Why it’s important to book your flights and apply for your Australian Tourist Visas at least 2 months in advance when visiting Australia.
Note that the below is not legal advice, it is solely opinion which is based on personal experience and observation, information below is provided without any legal guarantees and without any guarantees on formal government policy.
Recently Australia has been paying much more notice to tourists who have overstayed in Australia, along with some foreign scams which falsely advertise work in Australia and provide the wrong visa to the applicants. Becuase of this, it has affected how tourist visas are issued by the Government, with some countries seeming to be more difficult to obtain a visa from using the popular low cost Online 601 Visa. The cost for this is often $20 AUD if you apply directly via the government website, however travel agents located in your home country can sometimes do this cheaper.
If you are unlucky enough to be flagged and refused a Subclass 601 visa, then you will need to apply for a Subclass 600, which is more expensive and is lodged to the Australian Embassy or their associated partners in your home country. The subclass 600 also involves more proof that you plan to genuinely visit Australia for tourism purposes.
If you happen to get a 600, don’t take it personally, we have heard of all sorts of people being flagged, even reports of infants, and it seems that the process may simply be randomised. However once you apply for this Visa, the embassy will let you know what further documentation to provide.
Normally if you are flagged as potential for overstay, you will need to provide some documents, some of which may include proof of employment, proof of residence in your home country, proof you will continue to reside in your home country following the trip, bank statements including explanations as to where any large recent deposits came from, details of any home loans or car loans you may have in your name, plus your travel itinerary, whom you contracted to book the holiday, details on who you will be travelling with and places you will be staying.
The reason at the start of this article for explaining that you should book flights and apply for your Visa at least 2 months in advance, is because if you are required to carry out the subclass 600 requirements, a lot of documentation is required to be submitted and you need time to sort this out beforehand.
I have experienced a visitor who’s 601 Visa was booked 4 weeks before departure, then was flagged as requiring a subclass 600 visa with only 2 weeks to go before flying out, the process meant that all the documentation was required to be submitted on that same day otherwise it would be impossible for the visa to be approved in time, as 14 days is the minimum requirement for processing.
Luckily at the last minute they were approved, however if the trip and visa is booked at least 8 weeks or more in advance, you won’t need to suffer the stress of going through this process.