What! Another Visa Application Charge Increase for 2015? So, what?

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What! Another Visa Application Charge Increase for 2015? So, what?


Visa application charge (VAC) prices will increases from the 1st of July 2015 for Australia from the Philippines. Are you ready for this and‘how do you get around not having to pay for them so early’? These are some of the ‘big questions  being asked and discussed around the traps’ as they say and I may have the solution for these vexing concerns and visa application strategies to ‘delay paying them too early and organise a better positioned visa application’ for Filipino applicants as well.

I find is so incredible that there is such a great deal of concern out there amongst Australian sponsors and Filipino applicants especially for partner visa application categories about whether or not they should be applying for an off-shore visa application i.e. from the Philippines or ‘if possible’ an on-shore visa application in Australia?

Well, come the 1st of July 2015 it is inevitable that the VAC for applications ‘off-shore’ or ‘on-shore’ will be the same i.e. Aud $ 6865.00 dollars. So, how do we get around them and not have to pay them too early and how can I apply for the partner visa application in Australia instead of the Philippines and is there a way to pay them at a later stage. The answer is YES and there are ways to do this and it all depends on your a) length of relationship and b) the nature of your relationship and the civil status of the Filipino applicant in question in the Philippines.

Let’s first understand what a visa application charge is all about and what they use to be?

The visa application charge is the amount of money in Australian dollars (AUD) that must be paid for a visa application to the department of immigration in Australia. In some cases there is no visa application charge. The visa application charge may be payable in two installments (although either or both of these installments may be nil):

the ‘first installment’ is payable at the time the visa application is made

the ‘second installment’ is payable before the grant of the visa.

Note:- These arrangements after the 1st of July 2015 will mostly change to one ‘up-front visa application charge’ for a majority of visa application.

If you are required to pay the second instalment, the department of immigration will notify you when it is due.? If your visa requires you to be sponsored or nominated, your sponsor or nominator might be required to pay certain fees.  You will also need to check if any visa application charge exemptions apply in your circumstances.

And just to make it clear if you want to pay using your credit card then if you pay for your visa application by credit card, a surcharge will apply. The current surcharge rates are:

Visa and MasterCard* – 1.08%

American Express and JCB – 1.99%

Diners Club International – 2.91%

*The surcharge will also apply to debit cards when making payments online.

But come the 1st of July 2015 there will be one BIG up-front-visa-application-charge. Boom  and it will all be Aud $6,865.00 dollars for all partner visa application categories whether they are lodge in Australia of in the Philippines. OUCH!

One of my clients asked me recently ‘What happens if I have not paid the correct amount of the VAC’? I looked at him to see if he was serious and he was so I pulled out the official response from the departments of immigrations website which went something like this.

‘Your visa application is not valid until we receive the total first installmentof the visa application charge. If less than the total amount is paid,we cannot commence the processing of your visa application until the correct amount is received. If there is a gap in time before you pay the correct amount, this might impact on your eligibility for the visaThe price might also rise in the interim and you will need to pay the new amount.(July 1, 2015) 

We might contact you regarding outstanding amounts that need to be paid or we might return your application to you and you will need to lodge your application again with the correct amount. (More to the case) 

If you pay by credit card, you must have enough funds to pay the total amount of your visa application charge at the time that we process the payment for the transaction to be successful. This might be some time after we receive your application.?’

So, now where does that leave us? Very, simple. We need to talk and discuss your particular partner visa application carefully so that I can determine if we can lodge your future partner visa application in Australia instead of in the Philippines. That way the Filipino applicant will be in a better immigration position and the best part is ‘you will both be together and not apart’

Thank you and Mabuhay! Contact me … we are here to get your application lodged sooner rather than later … and this time let’s see if we can lodge it in Australia.

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May 23, 2015