SINGAPORE: Anyone planning to travel abroad knows visa application processes can be stressful. A young Singaporean recently made her visa fiasco story public, claiming to have paid AUD 192 for a $20 visa.
Beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content creator @naploes recently shared her alleged experience paying way more than she thought she would have to for a visa. “For anyone going to Australia soon, please apply (for) your visas properly and redo everything because I paid 190 dollars for a visa to Australia when it only costs 20 dollars,” she said in a 3-and-a-half-minute video.
“It’s a hundred per cent my fault because I totally forgot that we have to apply for a visa to Australia,” she shared. “I was just following the links, like Singapore passport, which one should I click? And then I clicked the 20-dollar one, right? And then, as I was filling up all my information, suddenly at checkout, they told me ‘You have to pay this service fee and then this fee and then this fee…’ and then ‘…the total is 192 Australian dollars.’ And I was like What? Why is this so expensive? And I read somewhere online that Singapore passport visas take up to two to three days to get approved, so I was like…Okay, let me just hurry (and submit it) because I’m going to Australia in a few days time.”
The content creator shared that because she didn’t want to take any chances, she just made the payment, saying, “I just paid the 192 dollars.”
“I just submitted the visa and I was like Okay, done. If that’s the price I have to pay, I’ll just pay it,” she shared.
She then went on to talk about the experience of her friend, who was also going to apply for a visa. “I didn’t think much about it, and it was time for my friend to go apply for her visa,” she continued. “So I sent her the link, I was like… Okay, go apply for your visa, it’s 19(2) dollars. I don’t know why it’s so expensive, but just go apply if you want to go to Australia together. So she went to apply and then there was this one column which she wasn’t too sure what to attach…like the documents or whatever. So she screenshotted it and she sent it to me, and she was like ‘What should I fill up here?’
“And I was like Wait… This is where it gets even worse. At that point, I still hadn’t realised that it wasn’t supposed to be 192 dollars. I was just helping out my friend apply for her visa and she was like, ‘Okay. This section here says you have to attach your documents or whatever.’
“And then I realised Oh my God, I didn’t attach any of my documents. I didn’t attach my passport picture, I didn’t attach my driver’s license. I didn’t attach anything. So I was like Hold up. My application–I didn’t put in my passport picture, they’re a hundred per cent going to reject it. So at this point, I was panicking. Because if they reject it, I still have to go apply again and it’s going to take another two more days to get approved. So I went on to the website to check.”
The young woman urged her followers to check all information carefully, especially when it comes to visa applications. “Please make sure you are looking at all the information carefully because I was just filling it in,” she shared. “I was like Yup, yup, submit. Time to go to Australia. I didn’t really read through properly. And I missed out on the “You have to attach your documents, and that’s the most important part. So a hundred per cent, I thought, It’s going to get rejected. Let me just cancel it now.”
However, she added, “If you submitted it, you cannot cancel it and get a refund. And, if you ask your bank for a refund, there’s a chance they won’t give you another visa when you apply for it. In my head I was like Okay, I paid 19(2) dollars for a visa that’s going to get rejected? And I’ve got to apply again? And I might not make it to Australia in time…”
“My God, this story has so many layers to it,” she added. “At this point I was just like Okay, let me just apply for another visa. So I texted all my friends who went to Australia recently. And I asked them, ‘Okay where did you apply (for) your visa? How much did you play for your visa?’ And my friends were all like, “Um, we only paid 20 dollars. How come yours is 190 dollars?”
“And this was when I realised. I applied for the wrong visa. And I don’t even know why it’s wrong, because it’s like…the same as a tourist visa. Except mine is like one year–it’s valid for one year. But, because I didn’t submit my passport picture, they have no way of verifying that it’s actually me, so it’s 100 per cent going to get rejected.”
After sharing her roller coaster ride of a visa application, the young woman admitted, “This was such an expensive mistake on my part. But honestly, mistake’s on me. I can’t do anything about it. But I feel like the worst part is I made my friend pay 190 dollars for her visa as well. And she was like, ‘Why did you make me pay so much money for a 20-dollar visa?’ Funniest part is I’ve been to Australia so many times, but the thing is I always go with my family and my mom always settles these visa things for me. And I’ve been taking it for granted all these years. Because I never thought how stressful it would be applying for all these myself. Until I’m doing it right now.”
She then left her followers with a word of advice, saying, “Apply for your visas early and also read through everything properly before just blindly paying 190 dollars for a visa.”