Some 51 countries and regions have been added to the eligibility list for electronic lodgement of certain visitor visa applications for Australia.
Those nations eligible to electronically apply for a visitor visa (subclass 600) will progressively expand starting this month. Overall, citizens from 124 countries will now benefit from lodging online to holiday in or visit Australia.
For those who are eligible, travellers to Australia will find the process of applying for a visitor visa faster than ever, said a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Control (DIBP).
‘Online access to these visas is being progressively expanded to all countries. To check if your country is on the eligibility list, or for more information about online lodgement arrangements for the visitor visa (subclass 600), see [the DIBP website],’ he explained.
Meanwhile the DIBP is reminding visa applicants that new identity requirements were introduced for Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020 in March.
PIC 4020 is a criterion attached to a number of visa subclasses. If PIC 4020 is part of the criteria for the particular skilled migration, student, business skills, family or temporary visa you have applied for, you must satisfy PIC 4020 in order to be granted your visa.
Since 2011, PIC 4020 has enabled refusal of a visa if an applicant provides a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to their application.
‘The new identity requirements mean that as part of your visa application you must now satisfy the Minister of your identity. If you are refused a visa because you are unable to satisfy the Minister of your identity, you will not be granted a visa for a period of 10 years after refusal. You won’t be able to provide reasons to waive these new requirements, as they are not subject to a waiver,’ said the spokesman.
‘If your visa is refused because you did not satisfy the Immigration Minister of your identity, anyone who is listed as a member of their family unit will also be refused. These family members will also be prevented from being granted another visa where the visa requires you to satisfy PIC 4020 as part of the visa criteria for 10 years,’ he explained.
The other criteria of the PIC remain the same and you are still required to satisfy them in order to be granted a visa.
‘Visa applicants must not provide bogus documents or false or misleading information in support of their visa application. If your visa application is refused because you or any of the members of your family unit provide bogus documents or information that is false or misleading in relation to your application, you might be prevented from being granted a visa for three years,’ added the spokesman.