Went to VFS this morning to submit my Australian visa application. Can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I last applied for one! I honestly felt my Perth trip was not too long ago, but in fact it’s been more than 2 years! (My very first Australian visa was done when I was 11 years old)
So what’s different now? For a start, they no longer accept application at the Australian High Commission. They now do it at a dedicated visa centre called VFS where they partner with the embassy for visa application, and their service covers a variety of country, e.g. Australia, NZ, UK, Russia, etc.
My previous submission took quite a long time (almost 2 hours if I remember correctly), but that was mainly due to me needing to make a copy of ALL stamped pages in my passport (more detailed story in the hyperlink above). So this time I remembered to make a copy of all stamped pages in my passport, and I also submitted my previous Australian visa AND my old passport with all the stamped pages to show more travel history (cos my current passport is only a year old and it’s not really full yet… excuse to travel more? Hehehehe).
I arrived at the centre at 8:30 this morning, had a security guard checking me and my bag’s content, took a queue number and went inside.
I only had to sit for about 2 minutes before my number was called. They have quite a number of counter so that really helps with the crowd control.
Another thing that’s different now is that I had to give them my passport as well for biometric registration (previously it was not needed). So after submitting the documents and paying the fee (S$148 visa fee + S$42 processing fee = S$190), I waited for about 10 minutes before my number was called to one of the biometric registration rooms.
Once I was inside, it was the standard stuff: verification of personal detail, fingerprints recording, and photo taking. All in all, it only took about 3 minutes and the staff handed me 2 receipts: one for the biometric registration and the other one for the visa application itself.
And I was done! I checked the time and I only spent a total of 26 minutes there! So efficient, I like it!
I applied for business visa this time, so the processing time should be within 5 working days. I hope it goes through smoothly and I can fly off early next month!
Oh, this application actually happened because… I accepted a new job offer from an Australian start-up! So yea, I’ve tendered my resignation at Circus and my last day would be in 2 weeks time.