Oct 11

Condition 8503. No Further Stay.

Condition 8503!

Practically every Subclass 600 Tourist Visa to Australia from “poor countries” will have this condition on it. If you don’t believe me, look at your visa grant letter. In the days of visa stickers (and when the visa was called a Subclass 676 Tourist Visa), it would be displayed on the sticker itself. Nowadays with visa grant letters, you will see:

 

Conditions:
8101 – NO WORK
8201 – STUDY LIMITATION
8503 – NO FURTHER STAY

 

The last item is what we’re talking about. 8503 – NO FURTHER STAY

What this means is that the applicant cannot apply for another visa while she’s in Australia. If she wants another visa, she must leave the country first.

And let me make this crystal clear. There is no such thing as “an extension” to a tourist visa. To stay longer means getting another visa, ie. a brand new tourist visa application. And if there’s a Condition 8503 limitation on the visa, then you cannot apply for another tourist visa inside Australia. The applicant must leave the country and apply again. She cannot stay.

What this means is that if you had any thoughts of bypassing the long wait and applying for a PARTNER VISA in Australia, it won’t work! This is why the Condition 8503 is applied in the first place, ie. to avoid “queue jumpers”. DIAC has an intense dislike of people playing the system and trying to use visas for purposes other than what they were designed for, and this is why they put this Condition 8503 on visas grants from the less affluent countries. So if this was your plan, think again!

 

Are there any exceptions? Can the Condition 8503 be waived?

Yes, in some circumstances where you have compelling and compassionate circumstances we may apply for a waiver. Most Registered Migration Agents will have had some success at applying for waivers, however most of us also don’t waste peoples time and money. If it has a poor chance of being successful, we will tell you. Please feel free to discuss this with your Agent if you think your situation may warrant a waiver.

And no, you cannot request a visa WITHOUT a Condition 8503.

 

Sep 14

IMMIGRATION FEE RIP-OFF?

What do you think of the visa fee increases introduced this program year – a desperate attempt to find new sources of revenue by a government in its death throes or a well-considered and long overdue change to stop the impost on Australian tax-payers?

From 1st September 2013 fees for all visa applications, other than for tourist and students, were increased. This comes just two months after the most recent fee hike for all visa applications, on 1st July 2013.

Then Immigration Minister Tony Burke said the decision was made in the context of the budget and fiscal outlook. “We were careful to not have the increases apply to tourism or student visas which are particularly price sensitive,” he said.

Really? No impact on the tourist or student sector just because these visas did not cop a massive second fee increase from 1 September like all the others?

The media has focused on how the 457 visa fee increases have left employers reeling coming on top of a raft of major changes introduced to improve the intent and integrity of the 457 Visa program.  In addition the fee increases have been seen by many as being nothing but a cynical ploy of a desperate government intent on maximising its revenues.  No doubt this will have a major impact on how businesses use 457 visas going forward as the cost of lodging a 457 visa after 1 September has increased from $455 per application to a fee per person included in the application of $1035 for everyone over the age of 18 and $260 for those under 18. For a family of four applying now under the 457 program, the cost has rise almost tenfold in two months.

But this is only part of the story! The largest feeder groups of the 457 visa program are currently tourists, students and working holiday makers. How therefore can a massive increase in 457 visa fees not have an adverse impact on these groups?

Gouging big bad business may be good for revenues in the short term but, as a country, we must step back and look at the bigger picture. Hopefully the incoming government stops and thinks about the flow-on effect of the previous government’s decisions!