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sianvz

Subclass 600 visitor visa

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sianvz

Hi all 

 

Have seen this topic discussed but threads are old so hoping for some fresh input.

 

My mom is visiting us from South Africa and will need a visitor visa. I called immigration because if you go onto the Australian consulate's website in South Africa it says you should use their dedicated VAC (visa application centre) which charge an admin fee and you have to pay everything in cash, but immigration said they prefer if we apply online on their website and that I can even do it on my mom's behalf.

 

People have told my mom to use an agent so I even emailed my agent and he said he doesn't handle these because you just do it yourself online. Everything points to doing it online except the Australian consulate website so my question is - has anyone done an online application recently and how was the process (how long did it take to get the visa / did you go for biometrics?)

 

My mom has been told all these stories which have made her panic but to me it just seems so simple to do it online.

 

Thanks!

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Mara

I may be wrong, but I think South Africans are excluded from getting an electronic visa. See here, South Africa, does not appear in the list.

https://www.migrationexpert.com.au/travel_visa/eta_visa/

 

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sianvz
2 hours ago, Mara said:

I may be wrong, but I think South Africans are excluded from getting an electronic visa. See here, South Africa, does not appear in the list.

https://www.migrationexpert.com.au/travel_visa/eta_visa/

 

 

http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-/Visitor-e600-visa-online-applications

 

This page on the new immi website lists South Africa and when I spoke to immi on the phone they said I can apply online. It's not the same as an eVisa, it's just that you can apply online for this visa. I think you still have to have biometrics done which you have to go to one of the application centres for.

Edited by sianvz

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Mara

Then I stand corrected.

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Dill

Hi Sianvz

I did my dad's 600 visa application on the immi website in February. Fairly straightforward, lots of info required but no more than a paper application.

The only thing is, that since June 2016, South Africans need to provide biometric data (electronic fingerprints) and these need to be done at the VAC. Apparently if you apply online, they send you notification to go to the VAC to do the fingerprints.

I'm also about to apply for my mom and haven't decided whether to do it for her or let her do it and get the fingerprints done when she hands in the application. I know that online is cheaper but my mom has all the docs she needs (would need to scan and send to me) and is familiar with the VAC.

Hope this helps, let us know what you decide to do!

Cheers

Dill

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springmielie

Hi sianvz

 

I also did mine last year online, quite straight forward, just have all the documents necessary ready and attach it where required. Allow enough time between applying and when she's leaving, I only received my visa a week before I left. And they only reply on your telephonic query once the stated time frame has elapsed. Also saw that you now need biometric data to be done in Cape Town, or Pretoria?  I applied for a 3 month stay, but the visa was only valid for a year with multiple entries for 3 months at a time:wacko:. You're mom is more than welcome to contact me, I'm in Wellington Western Cape.

Edited by springmielie

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sianvz

Thanks guys

 

There is a VAC in Durban (my mom is in Drakensburg so would have to go there anyway for biometrics). Surprised to hear how many people use an agent in South Africa for something so simple. I think I might just do it online and save the admin fee of over R1000. It's still 3 months before her visit so even if it takes a bit longer, it's what immi prefer so I feel more comfortable doing it that way. 

 

@springmielie - what's enough time from your experience? How long after applying online did you received the visa?

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springmielie

Hi Sianvz

When I applied the processing time was 4 weeks, and they don't answer your queries before the processing time has elapsed. I phoned on the Monday as I was leaving on the Friday:blink: and a very nice lady kept me on line to check on my visa and informed me that she's emailing my visa as we speak. Some of the members  visas were processed within a week. I think I made the mistake by not submitting all my documents at the same time? I decided your application is pushed back on the processing list every time you submit or re-submit something. (at that stage my paranoia of not getting a visa was running sky high:o) You should have more than enough time if you apply now, especially as the holiday season is getting nearer.  

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sianvz

@springmielie thanks for the info. Do you know if you submitted an unabridged birth certificate? That's my biggest worry because my mom lives in central Drakensburg and home affairs is a nightmare there. Apparently they laughed at her the other day when she said she might need unabridged, they said it can take months to pull from the archive! Now I'm worried, but I feel like I've read somewhere they do accept abridged for a visitor visa, although checklist says must show parents name which abridged doesn't. Wonder if she should apply for unabridged and we just submit the application with abridged and hope that they don't ask for unabridged or if they do that it arrives within a month or two and at least application is submitted and they're just waiting for that...

 

What a process just for a holiday!

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Dill

Hi again

Did my Dad's (online) application without an unabridged birth certificate. Sometimes the VAC make a big deal about it and the website does state that it's a requirement but I think they're a bit more lenient with older visitors. 

I would do what you've suggested, submit abridged but apply for unabridged as well. The requirement may become more stringent in the future.

Cheers

Dill

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Yuvi

Hi Guys,

 

My family has just completed this process. They did not need unabridged certificates.

They did the application online, was sent a confirmation email and then booked the bio-metrics at the nearest centre.

 

Others went to the centre to do the entire application(bio-metrics included), there was an additional admin fee but the process was smooth and they got their visa.

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sianvz

Thanks everyone! Just the answers I was after!

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sianvz

@Dill and @Yuvi sorry for all the questions but did your family have to go for an interview? My mom said she's worried about doing it online in case they make her go to Pretoria and I told her that wouldn't happen because there's a centre in Durban. But now busy with the application and it's asking me to choose a nearest centre in case of an interview being required but they don't give Durban as an option, only Pretoria!

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Dill

Hi Sian

 

The embassy is in Pretoria, so if they needed to interview her, that's where it would be but the chances of that happening are one in a few million.

