Australia’s visa fees on the rise for the second time since July this year

Australia’s visa fees are set to rise for the second time since July this year as a result of the Federal Government’s Economic Statement for the 2013-2014 financial year.

Australia’s visa fees are set to rise for the second time since July this year as a result of the Federal Government’s Economic Statement for the 2013-2014 financial year announced on August 2. The cost of most visas increased by more than 75 per cent in this year’s budget and fees are set to rise again by another 15 per cent.

The hardest hit will be people wanting to come to Australia on 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visas. From tomorrow a foreign skilled worker will have to pay $1,035 for their visa. The fee for this particular visa up until the end of June was $455, and after the 1st of July the base application charge, excluding charges for dependent family members, increased to $900.

As from September 1, an onshore base application for a partner’s visa (Subclass 820/801) will cost $4,575 whereas an offshore base application for a partner’s visa (Subclass 309/100) will cost $3,085. The respective charges for various other categories are: General Skilled Migration $3,520, Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) $1,440 and Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) $420.

Before the significantly higher than expected initial increase in the visa application fees in July this year, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship collected over $1 billion annually from visa application fees, when the total expenditure for visa processing is approximately $600 million per year.

With the new more expensive visa application fees the government is expected to increase its revenue by approximately $600 million over the next 4 years.

Most of the new revenue from July 1 2013 onwards comes as a result of the introduction of the new visa pricing arrangements, whereby the visa application charges from a single charge at the time of appl`ication have changed to a charge per applicant in an individual or combined application. Fees were also introduced for subsequent temporary applications applied for in Australia, as well as for certain visa applications that were not lodged through the Immigration and Citizenship Department’s online service.

The July increases made it more expensive for dependent family members such as spouses and children, for business applicants, international students and skilled people to apply for visas to come to Australia. As of September 1st this cost will be even greater.

Business and migrant groups claim the new fees will affect the competitiveness of Australia as an investment destination for international business and skilled migrants and will have a negative impact on Australia as an international education market.

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