One of Australia's migration agents recently ran into some trouble when applying for a Orphan Relative Visa (Subclass 117) on behalf of a client.
According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), the 117 visa is designed for children who are under the age of 18, are currently overseas, and cannot be cared for by their parents.
If a child's application for the Orphan Relative Visa is successful, they will be permitted to migrate to Australia permanently and live with a relative who is already in the country.
From the date the visa is granted, they are also permitted to travel in and out of Australia for a maximum of five years.
The migration agent was in the process of paying the 117 visa application charges for six orphan siblings, who were living in South Sudan, when he was told that a Base Application Charge (BAC) would apply to all of the children.
On the DIAC website, under 'Visa Application Charges', it states that every visa application will have a BAC attached.
It adds that the BAC could amount to nothing, and if a visa application "includes more than one applicant, known as a combined application, then the base application charge will only be paid by the main applicant".
However, for some reason this migration agent was told that a BAC would need to be paid on behalf of each child, amounting to $7, 560 all-up (6 x $1, 260, which is the standard BAC for this visa).
The migration agent thought that - as the DIAC website seems to say - the BAC would only need to be paid once and the 'Additional Application Charge Under 18' - which is a much more reasonable $315 per person - would be required of the remaining five children.
"In the past you could combine two or more applications of siblings living together in the same family unit and you could pay only one fee for all applicants, " he said.
He added that demanding $7, 560 from "six poor orphans" - or their widowed grandmother in Australia, for that matter - was both "unbelievable and outrageous".
"Where is the common sense, let alone the compassion?"
Sourced from MigrationAlliance.com.au