Certain visa grants are subject to the public interest requirement that:
The applicant does not have outstanding debts to the Commonwealth unless the Minister is satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made for payment.
“Outstanding debts” refer not only to debts to the Department of Home Affairs.
In the current environment where Government Departments have increased data matching powers, it is highly likely that the Department of Home Affairs will be aware of a visa applicant having “outstanding debts to the Commonwealth”. Such a debt, for example, could include to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). In a recent case a visa applicant was asked to discharge their debt with the ATO before the visa could proceed to finalisation.
Failure to pay the debt or enter into acceptable arrangements for payment will result in being unable to satisfy the visa criteria, and the visa will be refused.
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