Have you ever looked into applying for a visa for another country? As you’d expect, there are a lot of details to keep track of. Luckily, Australia’s immigration department keeps everything online, and it’s not that confusing.

On top of the cost of the visa (A$420) and the requirement of sufficient funds (A$5000), there are a lot of required documents I have to provide:

  • Certified copies of:
    • Passport Biographical page
    • Birth Certificate (must include parents’ names)
    • School Transcripts
    • Bank Statement (showing sufficient funds)
  • FBI Background Check (6-10 week turnaround)
  • Local Police (NYPD) Background Check
  • Two Passport photos (by far, the easiest document to obtain)

Of course, obtaining most of those documents comes with a fee, ranging from about $20 to $50 each. I also need to pay for health insurance while I’m in Australia (they appear to require it, or at least strongly recommend it; it’s hard to tell from the language on the website). The traveler’s insurance that comes highly recommended, World Nomads, will cost me about $900 for the year, which is just about how much my current insurance premiums cost.

My flight should cost around $1000 to $1300 (one way). I also need to buy a new (bigger) suitcase, which should cost a little over $100 on Amazon.

Altogether, I need to save at least $7,200 USD before I leave (and at least $5,000 before I apply for the visa). Since I started actively saving my money in early December, I’m already up to $1,900 (including money from web development, $150 or more from two paychecks each, and $300 in gifts), so I’m already about a quarter of the way there. Not too shabby for one month.