Australian visa application charges set to rise by 20 per cent

One of the changes announced in the Australian Government’s 2009/2010 budget statements is that the Government will increase a number of Australian visa application charges by 20 per cent.

Changes in visa application charges are not unusual; these charges are reviewed by the Australian Government on July 1 every year in order to include the increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  This typically results in skilled Australian visa application charges increasing by between AU$40 to AU$60 on an annual basis in recent years.

However, due to the global financial crisis and a change in economic circumstances they have now made the announcement that a number of visa application charges will instead see a 20 per cent increase. While there has been no confirmation from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) as to exactly which visa classes will be affected, we are predicting that the increase will apply to the skilled visa application charges.

A 20 per cent increase would result in the skilled visa application fee going from AU$2,105 to approx. AU$2,525; a substantial amount more than the typical price increase, should it take effect.

A concrete decision as to which visa application charges the price increase will apply to should be expected from the government shortly, but until we have more information, we are going to be advising all our clients to lodge and pay for their visa application BEFORE July 1, 2009 (if possible).

- Tony Coates is a Migration Caseworker for the Australian Visa Bureau