John McQuaid answers your visa questions.
Co Antrim native and registered migration agent John McQuaid provides a uniquely Irish perspective on current visa and migration issues. This week, John responds to a reader’s question about the new visa application fees introduced on Monday.
We are here in Australia on 457 visas for the past year and working towards lodging our skilled visa application for permanent residence. I’ve been told the new visa application fee rules mean we have to pay extra for each family member. Is this correct? My wife and I have two children here. How will they be affected?
The Department of Immigration has introduced new visa application fees from July 1.
Typically, visa application fees rise each year by about five per cent. But this year, for the first time, the government has introduced significant additional visa fees where there are family members on the application. Under this new “user-pays” system, there will be an extra fee for each additional family member.
For permanent skilled visa applications such as the independent 189 visa or employer nominated 186 visa, where there is a partner on the application, there will be an extra fee of $1,530. There will also be a charge of $765 for each child on the application.
So for a family of four, the total extra fee will be $3,060. This is on top of the “base application charge” of $3,060.
Immigration claims this new pricing structure brings Australia’s visa pricing into line with that of other countries such as Canada, the US and Britain. The structure of the new visa application fees is complex, so it is important to take care and calculate the visa application fees correctly.
Paying the wrong fee can mean a visa application is deemed invalid. An invalid application will be returned unprocessed.
Temporary visa applicants with family will also be affected by the new fee rules.
The popular sponsored 457 visa fee is now $900. An extra $900 fee is payable for a partner and $225 for each child on the application. Under the new rules, people applying for their second temporary visa while in Australia will find they have to pay a “subsequent temporary application charge” (STAC) of $700 a person.
The STAC would not apply to people applying for their second working holiday visa, as the first working holiday visa is always granted outside Australia.
However , it seems that a person on a second working holiday visa granted in Australia would be liable for the STAC fee if they then apply for a further temporary visa such as a 457 or student visa while in Australia.
The STAC fee does not apply if a person is outside Australia at the time they apply. Immigration is also bringing in an extra $80 fee for some visa applications that are not made online.
This fee will apply to the working holiday visa, so save some dollars by applying online.
Although the base application fees for visas look set to remain unchanged from last year, these additional fees will put pressure on families budgeting for Australian permanent residence and on people seeking to remain in Australia on other temporary visas.
It is now more important than ever to plan ahead and set your visa strategy as early as possible. To work out your visa options and fees, consider consulting a registered migration agent.
Find an agent at www.mia.org.au
Do you have a question for John? Email it to email@example.com