Australian skilled visa application fees to increase in 2012

Australian skilled visa application fees to increase in 2012Looks like quite an increase is on the way if  a statement released from the office of Chris Bowen, Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship holds any truth.

It has been announced that the government intends to introduce a new visa pricing model from January 2012.

Under the new pricing system, which the Australia Immigration minister says is designed “to ensure taxpayers are no longer subsidising visa applications”, there is intended to be an increase in the fees for certain skills and business visas of between 5 and 15 percent.

This could see the cost of a skilled Australian visa application rise to over AU$3,400, constituting an increase of over 24% in less than a year.

The Minister states that the current fees do not cover the processing costs, while the projected increase in fees will generate approximately AU$613 million in revenue over the next four years.

The Minister also announced plans to apply a surcharge on optional services such as visa labels, and submitting a paper-based application if there are means to apply electronically. The Minister intends to introduce a fee for dependants of visa applicants from July 2013.

The majority of visitor visas are not due to be affected, and there will be no change to humanitarian visas.

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