Increase in Visa Application Charges on Migration
The Migration Institute Australia (MIA) is concerned new charges for visa applications will be a significant disincentive for people wanting to migrate to Australia.
Effective from 1 July certain visas will attract an $80 fee if the application is lodged in paper. There will also be a new “per-person” charge for each family member included on a visa application.
“These new charges will almost double the bill for the average family migrating to Australia,” says National President of the MIA, Ms Angela Chan.
Currently the visa application charge for the General Skilled Migration, Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is $3,060. These are the principal visas in Australia’s Permanent Skilled Migration Program which comprises 128,000 of a planned 190,000 permanent migrants for the 2013-14 program year.
Next month, for each person over 18 years of age there will be a charge of $1,530, and for dependent children under 18 years of age the cost will be $765. Previously there was no charge for these applicants. For a husband, wife and two children under 18, the cost for this type of application will be driven up to $6,120.
“That’s almost double the existing fee and is often more than a registered migration agent would charge for assisting them with their application,” said Ms Chan.
“Another worrying feature of the proposed fee increases is a new Subsequent Temporary Application Charge. Someone living in Australia on a temporary visa which was granted here will now have to pay an additional charge when they apply for a new temporary visa. For example a student applying for a subsequent visa application onshore, will be charged an extra $700.
Ms Chan questioned whether the fee hike will result in faster and better processing of visa applications by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
“If this is the Governments way of weeding out non-genuine applicants, they are going about it the wrong way,” said Ms Chan. “Australia should not be discouraging genuine migrants. More focus should be put on proper resources and training for DIAC employees.”