Just informing clients of a few changes with the lodgement of visa applications in Manila.
You all probably read my post the other day about changes pending this week. We will now be lodging applications at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Makati. Note that AVAC are a “service partner” for the Australian Embassy. Years ago the Australian Embassy in Manila would have a line of applicants going around the block. Things have changed considerably since then, as they don’t deal directly with applicants these days. You can’t call in and ask questions, and you can’t lodge your application there. They use intermediaries to handle the receipt of applications, and the new provider is AVAC.
And note that this is ALL that they do. They don’t advise about visa applications, and they don’t process them either. This is a drop-off center only.
Naturally this was a matter of concern for us, because we obviously did not want anything negatively affecting the smooth lodgement and processing of your applications. Jeremy, our office manager, went in to see them today. Not sure they comprehended how many applications we handle, but we’ve sorted out some issues of importance.
Basically, their counter service is designed around those who have time on their hands and don’t mind sitting around for hours, and definitely not for those who turn up with 12 – 15 applications at a time as we do quite often. And as part of their normal service they do not deliver decision letters and your personal documents back to clients as did the previous provider. However we can arrange for them to collect and deliver completed applications from our office to them, and to ensure that they will deliver the package back to you at the end.
This will cost clients $30.00 instead of the current $18.00 that we’ve been charging. We will wear the extra cost for those who have already paid, but we will add the extra $12.00 from now on.