Australia is a nation that is in itself occupies a whole continent. Located at the south of Indonesia, Australia consist of the mainland continent, plus the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is also the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.
Australia’s climate varies throughout the different states and territories, with most of the states experiencing four seasons except for the tropical north that experiences only wet and dry season. Also, do take note that the seasons are a complete opposite to those in the northern hemisphere, December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring. We went in June last year so it was very very cold. The winter season also doesn’t necessarily mean snow, although in some areas in Sydney there was snow the night before we visited there (hello, Katoomba!) but the most we experienced was really bitingly cold winter wind, and on other days some rain showers.
We decided to divide our visit to 2 states, Sydney and Melbourne. We took the red-eye flight (12:15 am) to Sydney from NAIA Terminal 3 via Cebu Pacific and reached Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport at around 10:30 in the morning. Travel time is 8 hours plus 2 hours time difference, Sydney being ahead by 2 hours.
Applying for an Australian Visa is totally different from applying for a visa in an Asian country. You can do it online or manually, although I advise to do it online since it easier and faster.
I applied for my VISA through the VFS Global Website. Getting to the correct site for the eVisa application can be quite confusing as there are so many links provided in their website so I hope that this post could be of great help. 🙂
If you are going for a short visit, the visa to apply for is the Visitor Visa (subclass 600). The various types of visit visas are listed on this link. From this link you can choose visitor visa, then choose to apply for the visa online. From there you can Start an application, create an ImmiAccount, log-in and proceed to answer the form online. You can save your work every time you log-out then continue another day. After filling up the form, there will be a page for all the requirements to be attached. The requirement states that each document should be notarized but I didn’t actually have all my documents notarized and my application was approved. The list of required documents are as follows:
- Travel Document: Passport – the particulars page of your passport
- (Evidence of) Visa status in Country of Residence – in my case, a copy of my Spass
- (Evidence of) Travel History – a. Entry/Exit stamped pages of the current passport; b.Entry/Exit stamped pages of the expired passport
- (Evidence of) Birth or Age – a copy of my NSO Birth Certificate.
- (Evidence of) Work Experience, Overseas – a. Employment Contract from my Employer ; b. Letter/Statement from business/employer stating intent to return to work.
- (Evidence of) Financial Capacity, Personal – a copy of one month recent bank statement of my Payroll account.
- (Evidence of) Assets, Personal – I used the same bank statement I attached for #6.
After attaching every document, double check all the documents as well as your answers to the form and then you can proceed for payment. Only then will they start to assess your application. The application fee is AUD$ 135 plus surcharges depending on the card you use.
I received an email straightaway to acknowledge my application, as well as a letter requiring me to provide personal identifiers in the form of biometrics. I then had to book for an appointment online for biometrics (fingerprint and facial photo taking). You can also go there for walk-in and just let them know you are there for biometrics. There is a SGD 43.30 (to be paid in cash) processing fee for the biometrics. After that you just have to wait for the Visa Grant to be sent to your email. I received mine a few hours after I got my biometrics taken.
VISA application from the Philippines can also be done online, although the document requirements have a slight difference to the requirements here in Singapore. Also, biometrics is not required and the Visa grant can take upto 5 weeks before approval (or rejection).
Til next time!