Australia and Philippines have a very good diplomatic relationship for a long time that can be traced in the history of both countries. To better intensify the bond between the two countries, the Philippine Embassy and the Commonwealth of Australia established their own respective embassies as representing the home country overseas as well as taking care of key diplomatic concerns, keeping foreign ties, and offer help to traveling Filipinos and Australian residents as well as keeping the rights of their respective residents overseas.
The Philippines and Australia have been enjoying bilateral agreements with each other for so long, strengthening the bond between the two nations.
Basically, the Philippine Embassy in Australia is an extension of the Philippine government in Australia, and it goes as well to the embassy of Australia in the Philippines both representing the country assures its people of a safe and well-guided living in the country.
Many Filipinos want to go to Australia: for business, employment opportunity, tourism, migration, etc. Others would do anything just to have a tourist visa to Australia that they would try to circumvent the laws.
However, it is not just as easy as crossing the street. It requires a visa; this is one of the roles of the Australian embassy to the Philippines. Immigration and non-immigration services are offered by the Australian Embassy in the Philippines the embassy practices strict and rigid laws on visa applicants in spite of the harmonious relationship of Australia and Philippines.
To Filipinos who want to go to Australia for visiting purposes only, they will need to apply for Visitor visa (subclass 600). There are four streams of Visitor visa: Tourist stream, Business Visitor stream, Sponsored Family stream, and Approved Destination Status stream. They should apply for the stream that best suits their situation. To Filipinos who wanted to visit their family in Australia they belong to the Sponsored Family stream.
Now, how would Filipinos apply for a Sponsored Family Stream Visa?
The Sponsored Family stream of the Visitor visa (subclass 600) is intended to people seeking to come to Australia to visit family. It requires formal sponsorship of the visa applicant by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, this is to ensure the visa holder will abide by their visa conditions and leave Australia at the end of their visit.
The imposition of a security bond is decided on a case-by-case basis and usually ranges from AUD 5000 to AUD 15000 per person. It is an added assurance that the visa holder will leave Australia and is normally applied in those cases where some concerns remain about an applicant’s intention to comply with their visa conditions.
This may be forfeited if the visitor breaches visa condition. If the security bond is required, a letter outlining the process for lodging the bond will be sent to the sponsor.
It must be paid in full in Australia before a final decision can be made on the application. Refunds are arranged once the visitor has left Australia having complied with all visa conditions. The Sponsored Family stream will usually allow a stay of three months but may allow up to 12 months in some cases.
This will only allow a single entry in Australia. This aims to accommodate the requests from relatives in Australia who want to guarantee that their nominated guest will leave Australia as mandated by their respective visa and this reduces the high non-return rates for applicants from some countries.
The sponsorship is mandatory and there are penalties sanctioned to the sponsors if the visitor breaches visa conditions. The sponsor must be the following:
a relative (partner, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or the ‘step’ or adopted equivalent of any of these),
a relative of a person who is a member of the family unit of the applicant and who is also applying for a Sponsored Family Visitor visa,
a member of an Australian parliament (Commonwealth, state or territory),
an authorized person representing a Commonwealth, state or territory department or instrumentality
a local government mayor.
Sponsors must complete a sponsorship form (Form 1149) listing all members of the family unit they are sponsoring. The sponsorship form must be lodged by the sponsor in Australia together with a visa application (Form 1418), or attached to an online application, for each visa applicant. The correct visa application charge must be paid for each applicant.
After lodging the application, the processing time usually takes six weeks, however, this will differ depending on the circumstances. The department will contact the visitor or the visa applicant if they are required to attend an interview.
If the visa is approved, the embassy will send a letter to the sponsoring party and will forward it to the visa applicant or visitor.
The letter is important as it provides the: Visa Grant Number, validity date of the visa, visa conditions, and information about visa labels. If the visa is not approved the letter will advise the reasons for the refusal, time limit for lodging an appeal and review rights through the Migration Review Tribunal.
When applying for a Family Stream Visitor Visa, the short of it is that:
1. You need a Sponsor who can afford to pay a bond of 5,000 to 15,000 Australian Dollars.
2. You need a Sponsor currently in Australia who will lodge the application for you and sign Form 1149.
3. You need to complete Form 1418 and give it to your sponsor.
4. You need to wait up to 6 weeks for the result.
For further information regarding visa applications kindly visit the website at www.immi.gov.au.