The two key changes include the:
- Introduction of Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in Beijing and Shanghai
- Changes to visa processing locations.
Introduction of AVACsTwo AVACs operated by VFS Global Pty Ltd, will be opened in Beijing and Shanghai on 10 September 2012.
The AVACs will:
- accept visa applications and charges
- handle basic enquiries from clients before application is lodged
- return passports
- provide an online application tracking facility.
Changes to visa processing locationsIn addition to the introduction of AVACs, there will also be changes to where certain visa applications are processed in China from 10 September 2012.
Consolidating visa processing for certain visa applications into processing centres will enable a greater level of consistency in processing and decision-making and will improve the service the department provides to clients in this region.
Impact on clientsThese changes mean from 10 September 2012, clients who reside in provinces within the Beijing and Shanghai catchment areas applying for most Australian visas should lodge their application at an AVAC in either Beijing or Shanghai.
Clients in the Guangzhou catchment applying in person or by post for an Australian visa should continue to lodge their application directly with the Australian Visa Office at the Australian Consulate in Guangzhou.
There will be no change to the current lodgement and processing arrangements for Government officials applying via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or their local Foreign Affairs Office (FAO), Australian Destination Status (ADS) travel or Australian citizenship by Descent applications which should continue to be lodged directly with the nearest Australian Visa Office.
For more information about the services changes, please go to www.immi.gov.au.