Our family’s Visa 189 Initial Entry to Sydney, Australia

The husband applied for Visa 189 (Skilled Independent) about more than a year ago, which was afterwards followed with medical checkups, on-and-off processing of our requirements, some downtime, prayers, prayers, and prayers. Last March, we submitted the last requirement, which was my NBI clearance.

 It only took a month to come out with the result of our two-year journey of visa application. Our theory is that as long as you are able to submit all the requirements, the processing won’t take long. Well not exactly OUR theory since we also read somewhere that it is indeed mostly the case.

Also mentioned in the email from Australian immigration is our initial entry date.

What is initial entry? Anyone who has been granted Visa 189 (Skilled Independent) must travel to Australia on or before the initial entry date, which is specifically indicated in the Visa Grant letter. Not fulfilling this requirement means the issued visa will be automatically forfeited.

Being granted the Visa 189, you can make your initial entry to any state in Australia and either stay for good or stay for only a certain period of time.

  • – this is the official website of the Australian immigration where we applied our visa and submitted the requirements. Everything was done online.
  • – an online community of Filipinos either living in Australia or wanting to migrate to Australia.

To make a long story short, we went to Sydney for initial entry. Here’s how we survived!

To make sure our trip is productive, enjoyable, and memorable, we planned this itinerary:

Sydney Day 1: Airport arrival, rest at Edgecliff apartment, buy groceries at Coles

Sydney Day 2: Go to NAB and ANZ at the Edgecliff commercial center, Central Station, Hyde Park, Stroll around CBD

Sydney Day 3: Contemporary Museum, Rocks Discovery Museum, Rocks Market, Cadman’s Cottage, Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge

Sydney Day 4: Bondi beach

Sydney Day 5: Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanical Garden, Mrs Macquaries chair, The Domain, Art Gallery Museum, Parliament House, The Mint, Hyde Parks Barrack Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Darling Harbor

Sydney Day 6: Meet the Perez’s family at Parramatta, Meet our highschool batchmates at CBD, Paddy Market, Australian National Museum, Queen Victoria building

Sydney Day 7: Airport homebound

Getting connected online in Sydney

When we arrived in Kingsford Smith Airport, we immediately bought Vodafone sim cards and Opal card.


What is Vodafone? Well, just like Smart or Globe (in the Philippines) and Singtel or Starhub (in Singapore), it’s a mobile network provider. Telstra and Optus are another telcos in Australia.

What is an Opal card? You use this card to tap at the entry and exit points at the train station as your form of payment. You can top up its balance through an automatic machine or the Passenger Service in the station.

Welcome to Sydney! Haggard much from the flight.
Welcome to Sydney! Haggard much from the flight.

Commuting in Sydney

  • Train – The Sydney transport website and the Opal Travel app helped us locate our desired destinations and how to get there.
  • Ferries – the port is located at Circular Quay. the ferries can take you to Watsons Bay or Manly beach.
  • Buses – we took the bus when going to Bondi beach

Staying where in Sydney?

We rented an Airbnb apartment in Edgecliff which is conveniently situated near the train station, Coles, and commercial centers. Get $38 travel credit from Airbnb via my referral! Click here.

What is Coles? Along with Woolworths, it is a major supermarket chain in Australia. Most of the Coles outlets close at midnight, so that was very convenient on our part. No need to rush buying groceries every single day.

In the kitchen
So busy in the kitchen

Clothes to bring for spring

It was spring when we arrived in Sydney. It’s like having an full-blast aircon when you are outdoors! Well, that’s just me because the husband didn’t bother wearing some sweaters and thick scarves. I’m a cold type you know hahaha.


Bring a good camera!

You would surely regret if you don’t bring a good camera with you. Sydney is a diverse city. From beaches to museums, skyscrapers to gardens, there’s just so many wonderful sceneries to capture on your lens!


Sydney is a beautiful place and I wouldn’t mind living there. Hahaha!And it’s one of Australia’s major cities, if not topmost. It’s an expensive city though and a busy one as well.

We have yet to decide if we actually will settle there. Well, hopefully God will give us signs if it’s meant for us. For now, we are keeping our options open. It’s much different if we have a whole family to consider, as it’s not only YOU YOU YOU. If I were single, I would hop onto a any city I could hop onto. But let’s see, the Lil One seems to like the weather there!


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