November 13, 2023

How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa with Biometrics in the Philippines

Our family loves to travel but we prefer a visa-free country to save money because we all know that visa application is not cheap. And if ever we apply, there is no guarantee that our visas will be granted because it will always depend on our documents and who will review our applications. All we can do is pray and hope that our documents are enough to prove that we are genuine tourists and we have strong ties in our country. 

As of this writing, Australia is the third visa country that we applied for as a family. My husband has other business visas but for our own family trip, we only experienced Japan Visa and Schengen Visa.  

When my husband purchased our Manila - Sydney- Manila flight during the Great Mabuhay Miles Getaway Promotion, I started reading blogs and articles regarding the Australian Visa Tourist Application. In my mind, everything is easy because I can do it online but I spoke too soon because… 

1. I was surprised when I needed to answer 20 pages. 

2. We are applying as a family but we need individual applications. I can only create a group to inform them that this is a group process. 

Is this application being lodged as part of group applications? 

Group ID: Group Name: 
Group Type: Family

3. Biometric and Health Assessments are needed. Good thing that we only need biometrics. 

4. I need to scan all the entry/exit stamps of our expired and current passports plus visa documentation. Sa ibang countries kasi, current passport lang ang need. 

And because of this, it took me two days to finish our application forms, including the scanning, uploading, and attaching of documents. It was kinda stressful because I only had limited time. We need to submit our applications and schedule our biometrics before my husband’s business trip. I am just thankful that we don’t need to submit our passports. 

Despite the stress that I experienced, I can still say that applying for an Australian Tourist Visa is not hard as long as you are not in a hurry. 

How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa (Visitor Visa 600) 

Visitor Visa (subclass 600) is a tourist visa stream that allows you to visit Australia as a tourist, go on a cruise, or visit your family or friends. They can grant you a stay of 3, 6, or 12 months. Tourist needs to be outside Australia when applying for this type of visa. 

Just like our Schengen Visa application, I only create one online account and use it for all our applications. For Australia, you need to create an Immi Account, it is where I fill out forms, attach documents, pay the visa fee, and check the status of our applications. 

2 . Click “New Application” and fill in the Application Form 

You need to fill in 20 pages but there is no time limit so you can take your time in answering don’t forget to save the form if you are not ready to submit it yet. 

3. Upload and Attach Supporting Documents 

You can attach up to 60 documents for each person. The site accepts .jpg, .png, .pdf and other type of files. Just make sure that the file is not encrypted or secured PDF files. Also, the file should not be over 5 MB.

Dito ako nastress sa 5MB kasi nascan ko na lahat ng passports ni hubby, ending I can’t attach it because the file is over 5MB so I have to repeat it again. I reduced the pixels and I scanned per passport na lang.

Documents may vary depending if you are employed, unemployed, a student etc. You can see the required and recommended documents after you fill out the form. We just submitted the documents that we have. 

Documents that we submitted: (Employed, Housewife, and Student) 

Required Documents

Travel Document 
Passport Profile Page 

Evidence of Previous Travel 
Entry and exit of expired passport 
Entry and exit of current passport 
Visa documentation 

Supporting Evidence for Traveling Children 
Birth Certificate 
Photo ID of Parent’s showing signature 

Recommended Documents 

Family Register + Composition 
Birth Certificate 
Marriage Certificate 

Evidence of Planned Tourism Activities 
Flight Ticket 
Certificate of Enrollment (Dito ko na lang nilagay sa may others) 

Evidence of Financial Status and Funding 
Bank Certificate 
Bank Statement (3 months) 
Title Deed 
Latest Credit Card Statement 
Travel Insurance 
Income Tax Return 

Evidence of Current Employment/Self-employment 
Certificate of Employment 
Evidence of Leave 

I uploaded JPG and PDF files only. The site knows if you attach encrypted files or secured files, I experienced this when I attached our travel insurance, nag-error yung file so I had to print and scan our travel insurance so I can attach it. 

The “Other Documents” option will appear after you paid your visa. So just in case there are documents you want to add or if they are requesting more documents, you can attach them here. 

Note: It is not advisable to purchase your plane ticket and travel insurance before applying for your visa. Actually, first time namin itong ginawa, we just took a risk kasi sayang ang sale. Pero ayaw ko na ulitin kasi super worry naman ako habang naghihintay ng decision, natatakot ako na masayang ang pera kung hindi granted. 

4. Pay Application Fee 

You can pay per application or group application. I chose the latter so I paid AUD570 + AUD7.98 = AUD577.98. The amount may vary depending on the foreign exchange, PHP21,982.54 is the amount posted on our credit card. 

Visitor Visa (600) - AUD190 + Tax (per person) 

After payment, we received our receipt and instructions about biometrics. 

To schedule your biometric, visit the VFS Global site. I am glad that I can book a group appointment. You only have two weeks to finish your biometric. 

Don’t forget to bring: 
1. Electronic or printed copy of the appointment letter as proof of your appointment date. 
2. Passport 
3. Electronic or printed copy of the Biometric letter issued by the Department of Home Affairs, Australia showing your personal details and a Visa Lodgement Number (VLN) to enable enrolment of your Biometric. 
4. Biometric Service fee 

Service fee 
Biometric Collection fee: PHP 892 (per person) 
Modes of payment: Cash 

Business Hours 

Cebu Monday to Friday 07:00 - 16:00 
Manila Monday to Friday 07:00 - 21:00 

VFS - Australian Biometric Collection Centre 
Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Building, 2305, 
Don Chino Roces Ave Extension, 
Makati City 1231, 
Manila, Philippines 

Once you arrive at the VFS office, the staff will check your appointment and will give you number. If I remember it right, there are seven booths so mabilis naman and natapos kami in 40 minutes.

After Biometric, I clicked the “I confirmed I have provided information as requested” and our application changed to “Further Assessment” status. 

Australian Visa Processing Times 

The global processing time for Australian Tourist Visa (600) is about a month and according to their website, you need to apply at least 4 months before your intended travel date. So it is better to apply as early as possible because you cannot predict how early or late they will finalized your visa applications. 

Processing Time 

25% of applications: 3 Days 
50% of applications: 7 Days 
75% of applications: 13 Days 
90% of applications: 22 Days 

Some people are lucky that they got their visa, minutes or hours after their biometrics but based on our experience, we got our visas on Day 13. Fortunately, we all received the visa grants email on the same day at a few-minute intervals. Some people even though they applied as a group, they received the visa decisions at different times. 

We did not apply for multiple entry but we got multiple entry for one year with 3 months stay per visit. Yey!

Day 1 (Friday)- Submit/Lodge the Application Form 
Pay the Visa Fee 
Book Biometric Appointment 
Day 4 (Monday) - Biometric Appointment 
Day 13 (Thursday) - Visa Granted - Multiple Entry for 1 year - 3 Months Stay 

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