Australian visa applicants being encouraged to apply online

by Ray Clancy on June 20, 2013

in Australia Immigration

Australian visa applicants being encouraged to apply online

Australian visa applicants being encouraged to apply online

Applicants for visas in Australia are being encouraged to apply online and being told that it will be easier to navigate the new pricing arrangements that come into force in July. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship says that the new pricing arrangements will bring Australia into line with comparable countries.

From 1 July a per-person charging system will be introduced so even members of the same family will pay for their application. There will be an additional charge of AU$80 for certain visas when visa applicants choose to lodge a paper application rather than an online application through the department’s eVisa service where this service is available. There will also be an extra charge of AU$700 for visa applicants who seek to stay in Australia for extended periods on successive temporary visas.

‘These initiatives will put Australian visa services on a sustainable financial footing in the long term, while not detracting from Australia’s global position as a destination of choice to visit, live, work or study,’ said a DIAC spokesman. ‘The vast majority of visitors will see no change, including those arriving on an Electronic Travel Authority and other visitors arriving in Australia who already pay on a per person basis,’ the spokesman added. Refugee and humanitarian visa applicants will be unaffected by the changes.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “Australian visa holders are giving employers, education providers and other third parties evidence of their visa status quicker and easier thanks to the new VEVO Email system, it is claimed.”

The department’s eLodgement systems will go offline from late 28 June to early 1 July so that IT systems can be updated before the pricing changes come into effect. The expansion of online visitor visa applications will make it possible for visitors from a growing list of countries to apply for their visa online, the DIAC pointed out.

Australia continues to draw high levels of interest from international visitors according to the latest departmental Visitor visa program quarterly report for the period ending 31 March 2013. The report shows there were more than 247,000 visitor visa holders in Australia at the end of March, an increase of 12% compared to the same time last year. The department has granted almost three million visitor visas this financial year to 31 March, which is about 6% higher than last year.

Interest from Asia continues to rise with tourism visa applications from China up 19% to more than 310,000 applications, Malaysia up 14% to more than 149,000 applications and applications from Singapore up almost 29% to more than 107,000 applications.

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