents.
3. Prepare the visa application fee payment
Prepare the visa payment in the form of a Manager’s check drawn from any Philippine bank, except Rural banks. The amount should be in Philippine peso and should be made payable to “Australian Embassy”.[xii]
You also need to prepare cash as payment for the VFS Global Logistic Service charge.
4. Submit your application to AVAC
Once you are complete with your requirements, you may now submit your application to AVAC through VFS Global with branches in Manila and Cebu. You may go as a walk-in applicant or schedule an appointment with them online. You may also contact them at (02)790-4900 or email them at [email protected] to book an appointment. Be sure to arrive before your scheduled time to avoid problems.
5. Submit your application via courier service
You may also submit your visa application via courier service (2Go) for a certain fee. Your application will be picked up from your specified address. When submitting via courier service, please prepare a Manager’s check for your VFS Global Logistic Service fee, instead of cash payment. The courier service charge shall also be in the form of Manager’s check. [xiv]
6. Wait for your Visa letter
Once you have successfully submitted your visa application complete with requirements either personally or through courier service, you will now have to wait for your Visa letter from AVAC. This will be given to you via email or by courier service after a few days to weeks after your submission.[xv]