If you have read my previous blogs, you will notice that I always plan my Eid Holiday trip every year by applying visa to countries of my choice atleast 3 months before i travel. This year 2017 Eid-Al-Fitr holiday will be on 25JUNE. I wanna visit Australia, the first country in the southern hemisphere that I’m going to visit. Here’s how to apply for Australian tourist visa online for Filipinos based in KSA:
Create an account at https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Via-1/600-/Visitor-600-visa-online-applications
Log on to your account and start filling out the online visa application form.
Scan all supporting documents* requested to be downloaded on your online visa application. File should not be more than 4MB PDF or JPEG, up to 60 files can be uploaded.
Pay your visa application fee by credit card (AUD135++).
Check your email, once you receive email from DIBP requesting you to submit your biometrics details (photo & fingerprint), print the Request Letter**
Go to https://www.visaservices.org.in/DIAC-UAE-APPOINTMENT/AppScheduling/ choose your location city, print the appointment letter. You can also walk-in for biometrics if you weren’t able to book schedule at VFS Riyadh
Attend your biometrics appointment schedule and bring original passport and the Request letter from DIBP. Pay the biometrics collection fee by cash SAR291. VFS staff will capture your digital photo and finger print.
Wait for an email from DIBP once the final decision for your application has been made. If approved, “Visa Grant Notice***” containing QR code will be emailed to you as PDF, print it as you need to show it to the airline when you check-in for your flight to Australia.
*Supporting documents I actually uploaded:
1. Evidence of Travel Document: Passport data page with notarized stamp from Philippine Embassy Riyadh (cost SAR100), previous passports showing travel history. I included all pages of my passports containing US UK Schengen Japan visas and stamps from other Asian countries I visited (22 countries) for the past 10 years.
2. Evidence of Birth/Age: Birth Certificate issued from PSO & my SSS ID
3. Evidence of Overseas Work Experience: Certificate of Employment showing position, passport details, contract duration, approved leave, monthly salary, signed and stamped by my employer.
4. Evidence of Visa Status in country of residence: Iqama (Saudi Residence ID) with English translation, Saudi Exit/ReEntry Visa
5. Evidence of personal financial capacity: 6 months bank statement (print screen only from my online banking), 6 months payslip, front page of my credit cards, travel insurance
6. Evidence of Temporary Stay: paid roundtrip ticket Riyadh-Sydney (for Jun2017), paid roundtrip ticket Riyadh-Manila (for Sep2017), paid roundtrip ticket Manila-USA (for Sep2017), cover letter explaining my trip to Sydney.
**All visa-required nationalities applying Australian visa from the Middle East locations are required to submit biometrics, Filipinos applying in the Philippines are not required to submit biometrics.
***Australia does not issue visa sticker on passport, but if you want visa sticker you need to pay extra and you need to send your original passport at VFS Riyadh.
I submitted my completed online visa application on 27Apr, submitted my biometrics on 1May and received my Visa Grant Notice on 24May. After online submission, you will receive an email confirmation and online Invoice for visa fee you paid and the request letter for biometrics collection. The next email you will receive is the Visa Grant Notice (if approved) or notice of visa refusal (if denied). No email update in between. Visa processing is being done by Australian Embassy in Dubai. VFS Riyadh is the one collecting biometrics from applicants from KSA. They charged me an extra SAR10 for SMS service on top of SAR291 biometric submission fee, but I did not receive a single sms from VFS. I requested single entry but got multiple entry visa valid for 1 year. I already paid my tickets before i applied visa since it was a promo airfare from PAL. Although plane ticket and hotel booking are not required, it helps in establishing an evidence of temporary stay. Since i will be flying to USA on Sep2017 for Eid-al-Adha holiday, i uploaded my paid tickets as additional proof that i will not stay long in Australia.