It seems that the embassies of many countries are too busy with handling more important stuffs than processing the visa applications. So the visa application process has been outsourced. That means you may not have to visit the embassy directly. You need to visit the authorised visa application centres/agents. For example, for a Chinese visa, you need to visit a Chinese Visa Application Centre, for a Malaysian visa you can visit the Mustafa Centre. For an Australian visa, you need to visit the Australian VisaApplication Centre, which comes under the broad umbrella known as VFS GLOBAL.
You can find the entire Australian visa related official information by following VFS GLOBAL. So in this post, I will provide you more of supplementary information which are not very clearly mentioned, or are scattered on the official Australian visa application page. Moreover, the information here is based on my experience with the Australian Visa Application Centre in Singapore (for Indian passport). I had applied for a tourist (visitor) visa. Here we go!
Address of VFS GLOBAL in Singapore
- Australian Visa Application Centre, 135 Cecil Street, #08-01 MYP Plaza, Singapore 069536.
- GPS Locationof the Australian Visa Application Centre, Singapore!
- Nearest MRT –Tanjong Pagar, Take Exit G, then walk 4-5 minutes.
- Application lodgement timings : 08:00 to 14:00 (Monday to Friday; except on declared holidays & closures)
- Collection timings : 14:00 to 16:00 (Monday to Friday; except on declared holidays & closures)
For an Australian tourist visa application, you need to arrange documents for a Visitor Visa (Tourist Stream) (Subclass 600)!
Australian Visa application form downloads
You need to download the Australian Visa application form pdf file!
Tourist stream visa subclass number
This is item 48 of the visa application form (visa subclass you are applying for) – 600.
Australian visa application fee in Singapore
How much is the total feefor an Australian visa? Well, for an Indian Passport holder the fee is–SG $195 (visa fee – SG $150 + application/processing fee SG $45). Payment is only by the cash. They strictly don’t accept credit card/NETS for an Australian visa. Moreover, the DBS/POSB ATMs are not located in the same building (MYP Plaza). I had to come back to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station as I was looking for a DBS ATM. So you better prepare enough cash in advance. The POB ATM is located just across the road (in front of the MYP Plaza, but not inside the MYP Plaza).
Application form scrutiny
When you reach the #08-01 MYP Plaza, there will be a security person who will ask you to show the relevant documents. Once he finds that everything is in order, you will be given a queue number. Then you can sit down and wait for your turn.
Lodging an Australian visa application
Once it’s your turn, you need to produce the completed application form, and all other relevant documents. You need to carry your original passport to the visa application centre. Once the person at the application form collection counter has checked all your documents, you will be asked to pay the visa fee of SGD 195. Once the payment is made, you will be asked to wait for 20-30 minute for the biometric data collection. As you are waiting, your passport remains with the Visa application centre.
Biometric data collection
After 20-30 minute of the waiting period, you will be called upon to provide the biometric information (Biometric data is collected on the same day). For me, this happened in a closed door room. I was also asked a few basic questions (orally) – such as, date of birth, full name, passport number, etc. Then my biometric information was collected. They will collect following information
- Fingerprints – your fingerprints for both hands (five fingers, in each hand)
- Face scan – I was also asked to look at the CCTV camera (without removing the eye glasses). I guess that’s more like a face scan.
- Retinal scan –by removing the eye glass, if you have one.
They don’t keep your passport
After the biometric information is collected, you will be immediately returned your passport along with the official fee receipt. I will repeat – after the application process is over, you will be returned your passport. They don’t keep your passport for processing a visa application.
An Australian transit visa or a multiple entry visa?
Many passports (including the Indian passport) require a visa in advance for visiting Australia. Indian passport holder needs an Australian visa even if he/she is just transiting via Australia. That means
- Even if I don’t come out of immigration during transit
- Even if I don’t come out of the flight during transit – I need an Australian visa! That sucks, I know. But that’s the reality.
I was planning to combine my visit of Australia and New Zealand. I first wanted to visit Australia, and then I thought about flying to New Zealand. However, my return trip from New Zealand to Singapore was supposed to be via Australia. That means, only a single entry visa for Australia was not enough for me. I basically needed two visas (1 entry visa +1 transit visa – at least). So I applied for a multiple entries Australian Visa. The process of a multiple entry visa application for Australia is very simple. You can indicate on the application form if you need a multiple entry visa. Moreover, the fee is same – SG $195, either single entry, or multiple entry visa.
