Application fee increase confirmed - Australian skilled visa fee goes up to AU$2,525

Australian skilled visa

The application fee increase for the Australian
Skilled visa has been confirmed by DIAC.

When the announcement was made as part of the 2009-10 Budget that the fees were set to increase as of 1 July 2009, no confirmation was given regarding exactly which visa charges the increase would apply to.

Through thoroughly researching all the materials made available following the announcement, we predicted that the increase would apply to the visa application charges of skilled visas (i.e. subclasses 175, 176 and 475), and result in a full 20 per cent increase, leading to the skilled visa fee rising from AU$2,105 to AU$2,525.

Today, our prediction was proved correct through the formal release by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) today of Form 990i, which details all the application fees as they will be from 1 July and confirms that the skilled visa application fee will be AU$2,525 as of 1 July 2009.

Additionally, the application fees for spouse/family visas (i.e. subclasses 100, 110, 300, 309 and 310) saw the same 20 per cent increase, and rose from AU$1,420 to approx. AU$1,705.

Comparably, the fee increases for the skilled and spouse/family visa subclasses weren't quite as substantial as they were for other subclasses; for example, the contributory parent (migrant) visa subclass went from having a first instalment fee of AU$1,420 and second instalment fee of AU$32,725 to a first instalment fee of AU$1,705 and a second instalment fee of AU$34,330. As a result, it's essentially an increase of almost AU$2,000 per applicant (or approx. AU$3,500 for a couple).

I understand that this news will come as another source of frustration to our clients and the many applicants who will be affected by this price increase, but there's very little that can be done.

While the increased cost of emigrating to Australia can be avoided by ensuring you lodge your application so that it reaches DIAC before 1 July, there's no way that an applicant lodging after this date will be able to avoid the new fee structure.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau