The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has introduced a new surcharge on credit card payments for visa application charges (VACs) and other fees in an effort to recover the costs incurred by using credit card merchants.

The surcharge will apply to all clients who pay VACs either onshore or offshore, and extends to both online payments and those who pay at a Departmental office by credit card.

The Department is expected to release full details regarding the new charges on their website from 22 March 2014, though application forms have reportedly already been updated to accommodate the new arrangement.

Migration Solutions Managing Director, Mark Glazbrook, says the extra cost will make it even more important for applicants to get their application right on the first attempt.

‘This surcharge is going to increase the cost of applying for an Australian visa by hundreds of dollars per application in some case,’ he said.

‘This highlights the importance of ensuring that any application lodged to the Department is correct and satisfies the relevant guidelines for approval. Visa Application Charges (VACs) are non-refundable where an application is unsuccessful, and as many of our clients know it only takes one small error or omission in order for an application to be refused.’

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