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 copy of your passport. This article explains what you need to consider, in order for your visa application to run as smoothly as possible.
Application procedure for the Australia visa
The system used by Australia to process visa applications has been digitalised almost entirely. This means that 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. British and Irish nationals who travel to Australia for a holiday, 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 British and Irish 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 random sample check. In the past, 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.
Since a few months, applicants have to submit a passport scan next to filling in the application form. This has made the visa application slightly more complex, but it also aids the Australian immigration service in checking the data that was entered in the application form. Since this change, fewer visa applications have been subjected to lengthy sample checking, which also tends to include requests for additional information and other documentation.
Requirements for the copy of the passport
Passports consist of multiple passport pages. The most important one is the page known as the data page, showing the passport picture and main passport information. This data page also contains a machine-readable part (the machine-readable zone, or MRZ). This part is displayed at the bottom of the data page as the two lines containing the “<<<” symbols. These two lines contain the most important data in a standardised format, enabling computers to scan and check this information. To complete your Australia visa application, you need to submit a digital scan or photo of your passport's data page. This photo or scan needs to be clearly in focus, and display all passport information, including the machine-readable zone, in a way that it is clearly legible. Please note the following:
- The entire data page must be visible.
- All text must be clearly legible. This applies to the machine-readable zone in particular.
- No part of the image showing the passport may be cropped out, covered, or edited. This means that the scan or photo may not contain any watermark.
- There may be no visible reflections interfering with the legibility of the information on the passport.
- The image may either be in black and white or in colour.
- You may submit a digital copy of a standard passport, but emergency passports and German children’s passports are also accepted. Identity cards and refugee travel documents, however, are not accepted.
- If your signature is not displayed on the data page with the passport picture, the page carrying the signature does not have to be a part of the digital copy.
Changes result in fewer incorrect applications
One of the advantages of the new requirement for the visa application for Australia is that the number of errors in applications has been reduced. This is because some of the information from the passport needs to be entered in the application form. Some of the passport information, such as the passport number, is fairly prone to error. For instance, it might be difficult to distinguish the letter “O” from the number “0”. The number “3” might also resemble the letter “B” and vice versa. By requiring applicants to submit a passport copy, some of the information can be checked both automatically and manually. This way, some mistakes can be corrected before an application is submitted. However, not all data can be checked, so it is still vital to fill in all the information in the application form carefully.
Less frequent sample checks
Applications for the eVisitor visa Australia used to be subjected to random sample checks quite regularly. This happened for about 1 in 20 applications submitted, causing delays 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. Because of this, 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.