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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share an experience I just had with VFS Dubai. I proceeded as advised with all documents and payment (AUD 2370) to apply for my sons 101 visa. The UAE dirham equivalent of this AUD amount was around AED 6800. However, when the time came for payment, the VFS agent asked for AED 8005 (plus the mandatory AED 210 VFS fees). On enquiring, I was shown a Consulate memo on the noticeboard which clearly says that AED 8005 is the fees. Yet, when one refers to their website, the AUD amount is still AUD 2370.

I obviously objected only to be told that "this is the fees asked for by the consulate - it is fixed and has to be paid to proceed further". I insisted that I am happy to pay the fees of AUD 2370 or its AED equivalent but nobody was budging. The matter had to be escalated and only after a few rounds of talk with the manager did he "suggest" that if I wished, I can proceed first to make an appointment with the consulate, pay the AUD amount there through credit card and then come back with the receipt to finish off the submission. I took this option as the savings was around AED 1300 which is NOT a small amount!

However, my attempts to set an appointment with the consulate were futile. The info given by VFS was totally wrong. I was told by them via email, instead, to fill up form 1440 and add it to the list of documents and submit at VFS. The payment then would be taken by the consulate once VFS submitted the docs. I did as told but once again, VFS took almost an hour to get the "clearance" from the consulate to proceed with my case. This is in spite of numerous calls confirming if I can proceed as advised.

So two visits, a few hours of hassle each time and a VFS team that were clueless about how to save me some hard earned money..but in the end, victory!! And a big fat savings of AED 1300 (around USD 350) simply because I chose to question the system and insisted to stand my ground. What is annoying is how the Australian embassy/consulate continues to use a "fixed" exchange rate of around AED 3.37 for a AU dollar as against the current AED 2.86 (although the AUD is not pegged to the AED like the USD). What is more alarming is them not even publicly making the other option "available" for people as an alternative option. Obviously they are making thousands of dirhams in pure extra profit through this.

I hope this helps someone out there in a similar situation.
 

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Bravo. Way to go. I myself had a bad experience with VFS (Saudi Arabia) when I was applying student visa for my brother. Apparantly, the officer on the counter had no clue about Australian student visa process. He checked all the documents which were arranged in a correct way. He then messed em up. Also, he asked to include the copy of local residence permit for me (I was sponsoring my brother) and my brother. I told him that the it is not required and not mentioned in the checklist, but he insisted on attaching it in the application. Furthermore, I asked him that the residence permit is in Arabic and needed to be translated first. But, he said it should not be an issue. Well, after two months, the case officer sent an email and asked for the translation of those residence permits. It delayed the process by one month. But, at least my brother got the visa.

Although, in our case , visa fee was not charged by the VFS office. I simply put my credit card info in the application form and it was deducted by Australian Embassy at reasonable rate.

All is well if it ends well. But, these guys should know how to do their job. After all, a small mistake can result in visa rejection. And worst if that mistake is not made by you but by a visa forwarder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I was also asked for resident permit copy even though it is not part of the checklist. These are unwanted, additional requests by VFS that may be asked by a few countries but they decide to apply it for Australia as well irrespective of whether it is required or not.
 

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Hi,

Thanks VolatileVortex for the valuable info....we are on the same path and planning to submit our 101 application this sunday. I called the vfs office to know if I can pay in AUD and they said it's not possible....the amount to be paid in AED8005...when I told them about the current exchange rate they said this is the amount the consulate has asked them to collect and there is no other way to submit the application....I guess it will be the same route for us....I was thinking if I fill the 1440 form and take it with me will it be ok??!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Go for it - nothing to worry and you will be successful. I give you the guarantee :)

By the way, I got my son's 101 visa - took just 10 days after medicals and PCC's were submitted!
 
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