Australian Government to raise visa fees

14 May 15

AUSTRALIA

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? The Australian Government will raise visa application charges (VACs) across a number of visa categories.

What does the change mean?
 Foreign nationals and employers sponsoring visa applicants should prepare for increased fees beginning 1 July.

  • Implementation time frame: 1 July 2015. 
  • Visas/permits affected: The VAC increases will affect almost all visa categories. 
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for visas. 
  • Impact on Processing Times: No impact. 
  • Business impact: Businesses covering VAC costs for visa applicants should brace for higher fees beginning 1 July.

Background: The Government estimates it will raise A$437.1 million over four years as a result of higher VACs and through a cost-recovery programme imposed on those applying for citizenship.

Some VAC increases will be modest; others will be more significant. VACs for Subclass 457 visas will increase 2.3 per cent, or A$25, from A$1035 to A$1060. VACs for Significant Investor visas will increase by 50 per cent, from A$4675 to A$7010. Visas in other streams will see VAC increases of 5 or 10 per cent, while Electronic Travel Authorities (ETA), eVisa and Refugee and Humanitarian visas will not be affected.

VACs for applications made overseas will be increased to come into alignment with VACs in Australia. The exception will be for Child Visas; domestic VACs for Child Visas will be dropped so that they come into alignment with overseas VACs for Child Visas. A full list of the new VACs is available on the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

The Government also anticipates significant revenue through a cost-recovery programme imposed on those applying for citizenship. “Moving to full cost recovery for citizenship costs is consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines and is underpinned by the principle that cost recovery promotes equity where the recipients of a government service, rather than the general public, bear its costs,” the budget says.

BAL Analysis: Employers and foreign nationals applying for visas to Australia on or after 1 July should check the new rates and be prepared to pay higher VACs.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

MARN: 9683856

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