Fast-track tourist visas now available for India and UAE

As part of this year’s Federal Budget, and as previously reported, the fast-track service for Visitor (subclass 600) visas that were exclusively provided to nationals from China has been extended to India and the United Arab Emirates. This service is available from today.

Priority consideration is for applications made under the Tourist and Business Visitor Streams only. Any applicant that wants to use this service must be outside of Australia when the priority request has been made, and any application must be made to an Australia Visa Application Centre in the same country of the passport holder. A request can be made either through the visitor visa application form, or made subsequently, and therefore after the visitor visa application has been lodged. Importantly, any eligible passport holder must also be a national of the country for which the passport has been granted. This is almost always the case.

Any priority request for will incur the additional fee of AUD 1,000 payable at or before the request is made. This extra fee has not changed since the priority request service began on 15 March 2016.

Those expecting that by paying this fee will turn their visitor visa application from one that will be refused into one that will be approved should think again. It will only speed up the making of a decision. The visitor visa application must still meet all of the relevant criteria required just as needed for any application that is not fast-tracked.