It appears that the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, based in Manila, has been subject to a hoax. Details on their website appeared which have suggested that as of 2017 Filipinos will no longer require a visa to enter Australia. However the Australian embassy have been quick to deny these reports and have made a statement suggesting that the information is a hoax:
“”The Embassy is aware of a hoax/scam suggesting that visa-free options for Filipino nationals will be available from January 2017. This is a scam and potential travellers to Australia must have a valid Australian visa,”
The information on the website had reported that a bilateral agreement between the Australian government and the Philippine government had recently been reached and that as part of the agreement Filipinos would be able to take advantage of visa free travel.
The Australian government have issued a statement confirming that a visa is required for any travel to the country.
It seems that the hoax is part of a larger trend of fake news and information websites which are reporting false stories and giving false information to the public. Another that has been reporting the supposed visa free travel for Filipinos to Australia is tv-cnn.com which on first sight looks very much like American news site CNN. The advice from the Australian government is for all travellers to the country, regardless of their nationality, to carefully check with authorities the current visa regulations before making any travel, work or student arrangements.
The Australian Embassy in the Philippines website has now been corrected and anyone wanting to check the requirements for travel between the Philippines and Australia can go to the site for full details on how to apply for a visa. They are also stating that there is currently extremely high demand for visas and that applications should be made in good time.