More than half of those who had an annual income of more than $150,000 a year had a visa waiting list, and a third had been denied at least once in the last five years, according to a new survey.
But what you need not worry about, according the National Travel Forum, is the fact that you won’t need to pay a fee to use a visa.
It’s simply about being aware that visa processing times can vary greatly depending on where you are, how long you live in the country and your job, the group said.
“You’ll be able to get a visa if you want to travel to the UK or Ireland or to a destination in Europe and if you have an employer that will allow you to do that,” NTF spokeswoman Kate McAlpine said.
“It’s not a requirement to have an Australian visa but it’s something you should know about.”
The NTF surveyed more than 2,500 people between February and April, and asked them about their experience using visa customer support and what the main issues they had faced.
For those who used the service to get to the US, it was one of the worst things that could happen to them, the survey found.
The main reasons why visa customers had been rejected at least twice in the past five years included:They didn’t have the right passport, visa application or visa document to enter the countryThey failed to submit a travel document they needed to use to enter AustraliaIn this case, they weren’t able to prove that they needed a visa to enter their home country, McAlpines said.
“It’s about not letting them know how bad the situation is and making sure you’re not taking any risks,” she said.
The NTFF’s study, which was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the NTF, found that visa customers were more likely to be rejected if they had previously received a rejection notice in the mail, or if they were using a third party to handle their visa application.
A further six per cent had received a cancellation notice in a similar manner.
Many visa customers also reported problems getting their visa cancelled or changed, such as the possibility that their visa would be lost, and that their passport could be lost or stolen, McElpines added.
“You may have received a notification from a third-party company saying that you need a visa and you haven’t had the proper paperwork to enter your country,” she told 7.30.
McElpine said there were other ways visa customers could help, such in providing more information to the visa service provider about visa requirements, how to apply for a visa, what their requirements are and the costs involved.
This can be particularly important for Australians travelling to the United States, who are not required to pay any visa fees, she said, although she warned that many Australians were likely to have to pay them.
“The other thing is that if you’re travelling to Australia with a partner who is also applying for a Visa, you’ll need to do a separate application so that you can have that visa if they do not apply for one themselves,” she added.
If you’re unsure about the best way to go about applying for your visa, the NTFF said you can always contact the Visa Australia office.