Adelaide based Jasjit Singh had been waiting for the tourist visa for his mother-in-law to be approved for 38 days, before contacting SBS Punjabi to share his frustration.
"My mother in law, and indeed my own parents have visited us multiple times in the past, and mostly, the tourist visa approval would come through within a couple of weeks. But this time, we applied for my mother in law's tourist visa on March 28, and even in the first week of May, we have no intimation about its status," said Jasjit, speaking to SBS Punjabi.
"The most frustrating thing is that there is no tracking service provided by the authorities - so we just don't know where the prcoessing is at."
The SBS Punjabi listener said: "We had booked for my mother in law to travel to Adelaide on May 4, she would have attended a family celebration here in the first week of May. Also, since both my wife and I do full time jobs, we had thought that mum would be able to look after the children - so we hadn't booked any childcare, thinking that the visa would come through in a month for sure."
"In the last week of April, we began to get worried since the visa hadn't arrived. We called VFS Global Services but couldn't really speak to anyone - it was very very frustrating."
After repeated calls, Jasjit was able to speak to someone, but no one could foreshadow the estimated time needed for approval.
Eventually, Jasjit's mother-in-law had to postpone her ticket (at a cost of many thousands of Rupees) and is now booked to travel to Adelaide on May 20.
"But I really don't know if the visa will arrive by then. Such delays have never happened before and what makes it worse is that we can't even track the status of the application."
"I wonder if we are all being pushed into applying in the emergency quota, where applicants have to pay $1000 extra fees for speedy processing. We didn't apply in that category thinking that it should be left for applicants with a genuine emergency - but now I wonder if this is a money-making exercise."
UPDATE: SBS Punjabi has been in contact with Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Australian High Commission in New Delhi and VFS Global Services and sought responses. To read their response, click below:
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