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Migration Application Fees to Increase by 15% from 1 September 2013

webster By Mark Webster
Thursday, 08 August 2013

As part of the 2013-14 Economic Statement, The Government has announced that Department of Immigration application fees will increase across the board by 15% from 1 September 2013. The only visas exempt from the increases are Student visas and Visitor visas.

The increases are set to raise $542 million over the next 4 years.

This comes on top of significant fee increases which were introduced on 1 July 2013, which in some cases doubled or even tripled the cost of making a visa application.

How Much Will the Fees Increase By?

Fees will increase by 15% for most applications. A sample of the changes is below:

Visa Type Current Fee From 1 Sep Increase
457 Temporary Worker (Skilled) $900 $1,035 $135
Partner (Onshore) $3,975 $4,575 $600
Partner (Offshore) $2,680 $3,085 $405
General Skilled Migration $3,060 $3,520 $460
Temporary Graduate 485 $1,250 $1,440 $190
Working Holiday $365 $420 $55
Contributory Parent 2nd VAC $42,220 $48,550 $6,330

Why Should Visa Applicants be Concerned About the Increases?

In the Economic Statement paper, there is no discussion or rationale for the increase. Whilst we see additional expenditure in the Immigration portfolio for asylum seeker processing and detention, no initiatives have been announced to improve visa processing for the applicants affected by the fee increases.

When looking at Immigration Department annual reports, the cost of processing visa applications is already covered by application fees collected. It is fairly clear that family sponsored and economic stream applicants are heavily subsidising processing and detention of asylum seekers.

It is also of concern that no Regulation Impact Statement has been done on the effect of the fee increases. The stated reason is because the measures are "primarily revenue in nature". Given the increase is significant, and comes on top of a series of previous fee increases, there is no doubt that the change will impact on businesses, education providers and individuals.

If you feel that the fee increases are not fair, please sign our fee increase petition.

How Can I Avoid the Increase?

If you would like to avoid the 15% increase to fees, please contact us to discuss lodging your application before the price rise. You can calculate the current fees by using our visa application fee calculator.

References

2013-14 Economic Statement