How to get your application for a tourist visa approved

The criteria for approval of tourist visa (subclass 676 visa) are set by law. This visa is specifically intended for tourism, for spending holidays and/or to visit relatives or friends in Australia. Applications from most visitors are denied because documents and evidence submitted are inadequate for the grant of a tourist or visitor’s visa.

The applicant must show that the intended visit is genuine which can be proved by submitting the following documents:

•    Employment certificate which states your income, period of employment, that you have been granted leave of absence from work to visit Australia as a tourist or to visit family, relatives or friends, and that you will continue to be employed in the job upon your return;

•    Hotel booking and travel itinerary;

•    Bank statement or bank certificate or bank passbook or tax records to prove that you have enough funds to access during your stay in Australia;

•    Travel insurance.

For elderly visitors, the Australian Embassy in Manila usually requires a medical certificate from a doctor which states that the applicant is fit to travel. For an intended stay of 6-12 months, the Embassy usually requires medical and X-ray examinations with an Australian panel doctor.

The following additional documents are also required of the applicant:

•    Completed form 48R. Download the form at: Each person with a passport must complete one application, except dependent children travelling with their parents, in which case, the children’s application can be included in the parents’ application;

•    Birth certificate and if applicable, marriage contract;

•    Notarized copy of passport;

•    2 recent passport pictures with name at the back;

•    Manager’s cheque payable to ‘Australian Embassy’ for 4,700.00 pesos.

If you have been invited by your relative or friend in Australia, s/he has to send you the following:

•    Invitation which can be in a form of a Statutory Declaration which states the purpose of the visit. If the visit is to attend a wedding, birthday, reunion or to visit a sick relative or to tour Australia, the purpose has to be specified in the invitation with a statement that your relative or friend will provide the accommodation for the whole duration of the visit, in case you have agreed on such an arrangement;

•    Employment certificate of you sponsor friend or relative, proof of Australian citizenship or his/her passport with Australian permanent visa label, or birth certificate of the sponsor if s/he is a relative of the applicant;

•    Bank records;

•    A copy of the invitation card, if the purpose is to attend an important function.

A word of caveat: for first time travellers with no relatives in Australia, make sure you have other proofs of identification apart from your passport. However, do not bring documents like educational records which can be interpreted that your purpose is not a holiday or family visit but to work. You also need to have enough funds to cover your travel.

For applicants in the Visayas and Mindanao, you can personally submit your application at:  VIA Centre, Unit 1004-B, 10F/Keppel Centre, Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales
Avenue, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City.

For Luzon applicants, you can personally submit your application at: VIA Centre, Unit 901, 9/F One Corporate Plaza, 845 Antonio Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City.

You can also send the documents direct to the Australian Embassy at Level 23, Tower
2, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Makati City, by arranging with a courier through telephone numbers: 1909 3632779 or 1900 3632779 or 1903 3622779.

For those who require additional information, this writer provides free initial telephone consultation and can be contacted at 0412 269 439.

Mr. Jessie Icao is a practising solicitor in New South Wales and registered migration agent since 1993 (MARN 9367993). He is also admitted as lawyer in the Philippines. The answer provided in this column is of general nature and cannot be relied in its entirety. I suggest that you consult a registered migration agent for complete advice or refer to the relevant law.

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24 Comments on this Post

  1. Arnie

    Hi, is there a sample of invitation letter (affidavit) that I can copy from you? Thanks

  2. Im austalian and have a Philippine girlfriend who has permanent residency here, just had a baby she really wants her mum to come out to help for 1 month, but her mum has no bank account and is not working. do u think there is a chance we can get her out for a while. And if we pay for the visa and it gets knocked back do we get the money back

    • Dear Reader,

      You need to invite your mother-in-law for family visit not to look after the newly born baby. This can be done through an invitation letter or statutory declaration.

      Approval would depend on the Australian Embassy in Makati. The financial support can be provided by you.

      You cannot ask for refund of your expenses if the application is disapproved.

      Thank you.

      Jessie Icao
      Registered Migration Agent 9367993

  3. Hi I’m from oz and my partner from phippines we apply for her to stay 5 weeks I have sined many forms saying I’ll look after her. Does she still need to have show money? I opened bank account and put $550 oz in there please help luke

  4. Hi,My husband and I have tried twice to invite our friend from manila but had been refused twice. The first we do not know why and last , we had all necessary papers, letter from priest and solicitors documents , show money her brother;s wedding invitation with our names in it as well as our friends who is to be the maid of honor. We had our return ticket to go back to Philippines for the wedding We were to sponsor our friend during her stay here with us. we gave our statutory dec. of supporting her whilst her stay in Melbourne. We had the same agent on both occasions – the employer send letter stating ” when she wants to join the team of employment, they would welcome her with open arms “” even though they knew her job is waiting for her when she goes back. The company policy – she has to resign because she asked for a few weeks holiday which she is not really due for a leave of absence but guaranteed her job back when she arrives home- which she was supposed to come with us going back. We did not have a returned airfares for her because we did not know whether she would be guaranteed entry if she has we would have got the ticket straight away for her which was ready to be lodge as soon as we hear word,, We did not give any documentation of duration of her stay because we were not advised by our agent nor by Embassy – if they had we would have provided it to them – but we did provide a copy of airfares for 3 of us to Gold Coast. So what did we do wrong. Our agent decided to reign her duties to our friend instead because being in manila thought might be easier. The Embassy felt that will not return to Manila even though she has her mother and brothers over there, her job is not a “PAPERED CERTIFICATE’ SHE IS A BARISTA at a well known sagagfredo firm. Senior barista. How come we failed????