 

In all my time traveling to Australia on visit visas (and all my friends and family who have done so over the years) there has never been an interview. I lived in Dubai, where they handle applications from high risk countries (South Africa is also considered high risk but is not under the same level of immigration scrutiny/security) and even there, it was not the norm for people to be interviewed for a visit visa unless red flags were raised by the application.

 

Please don't worry, they have the right to interview anyone but are highly unlikely to do this for a visit visa. She will need to go to Durban for biometrics, but definitely not to Pretoria for an interview (unless she has an extremely dodgy travel history or serious criminal record, which I'm sure is not the case:)).

 

Thanks for the reminder, need to get started on my mom's application. 

 

Cheers

 

Dill

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sianvz

Thanks @Dill! You've been a great help, always good to get reassurance from people who have gone through this in person. 

 

We are expecting a baby in November so my mom is coming for the birth of her first grandchild and I would just be devastated if something went wrong so we're being super paranoid!

 

Thanks again!

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Yuvi
5 hours ago, sianvz said:

@Dill and @Yuvi sorry for all the questions but did your family have to go for an interview? My mom said she's worried about doing it online in case they make her go to Pretoria and I told her that wouldn't happen because there's a centre in Durban. But now busy with the application and it's asking me to choose a nearest centre in case of an interview being required but they don't give Durban as an option, only Pretoria!

 

Hi @sianvz neither of them needed to go for an interview. I will find out if they had to fill in the option or not. They used the DBN processing centre.

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springmielie

Dear sianvz

Exciting times, congratulations!!!! :ilikeit: I had a look at my supporting documents, I didn't even submit a birth certificate, just my passport. I think it's going to be quite problematic for our "older" folk;) to get an unabridged birth certificate as both my parents have passed away. You are sooo lucky that your mother can be with you. Enjoy the time together.♥♥♥

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sianvz
27 minutes ago, springmielie said:

Dear sianvz

Exciting times, congratulations!!!! :ilikeit: I had a look at my supporting documents, I didn't even submit a birth certificate, just my passport. I think it's going to be quite problematic for our "older" folk;) to get an unabridged birth certificate as both my parents have passed away. You are sooo lucky that your mother can be with you. Enjoy the time together.♥♥♥

 

Thank you! Yes it will be so special, she is staying for a month so will be such a great help and good bonding time ? She hasn't been overseas in 22 years!

 

Feeling confident now that we have everything we need to submit so holding thumbs all goes smoothly, will report back :)

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yvettebetty

Recently applied for visitor visas for my parents.

 

We chose to apply for a 12month one although they will only be here for the December holidays.

Reason: my thinking was that if there is troubles in RSA or something happens, they do hold a visa and can just jump on a plane instead of waiting 2-4 weeks for a visa.

 

Problem: They have not been requested to do a medical check and X-rays. Although not a BIG problem, they are time poor and the additional cost of the medicals means they will have less spending money.

 

We have submitted a notification of incorrect answer to change from 12 to 3 months, but the health assessment requested is still required on their IMMI account.

 

Anyone know how it takes to update the IMMI account when you submit a change form? 

AND

Will the health assessment be removed if we are successful in changing the 12 months to 3

 

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Dill

Hi yvettebetty

Sorry about what's happened with your application. Unfortunately I don't have a clue what may or may not happen but hope that it gets sorted out, especially if you have already paid.

If you haven't paid yet, I can only suggest that you start a totally new application, but I'm guessing that it's too late for that.

If your parents are over 75, they need to do the medical regardless of the length of the stay. Please post if they are under 75, as this is helpful information for other members applying for 600 visas for parents.

All the best,

Dill

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sianvz

Update: my mom's visa was granted yesterday! 

 

Quick timeline for anyone who comes across this thread:

22 Sep - Submitted application with all supported docs through immi online account (border.gov.au)

22 Sep - Immediately received request for biometrics 

10 Oct - Biometrics done in Durban (earlier appointments were available but my mom lives in the Drakensburg so couldn't get there sooner)

20 Oct - Visa granted for 3 year multiple entries of max 3 months at a time

 

@yvettebetty did you still do the short stay visitor visa or family sponsored? I would give immi a call, they may need to manually remove medical requirement once it's already been requested. It's a pity they don't tell you anywhere they'll grant it for multiple entries because I was also tempted to say my mom is coming again but because I had no proof of a future trip, I just left it as up to 3 months.

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Yuvi

Hi @sianvz, that's great to hear. How did you mom manage to get a 3 year visa?

 

My family recently applied. They all got 1 year visas and my mom had to go for the medical even though there was really no need.

Seems like there is no consistency. 

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Dill

Great new Sianvz! 

Happy and excited for you.

Currently waiting for my mom's 600, will post the timeline once it's granted. Also hoping for 3 years - will be interesting to see what happens.

Cheers

Dill

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yvettebetty

We applied for the tourist stream visa

 

My parents could not get hold of anyone that could provide clarity or remove the health assessment requirement - so they eventually went.

Did medicals 12 October

Visa granted 19 October

They were granted 3 year visitor visas with 12 months stay at a time - yay!!

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Yuvi
4 minutes ago, yvettebetty said:

We applied for the tourist stream visa

 

My parents could not get hold of anyone that could provide clarity or remove the health assessment requirement - so they eventually went.

Did medicals 12 October

Visa granted 19 October

They were granted 3 year visitor visas with 12 months stay at a time - yay!!

Wow, thats great. I really would like to understand how they assign duration of the visa.

Its quite frustrating if you know someone is going to come often and they only get a short term visa.

 

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