So, well, I decided to visit Australia. But of course, I’ll need a visa 🙁 *But, you can skip the next paragraph; you can actually just go to the end of this post, you’re welcome ^^
And I might have said this, but, the thing about needing a visa is the toughest on deciding the dates, itinerary, and accommodation. When we apply for a visa, they’ll ask when we plan to arrive, how long we’re going to stay, and where, what we will do, etc., with which we should provide some evidence that we’ve made some reservations, in addition to providing some proof (such as bank statements) that shows that we can afford the travel – and the stay. Well, while I understand this all is necessary, still, it’s troublesome. It’s because I want the dates to be flexible. I just don’t want to buy a ticket, apply for a visa, and get rejected. That would cost really a lot! But, well, okay, enough with the complaints. Now let’s see why I think that Australian visa application is the most convenient 🙂
But, first, why go to Australia? Well, because I have some friends studying there 😀 And Australia will be my fourth continent to visit! Yay!
Well, sorry about those unimportant details. Let’s get to the process.
Australian visa application is really convenient. I tried to search about the visa info, like in the page of Australian embassy in the US (because I applied from USA), but they say they don’t issue any visa and that I have to do the application online. Online application is not new to me, but I was concerned about the visa stamp needed on my passport, biometrics, and such and how long it would take for the whole process. So I searched more info about it, reading people’s stories about how they got Australian visa, etc. AND, it turns out that the whole process is online! I don’t need to go to the embassy. I don’t need to give my biometrics (photo and fingerprints) in the application center. I don’t even need to send my passport to get the visa stamped on my passport. Every thing, every single thing can – and must – be uploaded online. So it’s really convenient, especially because it will cost more for me (time, money, energy, etc.) if I have to go to an application center, embassy, or mail my passport. So when I found out about it, I was in disbelief but I was really happy. At first I was confused as I could not really believe it, like, “Getting a visa can’t be that simple, right?” But then I asked my friend who’s studying in Australia, and I asked her how she got her visa, and if the visa wasn’t even stamped on the passport. And she told me the same, her visa wasn’t stamped on the passport. So, ok, I don’t need to send my passport anywhere, then. WHAT A RELIEF!
So I went to the site. You can see the pic? There, you can click the immiaccount tab, and you’ll be directed to the application site.
Then, if it’s your first time applying for an Australian visa online, then you’ll need to create a new immiaccount. See the picture.
I created my account in February. I still wasn’t sure about the dates I’d go to Aussie so I couldn’t buy a ticket and made any reservation yet. So I just made the account to see how it was, and what kind of documents I should provide, etc. I kinda did it step by step. For instance, they’d ask me to fill out a questionnaire about my demographic info, my plan in Aussie, the address, if I know someone in Aussie, if I had visas from other countries. So I kinda answered the questions and then saved it. Then, I logged back in again and answered the next questions, etc, until I got so fed up and decided to buy a ticket and made reservation for certain dates. Hence, I finalized and submitted my application on February 23, 2019. (It’s Feb 24, Australian time, though).
I only needed to answer the questions and uploaded the required documents such as photo, passport/travel document, evidence of my past travel (my old & new passport with all stamped pages), my itinerary, hotel reservation, bank statement, proof of legal residency in the US, proof of enrollment (to show that I’m a student), my Indonesian national ID (I also include my US instruction permit – kinda like driving license), and because I’m an Indonesian, I must include my Family Card, too. I even include my scholarship letter to show that my study in the US is being sponsored. I also write a cover letter explaining that I specifically request a multi-entry visa and why. It’s not that I love being extra. But I was so insecure so I really wanted to convince them that, “Look, I love traveling, and I just want to visit your country. I’m not a bad guy. I won’t cause trouble.” Well, I’m from a “third-world country”; people often have prejudices towards us, so I kinda want to give good impression and be convincing enough.
And, I first thought that I would have to provide some kind of translation for my Indonesian national ID and my family card, but after I browsed, turned out I didn’t have to, so I just took a shot and didn’t provide any translation. That’s because, if I were to get it translated, it should be by translators appointed/certified by/working with the embassy, and it’s hella expensive. And if you knew me, you’d know I don’t want to spend my money on such things. Haha
But, well, after I clicked “submit” the application. I was asked to make the payment. It was AUD $140. However, because I paid using PayPal, I was charged AUD $1.40 so the total was AUD $141.0, or using the rate at that time, it equaled to USD $104.27. Expensive, yes. But at least it’s convenient. I could do everything online from/at home.
Then, I did nothing. I was worried and anxious, for sure, I just couldn’t help it. Haha I merely logged into my immiaccount occasionally. I mean, I was just worried that, who knows that there was further instruction such doing health examination, getting some kind of vaccines or such. But thankfully it wasn’t required. But, well, I’m certain that it’s because I’ve been residing in the US, and to get US Visa and enroll in US universities, I was required to get some vaccines and such, so it was kinda “waived”, I guess. But, ugh, everytime I logged into my immiaccount, I got a successful login notification in my email. I didn’t expect that and I found it kinda inconvenient, but at least I can be sure that it’s really safe ^^
Well, finally, I nonchalantly logged into my immiaccount on March 11, 2019 (apparently March 12, Australian time). And guess what I found? My application had been finalized, and it was granted: I GOT THE VISA! Yuhuuu. Later I found out that they sent it to my email, too. So I was really happy. I got a multi-entry visa valid for one year. That means I can go to Australia anytime I want until next year. And I’d only need to print that grant letter (or maybe I can just show it from my phone? I might want to experiment with it. Haha. I’ll update it later, once I’ve been to Aussie 😉 Gosh, am so happy!
But, okay, to sum up, my Australian visa online application’s timeline goes like this:
February 23/24, 2019 –> submit online application.
March 11/12, 2019 –> get the notification that my visa is granted.
It’s really quick, less than a month, just about 16 days! It’s quick and it’s the most convenient. If I were to give an award to one country I apply visa to, I’d give it to Australia. Kudos!