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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Australia Visa for Indians

The ICC Cricket World Cup is underway in Australia and New Zealand and India seem to have found their stride after beating Pakistan in the opening match. Things are looking promising for the Indian cricket team. If you are looking to see India play in this world cup and explore the country during the other days, then you need to start planning for your Aussie visa. Once you get your Aussie visa, you can get the Kiwi (New Zealand) visa on arrival. This is an open offer that is valid till the end of the world cup. I applied for my Aussie visa recently and have laid out the details below to help you with visa application process. I have not decided whether I will visit New Zealand, but the option is there at the back of my head.

Australia visa for Indian citizens

Application Process
You can either apply directly at the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection or go through an authorized travel agent. Since the Australian embassy is based out of New Delhi and to avoid any un-necessary travel costs (as I am based out of Bangalore), I submitted my application through an authorized travel agent. In my case, it was Udaan India, who is based out of Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore.

Required Documents and Notes

Passport: Original Passport with validity of minimum six months and a notarized copy of full passport (including blank pages).  Attach all your old passports (if any) & if any visa had been issued in old passport, notarized copy of first & last page of old passport along with the visa copy.

Australia Visa Application Form: Form 1415 to be duly filled and signed by the applicant. If going through an authorized travel agent, Form 956 to be duly filled and signed by the applicant to authorize travel agent to submit and collect documents on applicant's behalf. Forms can be downloaded from the Australian immigration website.

Photo Specification: Two recent passport size coloured photographs with matt or semi matt finish, 60%-80% face coverage, white background and without border (Size: 35mm x 45mm). Please note: Photograph should not be more than 3 months old , scanned/stapled and should not be used in any of the previous visas.

Covering Letter: Covering-letter from applicant/Authorized signatory of the Company on company’s letter head stating his name, designation,passport number, purpose and duration of visit duly signed by authorized signatory and addressed to – The Visa Officer, Australian High Commission, New Delhi.

Invitation letter: This is not required for tourist visa. For business visa, get an Invitation Letter from Australian host / inviting Company on its letter head stating the purpose of travel and duration of stay and should be duly signed with signatory’s name and designation.  It should have the following:

1) Copy of correspondence / Business Transaction with the Australian counterpart or Evidence of any fixed appointments 

2) If Going for any Exhibition: Exhibition registration letter from Australia

Ticket: Confirmed Air Ticket (not mandatory, but helps improve visa approval chances)

Hotel Booking: Confirmed Hotel Bookings (not mandatory, but helps improve visa approval chances)

Financials - If Employed a) Personal ITR for last 3yrs
b) Three months salary slip
c) Personal Bank Statement for last six months mentioning the Bank’s name, Bank’s Telephone Number clearly
d) Credit Card copy/Foreign Exchange endorsement/Traveler’s Cheque

Financials - If Self Employed
a) Personal & Company ITR for last 3yrs
b) Personal & Company Bank Statement for last six months mentioning the Bank’s name, Bank’s Telephone Number clearly
c) Credit Card copy/Foreign Exchange endorsement/Traveler’s Cheque

For First Time Traveler (Following documents apart from the above mentioned documents need to be submitted along with the application)

Proof of Occupation - If Self Employed

a) Company Registration Certificate / Certificate of Incorporation
b) Brief Company Profile
c) Articles of Memorandum (In case the applicant is MD/Director)
d) Proof of Proprietorship / Partnership (In case applicant is Proprietor / Partner in a firm)
e) Import / Export License (if applicable) 

Proof of Occupation - If Employed
a) Copy of Academic certificates
b) Copy of Appointment Letter which should contain the date of Joining, Designation and the Salary drawn.
c) Previous working history

If aged over 75 years DIAC will request:
a) Evidence of health insurance for entire period of stay
b) An ‘Aged Visitor Health Check’ completed by a DIAC appointed panel doctor

Medical: The Embassy may ask the applicant to undergo a medical examination by a panel doctor authorized by the Embassy if:
1. Applicant is aged 75 years or above
2. Planning to stay for more than 3 months
3. Entering any hospital
4. Persons likely to enter a hospital environment, health care environment or a classroom.
5. Persons likely to work in child care centre.
6. Persons likely to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse and paramedics (and students of these professions).
Visa Fees
Embassy Visa Fees – INR 7400, both for single and multiple entry. If you go through an agent, you will have to pay a VFS fee of INR 910 and additional fees as charged by the travel agent.

Notary charges – Roughly INR 750 for a passport with 32 pages. Cost will go up if you have more passports or more pages.

Handling charges: Roughly INR 1500

Visa Application Timeline

From the time of submission, it takes 10 to 15 days for the visa to be given.

Type of Visa Given
You will get an e-visa in your email. All you have to do is carry a printout of your e-visa along with your passport to clear immigration. Australia does not give label visas in India.



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