Time is Running Out to Lodge Visa Applications Prior to 1 July Changes

webster By Mark Webster
Friday, 24 May 2013

There are a number of significant changes coming up on 1 July 2013, and time is running out for people who wish to lodge their visa applications before the changes come in.

Below is a summary of the more important Changes:

Increase in Visa Application Fees

New surcharges are due to be implemented on 1 July, which include:
  • Extra fees for additional dependents being included in the application
  • Extra fees for paper lodgement of visa applications where there is an electronic lodgement alternative
  • Most application fees increase by 3-4% on 1 July, so expect to pay more even if you are not affected by the above changes

For more information, view our article on the fee increases from 1 July 2013.

Changes to 457 Visas

The cost of applying for a 457 visa will increase from $455 to $900 from 1 July 2013 (this is an increase of some 98%).

Other changes to the 457 program which are likely to commence from 1 July 2013 include:

  • Increase in the minimum salary for 457 (TSMIT) - generally this increases by around 4% so expect the current level of $51,400 to increase to around $54,000.
  • Changes to the occupations list for Employer Sponsored Visas (CSOL) - the Minister has already expressed concern about the over-use of certain occupations (eg Program or Project Administrator and Specialist Manager NEC). We could potentially see some occupations removed from the approved list, or possibly modified to restrict applications.
  • More occupations will require English language testing.
  • Stricter training requirements for approval as a business sponsor
You may find the following articles useful in assessing whether you will be affected by these changes:

Changes to Points Tested Skilled Visas

The Skilled Occupations List is reviewed each year and is generally changed from 1 July. On top of this, we will see the following from 1 July:
  • New State Migration Plans will start coming into effect - as a result, some occupations might no longer be on state lists from 1 July.
  • New Occupational Ceilings will come in for the SkillSelect system - as a result, some of the occupations which have already met their ceiling (eg engineering, IT professionals) will become available again.

Changes to Partner Visas

It is likely that electronic lodgement of partner visas will be introduced from 1 July 2013. This may speed up processing for e-lodged applications, but those lodging paper applications may face higher application fees.


As a result of the above changes, you may well be better to make your application prior to 1 July 2013 if you can.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation or if you would like Acacia to assist in lodging your application before the changes come into effect.

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