    • Dear Reader,

      I woulk like to see the copy of the invitation and the refusal letters (2)
      before I can provide my opinion.

      It would appear that the Australian Embassy is not convinced that the visit
      is genuine.


      Atty. Jessie Icao
      Immigration lawyer
      Registered Migration Agent No. 9367993
      sUITE 59, 48 George Street
      Parramatta NSW 2150
      Tel No. (02) 96356500

      • Good evening Sir, I am planning to apply for a tourist visa. I was invited to come visit Australia this year. I have obtained all necessary documents, as well as the person invited me. I am paying for my airfare and visa fee. however I’ll stay in at my friend’s place during a 4-week vacation, and would assist me in my expenses while I am in Australia. Do I need to ask my friend to send me a statutory declaration, is it required or shall it be informed in the invitation letter? Thank you so much in advance.

        • Dear Reader,

          You need to have an invitation in a form of a Statutory Declaration stating the purpose and guarantee that you will depart Australia before the expiry of your authorised stay.

          The sponsor will attach his/her Australian citizenship and employment certificate.

          Thank you.

          Jessie Icao
          Registered Migration Agent 9367993

          • Thank you so much Sir for the immediate response. I am planning to lodge my application as soonest as I can. I have an invitation letter already from my friend, does it have to be notarized?

  5. Hi Sir, i happen to come across this old trend. HOpefully you can still answer my question. TAnong ko lang po, my parents are planning to apply for a tourist visa for a 3weeks stay, halos kumpleto n nila un requiremtns, only issue is, hndi masyado malaki un funds nila s bank account nila, pero nagbgay nman ako ng invitation letter stating n I’ll accomodate their stay and support them while they are here. I also provided a copy of my bank statement. is there till a big risk na ma-deny ung tourist visa nila? mgkano po n dapat ang nsa bank statement nila? please advise. Thanks.

  6. The sponsor must have a Statutory Declaration which will serve as an invitation The details will include the sponsor, employment, name of person invited, purpose of the visit, number of months, undertaking that the applicant will not work while in Australia.

  7. Hi I am in Australia and I’m going to apply a visitor visa for my brother. Do I need just invitation letter, or any affidevit of support, any satutory declaration, plz tell me. Thanks!

  8. hi sir,

    please answer my question panu po ba gagawin ung statutory declaration? kc yung nag sign don ng sponsor ko ay principal ng school po ok lang po ba un o need tlaga na police ung pipirma nun?

  9. hello,

    anu po kya gagamitin ko proof na babalik pako dito pinas?sapat nabang mag submit ako ng land tittle at DTI/business permit?help me po tnx

  10. what if ill deposit my money on ATM bank? do i need or ask a bank certificate for that? why for passbook no need to ask bank certificate?please sir/maam help me…thanks

  11. so maam, if i deposit my money through passbook not ATM so all i need to do is, photocopy the passbook and ill come to the lawyer to notarized it?is that so?help me please…thanks

  12. im from surigao del norte sir and i plan to lodge my papers to cebu…my friend told me the australian embassy will cut off the application this november 8, cos when she applied before that was happened during her application in manila. Is that true sir?

  13. if ill deposit the money on the ATM card, what will im gonna used for? is it alright if i will used bank certificate as a supporting documents? please help me…

  14. i have no employment certificate sir cos im not working and im not studying anymore so what will i do to make this application grant? help me thanks

  15. Hello sir,

    What is notary public in the philippines where do i go for this?or whose people are they sir?please help me cos this is my first time to apply a visa.Thanks


    • Hi Meraflor,

      A notary public in the Philippines are mostly lawyers. Go to your local municipal hall and you can inquire if there’s one there. Where in the Philippines are you from?


  16. sir/maam,
    if ill used bank passbook, do i need to come to the bank and ask to issue me a bank certificate?

    • Dear Reader,

      You can submit a copy of your passboork duly notarized by a Notary Public in the Philippines. If the owner of the passbook is the visa applicant, no need of anAffidavit. However, if the owner of the passbook is not the visa applicant, the owner will execute an Affidavit of Support to support the visa applicant from his bank account and they can verify the account from the bank.

      Thank you.

      Jessie Icao

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