In this post series, I document my upcoming trip to Australia from inception to accomplishment !
Previously on Destination Down Under :
Hello after a long long time 😊
My lazy absence from the blogosphere is not the reason for this late post.
Call me old-fashioned, but I was a bit too scared of posting about the Visa stuff until I had the visa grant notification in hand. I just did not want to jinx it !
So writing this means I got the visa. 🙂
And it’s December already.
We decided that we would do away with all the visa formalities as early as possible. We found out online that we did not need to book an appointment for VFS Australia and just walked in with the application and all the documents for submission. It was a super smooth process and I fail to understand why people run after travel agents and brokers for Visa. We had earlier applied for a Schengen Visa on numerous occasions so were fairly aware of the general visa application procedure.
Here is a list of things you would require for getting an Australia Visitor Visa
- Application form duly filled and signed – The form for Visitor Visa is 1419 and can be downloaded easily from the official website of Australia’s DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection).
- Passport-size photograph – You can check the photo specifications here.
- Verified Photocopy of Passport pages – You need not submit your original passport for visa processing but you need to provide a verified copy of each page of your passport. These include the personal information pages (first page and last page), authorization page, all pages with visas affixed and all pages with entry and exit stamps. You can get this done at the notary or VFS can do it for you at the time of submission. You just need to bring your original passport (present and any previous passports as well) and they charge Rs. 10 per page for verification. We weren’t very sure of the notary guidelines (attestation by gazetted officer does not suffice) so decided to get the verification done by VFS only.
- Letter from Employer stating leave approval for the travel dates – This works as your intent to return and also specifies your trip dates.
- Invitation letter from Family along with copy of passport or Hotel bookings and tour details – I just got a letter from my sister stating her address and a copy of her passport. If you have booked a package tour you would need to provide the details, hotel and travel bookings inside Australia.
- Financial documents – You would need to show sufficient funds for the trip. We submitted our payslips for last three months, savings bank account statement for last three months (attested by bank manager) and income tax return documents (ITR-1) for last three years.
- Travel bookings – We submitted our onward and return flight booking.
- Travel Insurance – This is optional but we had booked a travel insurance so submitted that for visa processing as well.
- Cover letter – In this we stated our purpose of visiting Australia and also listed the documents we submitted.
So after submitting all the documents as the VFS Australia Visa Application Center, we were given the receipt and we paid INR 8500 per person combined (visa fee + VFS fee + passport verification fee). VFS fee is around Rs 1200.
The processing time for different types of Australia Visas is clearly mentioned on the DIBP website. For tourist visa, the typical processing time is 29 days.
I’ve been to Australia twice before and on both occasions I got the visa within a week or maybe less. But this time, our visa grant notification letter came exactly 29 days after submission at Australia High Commission in Delhi.
So finally we have the visa and are less than 3 weeks away from the trip 🙂