Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Migrating to Oz: Visa application fees have Increased again!

Bad news, folks. All Australian Visa application fees (except tourist and student visas) have increased another 15% as of 1 September 2013!! 

Compared to the 1 July 2013 visa fee increase which was announced by DIAC more than half a year in advance, this additional 15% increase from 1 Sept has been rather hush-hush till August and so caught many by surprise. Many netizens and migration agents have reacted negatively to the change, criticizing DIAC for increasing the fees again, after only 2 months from the significant increase that happened after 1st July. DIAC has announced that the release is a result of the recent release of the Economic Statement for the 2013/2014 financial year.

How much are you willing to pay to migrate?

For the most updated complete Visa Pricing Table, click here. To have an idea on how the visa fees have increased this year for Subclass 189/190, I have done a simple table below to illustrate the difference in costs based on some common profiles of applicants. All stated fees are in Australian dollars.

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Eg
Profile for Subclass 189/190
Fee from 1 Jan to 30 June
Fee from 1 July to 31 Aug
Fee from 1 Sept onwards
1
1 primary applicant only
$3060
$3060
$3520
2
married/defacto couple
$3060
$3060 + $1530
= $4590
$3520 + $1760
= $5280
3
married couple with 2 kids below 18
$3060
$3060 + $1530 + 2($765)
= $6120
$3520 + $1760 + 2($880)
= $7040
4
Additional second installment for each dependent above 18 with less than functional English

$4250

$4250

$4885

I know what you're thinking: the price increase is really steep for migrating families.  As I did some further research on the fee increase, I noticed a number of good websites and blogs, as well as interesting forums as people speculate on the reasons behind the drastic fee hikes. Many of the points raised are interesting or valid, so check them out if you are keen. Of course, there are a number of ranters as well.

If you want to and can migrate, don't waste time with the Singaporean cry-mother-cry-father style of complaining about fee increases-- that changes nothing. Unless the online petitions actually work (which I highly doubt), the new prices are here to stay and can only increase further with inflation next year. Time waits for no man. Act before the next increase and good luck!

- A

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