Recently, the application procedure for the eVisitor visa Australia was changed. After completing the application form and making your payment, you now need to submit a digital passport copy. Reading this article will tell you what things to consider so that your visa application runs smoothly.
Application procedure for the Australia visa
The system used by Australia to process visa applications has almost entirely been digitalised. This means visa applications can only be submitted online and no longer through an embassy. The exact requirements, validity term and application procedure depend on the type of visa that is applied for, and the applicant’s nationality. For UK and Irish tourist visitors travelling to Australia, the eVisitor visa usually suffices. You can easily apply for this Australia visa online.
Changes in the eVisitor visa application procedure
The eVisitor visa is the most popular Australia visa among continental European and UK travellers. In part, this is due to the straightforward application procedure for this visa. Until recently, filling out an online form was all that was required for the application. After submitting the payment, the visa was usually granted within 5 days, except for the rare occurrence of a sample check. Still, approximately 5% of all applications were checked more thoroughly by the Australian immigration service, usually as a result of erroneous data entered in the application form.
For a few months now, it has not only been required to fill out an application form, but submitting a passport scan is equally required. This has made the visa application slightly more complex, but equally allows for the Australian immigration service to better check the data entered in the application form for accuracy. Since this change, it has indeed been happening less often that visa applications are subjected to lengthy sample checking, which also tended to include requests for additional information and other documentation.
The passport copy needs to meet the following requirements
Any passport will have multiple passport pages. The most important one is the page known as the information page, showing the passport picture and the main passport information. This information page also contains a machine-readable part (the machine-readable zone, or MRZ). This part is displayed at the bottom of the information page as the two lines containing the “<<<” symbols. In this part of the passport the main data are shown in a standardised format, enabling computer readout and checking of this information. To complete your Australia visa application, it is required to provide a digital scan or photo of the applicant’s passport information page. This photo or scan needs to be clearly in focus, and display all passport information, including the machine-readable part, in a way that it is clearly legible. Please note the following for this:
- The entire information page must be pictured.
- All text needs to be clearly legible. This particularly applies to the machine-readable part.
- No part of the image showing the passport itself may be cropped out, covered, or edited. This means the scan or photo may not contain any watermark either.
- No reflections interfering with the display of the passport information may be discernable.
- The image may either be in black and white or in colour.
- You can submit a digital copy of a standard passport, although certain emergency passports and German children’s passports are also allowed for this. Identity cards and refugee travel documents, however, cannot be accepted for this.
- If your signature is not displayed on the information page with the passport picture, the page carrying the signature does not have to be a part of the digital copy.
Changes result in a reduced number of incorrect applications
One of the advantages of the new Australia visa application requirement is that the number of errors made for applications that have already been submitted has been reduced. This is because a number of data points from the passport need to be entered in the application form. Some of the passport information, such as the passport number, are fairly prone to error. It might be hard, for instance, to distinguish the letter “O” from the number “0”. It is also possible that the number “3” might resemble the letter “B” and vice versa. By making the delivery of a passport copy mandatory for the application, a number of data points can be checked for, both automatically and manually, and, if need be, corrected. Not all data can be checked for at all times, however, which means it is still vital to check all application form information carefully.
Less frequent sample checks
eVisitor visa Australia applications in the past were fairly regularly subjected to a sample check. This meant that about 1 in 20 applications submitted incurred a delay of several days. Moreover, in some cases, additional documentation or information needed to be supplied. Since the delivery of a passport copy has been made mandatory, a remarkably lower amount of sample checks have been carried out. This means, the vast majority of visa applications can be handled smoothly. Sample checks, however, may still occur, meaning that you are still advised to apply for your visa in time.