Visa application, processing, and getting are quite hustling for many people. But without a visa, you can hardly cross the border of other countries. And if you’re planning to visit Australia, then you can’t skip the visa processing.
Though Australia is pretty strict about visas, it doesn’t mean it is very hard to get an Australian visitor visa. Even I would say the Australian visa processing is much easier than any other country as the whole process takes place online.
So you can apply from your home. All you need is a phone or computer and a strong internet connection.
If you’re a first-time traveller and you intend to visit Australia as a genuine visitor, you should apply for an Australian visitor visa (subclass 600). Also if your Australian ETA (601) been refused and asked to apply Subclass 600 instead subclass 601 the follow this article.
Here in this article, I will give you a step by step guideline of how to apply for a visitor visa and some DOs and DON’Ts that you should follow if you don’t want your visa to be denied.
What is an Australian visitor Visa (Subclass 600)?
An Australian visitor visa (Subclass 600) is a short time visa that will allow you to enter Australia for less than three months. You can’t apply for a visitor visa if you’re not a genuine visitor and you don’t have the intention to return to your resident country.
Visitor visa (Subclass 600) has nearly six streams, but the two main streams are the Tourist stream and the Business stream. The visa validation, cost, and time processing depend on these streams.
If you’re a genuine visitor and after a certain period of time you will return to your resident country, then you should apply for a tourist stream visa. This visa is basically for those of you who want to go to Australia for holiday or treatment purposes or meet friends or family members who live in Australia. Or, with this visa, you can even engage in any study or training which is shorter than three months.
Business visitor stream visa is for those who come to Australia for business purposes. However, it should be a short visit like attending a conference or training, and you can’t sell goods or your service here with this visa.
Australian visitor Visa Requirements
Here I have listed some required and recommended information and documents that you may need to apply for the Australian visitor visa.
1. Online application form
An Australian visa application is handy because the whole process is completed online. So you can apply for your visa at your home without any hustle. You have to fill up a 19-page application form that you will get after creating an ImmiAccount on the official immigration website of the Australian government. Get more details about the application form in the “how to apply for an Australian visitor visa (subclass 600) online” below.
2. A valid passport
You surely know to apply for any visa application, you must have a valid passport. To apply for an Australian visitor visa, you also need a valid passport but not a hard copy. You have to scan your passport and then attach the file with the application form. The scanned copy should be clear and transparent. Otherwise, your visa can be rejected.
3. Passport-size photo (soft copy)
As you have to provide all information through an online process, you must submit a soft copy of every document, including your photo and passport. You must attach a coloured passport-size photo to the required section of your application form. The photo must be clear and vivid.
4. National identity card (if have)
National identity cards are not mandatory for all applicants. But if you have, you must submit it. And if you’re under 18 and you don’t have your National identity card, then you can provide your birth certificate or other documents as evidence of your identity.
5. Proof of financial status
Proof of financial status is crucial for an Australian visitor visa, proving that you have enough funds in your bank account to support your stay and leave in Australia. To prove your financial status and you have enough funds, you need the following documents:
Your bank account statement of at least three months period (if you’re carrying your trip expense).
Credit card statement (if have)
Note: If someone is sponsoring your Australia trip, you may have to apply for a Sponsored family stream visa. Usually, your family member can sponsor your trip under this visa who has Australian citizenship or permanent resident, and your sponsor might be asked to pay a security bond.
6. Travel itinerary
A travel itinerary is a very important information that you must attach to your application form. In this travel itinerary, you have to include your day-to-day plans like places to visit and things to do during your vacation. And also mention the date, time, and your accommodation. Here is a sample copy of the travel itinerary. You only can submit a pdf copy of your travel itinerary.
Note: Travel itinerary is mandatory ONLY for those you are applying for the Tourist stream.
7. Cover letter
A cover letter is surely optional, but it can help you to get the visa smoothly. Because the whole process of applying and getting the Austria visitor visa would be online, there is no interview where you can explain your travel plans and purpose. So it is better to submit a cover letter that will explain your travel reason and travel plans. But of course, your cover letter must support every information that you have already submitted for the visa application.
8. Travel health insurance
Travel health insurance is also optional, like the cover letter, but it helps a lot to get the visa, and at the same time, the insurance is helpful during your stay in Australia. For example, if you have a medical emergency during your stay or your flight has been cancelled, you will get immediate financial support from the insurance company. So travel insurance is required for your own sake and the visa authority also gets assurance that you can carry any medical emergency if needed.
9. Proof of employment status
With your visa application, you also need to submit evidence of your employment status.
- NOC or Non-Objection Certificate
- A letter that explains your role in the company
- Income tax document
For Self-employed or business owners
- Business licence
- A finance sheet that explains profits and losses
- Income tax document
- Students need to show their enrolment certificate of the particular school or university.
- A non-objection letter from the specific school or university.
10. Visa fees
If you’re applying from outside Australia, then the tourist stream will cost you AUD 145.00. And the cost is also the same for a Business stream visa. You can pay the visa fee through your credit card, debit card, UnionPay, PayPal, and BPAY.
11. Additional information
- A Flight itinerary that will show Australia entering and exiting dates. And without buying an actual flight ticket, you can reserve your roundtrip flight which is also refundable in case your visa gets rejected.
- An invitation letter from your family or friends if you’re staying with them in Australia. The letter should state your relationship with them, the reason for your trip, and so on.
