Submitting an Australian Tourist Visa Application

Which country you come from will generally determine how easy (or not) it is to obtain a tourist visa to visit Australia for a holiday. So, if, for example you come from an EU country or the UK or USA, the visa application process is relatively straightforward as you can apply for an electronic travel authority (ETA visa). However if you come from a high risk country, you will not be able to apply for an ETA visa. this involves making a paper application on the Form 48R for a tourist visa to visit Australia.

A good example of this is Thailand.

Thai passport holders cannot apply for an ETA visa, so must submit a paper application to apply for a tourist visa to visit Australia. The tourist visa application must clearly evidence that the applicant’s sole intention is to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only. If the application does not evidence this, then their Australian tourist visa application will be refused.

A Thai passport holder must complete the Form 48R or 48RTHA.

This is the application form to visit Australia for tourist purposes.

Although both forms are the same, the Form 48RTHA is in both Thai and English. Once the application is completed it can be sent directly to the Australian Embassy Bangkok or submitted in person to the Australian Visa Application Centre on Sathorn Road Bangkok.

It is very important to note that the tourist visa application form should be seen as only one part of the application. It is very important to include as much supporting documentation as necessary to evidence the genuine intention of the applicant to visit Australia for tourist purposes only. Whilst the list of supporting documents that can be included with a tourist visa application is not exhaustive, some documents may be: proof of employment in Thailand, assets in Thailand, or family ties in Thailand. Basically anything that can evidence that you would have a reason to return to Thailand prior to your tourist visa expiring and not overstaying in Australia.

Submitting an Australian Tourist Visa Application

To give an example; many Australian men travel to Thailand (places like Pattaya and Bangkok) where they meet a Thai lady and want to get a tourist visa for her to come back to Australia for a holiday. Many times unfortunately, the Thai lady may not have steady employment or any assets in Thailand. When assessing the tourist visa application the Embassy may take the view that there is just not a sufficient incentive for the Thai lady to return to Thailand prior to her tourist visa expiring. If this is the case the Thai ladies’ Australian tourist visa will be refused. (The Embassy is not necessarily saying that the applicant is a bad person, they have just made an assessment on all the available information that the applicant has not demonstrated to the requisite degree that her sole intention was to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only. It is not the applicants stated intention that she wants to visit Australia for a holiday that is important, but a thorough assessment of all her objective circumstances.)

There are many Australian visa agents in Bangkok and Pattaya that may be able to assist in preparing a solid visa application to be submitted to the Australian Embassy Bangkok. As with any professional service that you might want to retain, you should inquire as to what level of qualification they have achieved to offer professional Australian migration advice and assistance. There are two types of Australian visa agents in Pattaya and Bangkok; those that simply fill in forms for the visa applicant, and those visa agents that have qualifications and experience in Australian visas.

Remember too that the visa agent does not make the decision on any particular visa application. That decision is left solely to the Australian Embassy Bangkok.

For this reason you want a qualified visa agent to submit an application on your behalf so that it has the best chances of success.

A tourist visa refusal can be very disappointing, but if attention to detail and thorough visa application preparation is adhered to then the likelihood of a visa refusal is at least reduced somewhat.

Be aware that just submitting the 48R or the 48THA to the Australian Embassy Bangkok without any supporting documentation that evidences reasons that would encourage the applicant to return to Thailand from Australia prior to their tourist visa expiring, will almost certainly result in a tourist visa refusal notice being sent to the applicant. (An applicant who is refused can reapply as many times as they like to the Australian Embassy Bangkok, but it the absence of any new of additional information that addresses the reasons for the tourist visa refusal, it is almost a foregone conclusion that any subsequent application will also amount to a visa refusal.)

Thorough well prepared tourist visa applications that clearly evidence the applicants intention to visit Australia as a genuine visitor only will have a much high chance of success than poor unprepared visa applications every time.


On October 1, 2012, posted in: Visa Advice by
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