New joint visa application centre opening in Singapore

by Ray Clancy on March 21, 2013

New joint visa application centre opening in Singapore

New joint visa application centre opening in Singapore

Australian and New Zealand citizens making visa applications in Singapore will receive better access to immigration services through a new, first of a kind visa centre being set up next week. Each country’s immigration departments today announced details of the first Five Country Conference (FCC) shared visa application centre (VAC) that will open in a few days time.

Australia and New Zealand will share the facility with the United Kingdom and it is part of a wider co-operation between nations to work together to enhance the integrity, security and efficiency of their immigration and border services to improve client services and reduce costs. A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship said the VAC would provide more convenient access to immigration and citizenship services for clients in this region.

‘These services will include extended operating hours with phones open until 5pm weekdays, and internet kiosks with an online application tracking facility so clients can view the status of their applications,’ the spokesman said. ‘All applications will continue to be assessed and decided by immigration staff at both the Australian and New Zealand high commissions. VAC staff will not be involved in decisions or have any knowledge of application outcomes,’ he explained.

The spokesman also pointed out that the use of shared visa application facilities would lead to improved services for clients of each country and would also achieve greater efficiencies through shared infrastructure and staffing. ‘Savings achieved this way are ultimately able to be passed on to our clients,’ the spokesman added.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “My husband has an income from Singapore for about S$8k. We are currently living as expats in West Europe. Is this salary good enough to run a single income household and start a family in Singapore.”

There is a growing trend in the international community for shared visa services which makes sense from a cost basis, efficiency basis and also allows different governments and different departments to work together. The fact that the final decision regarding any visa application will still be made by the homeland immigration service should not be ignored.

Each country has agreed to share a global network of visa application centres and the visa application centre in Singapore will be located at 20 Cecil Street and opens on March 25.

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