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.

Arthur Sinodinos promises $455,000 to Melbourne’s Greek Community if elected

Coalition to fund Cultural Centre

Coalition to fund Cultural Centre

L-R: Nick Parthimos, Treasurer, GOCMV; Bill Papastergiadis, President, GOCMV with Senator Arthur Sinodinos. Photo: Kostas Deves.

The Coalition have promised Melbourne’s Greek Community, if elected, nearly half a million dollars to fund the new Cultural Centre.

In a meeting held in Melbourne this week – between NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos, who is expected to be the next finance Minister of Australia if the Coalition is elected, Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) and Treasurer of GOCMV Nick Parthimos, Senator Sinodinos revealed that his party was willing to allocate $455,000 over three years for an archivist and a curator at the GOCMV.

The announcement came after a briefing with the Senator about the progress of the Community’s building and new Greek Cultural Centre currently under construction at the corner of Lonsdale and Russell Street, Melbourne.

Senator Sinodinos was also briefed about the program of events which the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) runs annually, including the Antipodes Street Festival, Film Festival, Food Festival, Writers Festival, the Seminar Series and its education activities for 1,500 students through Alphington Grammar and the six afternoon schools.

“I am excited by this new building and the hard work undertaken by the Board led by Bill Papastergiadis,” said Mr Sinodinos.

“The Board has unified the Community in Melbourne and it is pleasing to note that any Government can now comfortably deal with an organisation like the GOCMV which is truly representative. It is important that the Liberal

Party seeks to support this initiative. It is a truly remarkable project which deserves our support”.

He then went on to announce that a Coalition Government (if elected) would fund the new Greek Community Cultural centre to the value of $455,000 for the two positions of archivist and a curator over a period of three years.

“This Centre has enormous implications for Greeks in Australia and for the wider society,” said Mr Papastergiadis.

“We aim to develop strong relationships through the Center with the broader society and to partner with the leading Arts organisations like The State Library of Victoria, Federation Square and The National Gallery of Victoria.

The GOCMV aims to play a major role in multiculturalism in Australia by making the new Center the focal point for exchange of views, conferences and seminars.”

Following the offer of support, Mr Papastergiadis thanked Senator Sinodinos and the Liberal Party led by Tony Abbott and quoted that:

“It is encouraging that the Greek Community of Melbourne has bipartisan support on key projects and we welcome the time we had to explain our project in detail to Senator Sinodinos.

The Senator was attentive to the issues confronting Greeks in Victoria and was interested in finding a way forward in future dealings with one another”.

Senator Sinodinos speaking to Neos Kosmos described the initiatives of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria as an example of what can be achieved by other Greek communities in Australia