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How to Apply for Australian Tourist Visa Online

Hi, there! Paolo here, Maye's boyfriend. I rarely blog but I'd like to share my experience on how to apply for an Australian tourist visa online. The first thing that needs to be done is to create an account with the Australian Government Department of Immigration (IMMI). Be sure that you write correct and accurate details as you may not be able to edit this anymore.

After creating an account, a confirmation will be sent to the email address you provided. Just click on the link found on the email and your account will be confirmed.

Now, proceed to website’s dashboard and select “New Application”.

Select “Visitor Visa (600)”- assuming that you are visiting Australia for recreation or tour purposes, otherwise, select the option that best applies to you.

This is basically an online version of the subclass 600 (form 1419) tourist visa application form. Make sure to fill up all spaces. If the question is not applicable to you just type in NA.

Since this is an online application, you now have the option to pay via credit/debit card as long as it’s Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, or Diners Club International. Please be reminded that there are additional charges for online payments. It ranges from 1.08% to 2.91%, depending on the card that you will use. That’s an additional AUD1.40 to AUD3.78, to the original application fee of AUD130 for the Visitor Visa 600. With my application back in July 2015, I got charged a total of PHP 4,715.54. That's obviously cheaper than applying with VFS Global.

After paying, you now have to submit scanned copies of the required documents. If you are unsure of what is being required or if you just want to double check, just click on the question mark (?) on the right side. You don’t want your visa application to be denied because you submitted a wrong document, right?

Here are the documents I uploaded online. You don't necessarily need to provide everything since these are basically the same docs that you submit when applying with VFS Global.

The online visa application took approximately a month, more or less, for processing. In my case, I started my application on June 23, 2015, and completed all the requirements on June 29, 2015. I got my visa grant notice via email on July 29, 2015.

I remember one of our blog readers mentioned that his online application took only a day of processing. I guess he applied back when this online service was introduced to the Filipino market. Sabayan mo na rin ng swerte! ;)

So will I recommend applying for an Australian Visa online? Definitely! I just love the convenience of doing everything online and being able to save a small amount of money for mailing the physical documents to the Australian Embassy. If you want to submit the traditional way then you may view that post here. I hope that you learned something from this blog and I wish you good luck in your visa application!

P.S. This application is for Philippine passport holders only. If you have any questions, just 'LIKE' my Facebook page and you may send me a PM there. Thanks! :)

Ride Along Motorcycle Tours

Travel Concierge Philippines (TCP) introduce the Ride Along Motorcycle Tours (RAMT)

As an Anonymous once said, "Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.", and that's exactly what I did when I got invited to join a motorcycle tour to Taal, Batangas.

Tours Around El Nido

That's me waiting for the others to come back from the Hidden Beach.

"Skip tour B...", suggested by a friend when I asked which tours to take a for 4D3N stay in El Nido. As a first timer, I don't usually google or research the places I'm about to visit. I prefer feeling and seeing things with my own eyes and not because of other's judgement. Yung feeling of excitement kapag on the way ka na.. iba! :)

Ipil Suites, El Nido

I asked around friends who've been to El Nido, Palawan to recommend a nice hotel. El Nido Resorts would have to be the best option if you don't mind staying on an island and of course paying a minimum of $500 per person, per night. But then Palawan is all about going on an adventure like island hopping for example.

Other Things To Do in Boracay

Boracay is known for its white beach, fun water sports activities, awesome night life, souvenir shops and different kinds of good food from all over the globe. I bet you've done almost every touristy thing! But ask yourself again.. have you? ;)

Kuya J's at Azalea Boracay

As mentioned from my previous post, Azalea Boracay offers apartment style hotel rooms wherein you get your own kitchen where you and your friends or family can prepare your own meals. No corkage fee folks! ;) But when you're not in the mood to get dirty in the kitchen there's always Kuya J!

Azalea Boracay

I was recently invited by Melo Villareal, owner of Out of Town Blog, to join a bloggers trip to Boracay. This was made possible by our good friends from Azalea Hotels & Residences headed by their marketing communications manager, the lovely Ms. Jo Fabello.

Hello, Hong Kong!

It's been almost 4 years since my last trip to Hong Kong. So happy to be back!

My sister just finished the 1st year of her college life and is on a one-month term break. As a treat (or whatever this trip is called), my mother agreed to fly to Hong Kong to take a few days off from work and spend time with her. As for me, though, I wasn't part of this and was kinda forced to book a flight at the very last minute. HAHAHA. Again, you don't say no to free trips especially if given by your parents. :)

Jetstar: Manila to Singapore

Flying to Singapore from Manila via Jetstar? Read this post!

I just read a random post on Facebook complaining that Jetstar did not allow this lady passenger to check-in and board a flight to Singapore just because she only had a copy of the credit card (CC) used upon booking. If I was that lady I'd be pissed too but then I researched more about the issue and found this:

According to the Filipino customer service representative working for Jetstar, this rule STRICTLY applies to flights bound for Singapore from Manila/anywhere in the Philippines. I was a bit bothered by the rule but then you can't blame the company if this is their way to reduce fraudulent transactions online.

Moving on, I think Jetstar forgot the fact that one cannot enter our airports unless you have a ticket on hand. So how on earth can they verify the credit card used upon booking?
  1. If CC owner is based in the Philippines he can go direct to MIASCOR. If I'm not mistaken they provide passenger and baggage services for different airlines including Jetstar. CC owner can drop by few days before the flight for early verification.
  2. Ask CC owner if he/she has time to drop you off at the airport and give assistance upon check-in. You may need to beg airport security to let CC owner come with you inside though.
  3. If CC owner is based in SG he can drop by any Jetstar check-in counter inside Changi Airport or drop by the Jetstar office located at Terminal 1.
  4. If going to MIASCOR is a hassle (which it is, to be honest) for both CC owner/passenger, just make sure you have cash on hand. You're allowed to pay for the flight upon check-in and Jetstar will refund the payment made online. Not sure if you still get the same rate though...
  5. Last option is to buy tickets direct from Jetstar booking office (not sure if they have one in the Philippines) or go to a reliable and trusted travel agency.
Lesson of the story? Double check the requirements needed days before flying and don't expect too much from a budget airline. :)

P.S. I'm not suggesting that you stop flying with Jetstar because this incident can/could happen with other airlines too.