Duration for a visa application outcome
It can take (officially) 10 working days to get the Australian visa. Australian visa is not attached to your passport. You will receive the visa grant letter in the .rtf file format (that can be opened using MS Word) via email (within 10 working days). However, I got the visa approved within 3 working days. I had applied on 24th March 2017; I got a Visa confirmation email (with the attached visa grant letter) on 28th March 2017 (25th, 26th March being the weekends). Just take the printout of the visa grant letter for your immigration purposes. I got a multiple entry Australian visa, valid for one year, with each entry allowing up to one month of stay.
Apply for more than one country’s visa in one visit
The same visa centre, VFS GLOBAL also accepts visa for several other countries, including Russia, New Zealand, UK, Canada, etc. Of course, there are separate counter for each country. But they are all located in a closed proximity – on the #08-01 floor of the MYP Plaza. That means, if you are planning to go to both New Zealand, and Australia, you can apply for the two visas in just one visit of VFS GLOBAL (remember – they return your passport once the application has been lodged).
I didn’t realised this (my mistake) as I was not sure about the passport being returned. I only applied for the Australian visa when I visited VFS GLOBAL for the first time. That means I had to come for a second time to apply for the New Zealand visa. 🙁
Along with the visa application form submission, you need to submit some evidence that how you will support your expenses when you are in Australia. I had submitted my Bank statement (of the previous month, i.e. February’2017- just the printout without any official seal).
Australian visa application – Itineraries explanation
To apply for an Australian visa, you need to submit your flight itinerary (along with the visa application form). This step was very confusing to me. There is lots of weird information on the internet. Let me tell you what you need. You need to provide your expected flight details. You don’t need to book the flight in advance. I basically provided two types of information – my flight timing/date details, and housing information in Australia. For housing, I booked the accommodations using Booking.com. Remember – when you book hotels/hostels using Booking.com.
- You generally don’t need to pay when you book.
- You pay the lodging cost during your actual stay.
- If you cancel the booking (up to two days before your scheduled stay), you usually don’t incur any housing expense. I had submitted all the booking receipts along with the application form.
Australian visa Itineraries – example
I am linking the word, pdf, and an image file of the itineraries that I had submitted to VFS GLOBAL – hopefully it will help the future travellers (if so, do comment below and let me know). 🙂 I prepared this itinerary by myself -using common sense. 🙂 And it did work out! You can prepare something similar – you just need to simply update the word file. Feel free to share the itineraries with anyone who needs similar information. Do note that the housing information is real. Though, I cancelled the aforementioned bookings as my flight dates got changed. So I never stayed in the aforementioned hostels/hotels on the given dates. 🙂
Feel free to share the itineraries with anyone who needs similar information. Do note that the housing information is real. Though, I cancelled the aforementioned bookings as my flight dates got changed. So I never stayed in the aforementioned hostels/hotels on the given dates. 🙂
Letter of certification
If you are a student, do submit a letter of certification from your institute clearly indicating your student status.
Advantage of having a USA visa
Well, I had a USA visa when I applied for an Australian visa. However, I don’t think that having a USA visa has any relation with the approval of an Australian visa. Because:
- My passport was new, and my USA visa was on my old passport. I dint submit my old passport along with the visa application form.
- As such, I didn’t provide them evidence of having a USA visa (as I was not asked for it).
That means, the assessment of grant of an Australian is not related with the applicant’s the USA visa status.
Don’t forget to visit the official page of VFS GLOBAL for further clarifications, if any.
That’s it about Australian visa. I will write separate posts for the New Zealand Visa, Chinese Visa, Malaysian Visa, etc.!
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Hope it helps!
Last updated: Monday, October 30, 2017
- Please read General Instructions of Visa http://www.blsindia.sg/visa.php
- Visa application has to registered on the link https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa under Regular Visa application. After saving the application a print out of the application should be signed by the applicant. Fax Form for Visa needs to submitted along with Visa application for all Non-Singapore National
- Visa Application Form should be completely filled and signed by the applicant.
- Photocopy of the passport bio- page and Original passport with validity at least six months beyond the Validity of visa.
- Minimum two visa blank pages should be available to stamp the visa.
- All applicants applying for visa must bring passport copy and IC copy (NRIC, Re-entry permit, EP, S Pass or work-permit)
- 1 latest white background passport size photograph. Photograph should be taken less than 6 months.
- The validity of a tourist visa cannot be extended.
- Restricted places of travel to be highlighted (Sikkim, Mundgod (Bangalore), Port Blair).
Note: All Non - Singaporean Passports will take 6 to 7 Working days for India Visa and is subject to approval from respective authorities from applicant's home country.