The Australian Government has introduce new law, the Migration Amendment (Priority Consideration of Certain Visa Applications) Regulation 2016, which allows holders of passports from the People’s Republic of China applying for Subclass 600 Visitor visas in the Tourist or Business streams to request priority consideration of their visa application.
The Department is trialling this priority service for eligible Chinese nationals. This initiative comes from a recommendation of the Governments’ White paper on Developing Northern Australia and is aimed at making Australia a more attractive visitor destination.
The priority service is available for an additional fee of $1000 in addition to the usual visa application charge (VAC).
While the stated objective is to shorten the decision making time, there is no guarantee of a faster outcome, as issues such as character and health matters may delay processing. No refund will be available unless the visa application charge is being refunded.
The Department has advised that processing times for Visitor visas, more generally, will not be affected by this service.
The trial commences 15 March 2016.