- Provide evidence of your previous travel (if you have). It may help you to get the visa smoothly.
- A marriage license (if have) or a divorce certificate (if have).
- Any property paper or house paper that you own in your home country.
Note: If any of this information is not in English, you’re highly recommended to translate them into English and then submit them.
You don’t have to submit all the documents as some are required, and some are recommended. But it is better to submit as many as possible, which will increase the possibility of getting the visa. And remember your passport and photo are mandatory that you can’t skip.
As you know, all your files have to be submitted through an online process. So you have to make them either a jpg, PNG, BMP, or PDF file to submit. And no zip files or encrypted pdf files are acceptable.
Don’t make your file size more than 5MB, as larger size files are not acceptable. If you have files that are bigger than 5MB, make sure you reduce the size and then upload them.
How to Apply for an Australian Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) Online?
Applying for an Australian visitor visa is not rocket science, and anyone can do it with a simple guideline. Here I have explained how to apply for an Australian visitor visa in four easy steps. Also you can watch my video in above
1. Create an ImmiAccount
Creating an ImmiAccount is the most simple and crucial part of an Australian visitor visa application. Without having the ImmiAccount, you can’t get the application form, and you have to create it from immi.gov.au, which is the official immigration website of the Australian government.
Here you will get two steps to create the account. You need to fill up your family name, phone number, and, most importantly, an active email address at the first step. In comparison, the second step requires setting a password and some questions about you. Click here to create your ImmiAccount.
2. Fill up the application form.
After registering for the ImmiAccount, you will receive an email to get access to the account. Now you just have to do the following steps.
First, log in to your account and click the “New application” option.
Then you have to choose the visa type. If you’re a genuine tourist, select the “visitor” option and then “visitor visa (600)“.
Now you have a 19-page application form which you must fill up carefully and correctly. Don’t give any wrong information that may cause your visa denial.
In these three simple steps, you can accomplish your visitor visa application form. And in case you cannot fill up your application form right then, you can always save it and edit it later. Moreover, you don’t have to print the form. Just fill-up the form and submit it. But be sure you have given all the correct information before submitting it.
3. Attach documents
At this point, you have to submit all the required and recommended documents that we have mentioned before. On your application dashboard, you will have an option where you can upload all your files. Make sure you submit as many files as possible and make them less than 5MB before submitting them.
Now it’s time to submit your application form and then receive an Application Receipt via email.
Note: Remember, after submitting your application form, you cannot edit it anymore. So do double check before submitting.
4. Pay the visa fees
Now the last step is payment. The tourist stream visa fee is AUD 145.00, and you also need to pay it online through a Credit card, debit card, UnionPay, or PayPal.
What is the Processing Time?
No one can predict the visa processing time as it is based on circumstances and the age of application finalisation. My visa processing time took nearly two years because I applied in February 2020 before the COVID-19 outbreak and the border was closed. I have received my visa confirmation email in March 2022.
But don’t be scared! Now the border has reopened for all visitors, and the processing time may take a few weeks. So don’t be so hopeless, just wait patiently as I did.
Q1. What is the visa validity time?
The visa validation depends on your travel itinerary and your nationality. Australian family visitor visa is generally granted for a period of 12 months. But normally, the Australian border agency will decide entry validity. In most cases it will be 3 months per entry.
Q2. Do I need to submit a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation?
It is not compulsory to submit a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation. But if you can manage a roundtrip flight ticket and book a staycation with a refund policy, it is better to submit these documents as they increase the chance of your visa approval. My suggestion is must do submit proof of accommodations including flight reservation.
Q3. How early should I apply for an Australian visitor visa?
It also depends on your travel itinerary, but you should apply at least six months before your planned trip. Since there is a huge backlog, submit your application as early as possible.
Q4. How much bank balance do I need for the approval of my visa?
It is hard to say any exact number that you need to have in your bank account. Because it depends on many factors like how many days you’re intended to stay in Australia, your accommodation cost, your daily cost, etc. Make sure you have enough funds in your bank account so that you can maintain your stay and leave.
With my personal experience, Australia is a very expensive place for many including myself. If you have pre-booked (paid) accommodations and purchased flight tickets, then i think at least A$ 200 per day.
Q5. What can be the possible reasons for an application denial?
Your visa can be denied, refused or rejected for many different reasons. But the most primary and possible reasons are the following:
- If you submit wrong information or unclear information.
- If you fail to prove that you have no intension to overstay in Australia.
- If your travel purpose is ambiguous.
- If you fail to prove that you or your sponsor has enough funds to support your trip.
- Weak travel history
- Not enough funds
- Fake or misleading information
- Not telling truth about previous visa application refused from other countries, namely from UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc.
Q6. What does an Australian visitor visa look like?
Q7. Do I need to provide a fingerprint?
Depends on your nationality. You may ask to provide your fingerprints. If your nationality required to do biometric verification, please make an appointment with VFS global or Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) nearby you and they will help you to complete the procedure.
Q8. Is the Australian border open for tourists now?
On 21 February 2022, Australia has opened its border for all visitors. Anyone who is fully vaccinated can get entry to Australia without a travel exemption.
If you face any problems or wants further discuss regarding any questions about the visitor visa (subclass 600), let me know in the comment section or use our contact us form to assist you further. For Malaysian who are facing problem with your ETA (601) can use the same form too. I will try my best to help you.