Law & Legal & Attorney Immigration Law

Australian government is all set to raise visa fees

Australia is always been one of the favorite destination for skilled workers, students, economic migrants and as well as travelers.

Australia is quickly growing as one of the favorite destinations for international students. Australia currently has the third largest number of international student enrolments after the USA and UK. However, the cost of tuition fees and living expenses are substantially lower compared to the USA and the UK and these lower fees make it more affordable for students to attend schools, institutions, colleges and universities in Australia but still enjoy a high standard of living.

Also the visa fees are less as compared to other countries which is also the big reason why student choose Australia as a favorite destination to study.

But the Australian government is all set to raise all kind of visa fees including holiday visa fee, skilled worker visa fee, student visa fee etc from 1 January 2013. This step is taken by the Australian government to handle Australia's current economic difficulties.

The cost of a working holiday visa will go up from $280 to nearly $360 from January 2013, following a mid-year budget review.

Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive John Lee says Australia needs to be competitive in the international backpacker market.

Working holiday visas are not the only visas affected by the increase with long stay business visas and spouse visas set to go up by over AUD$100.

Travelers planning on taking a career break to Australia in the near future should apply for a visa before 1 January 2013 to avoid the Australian government's price hike.

Edwina Shanahan, Managing Director of VisaFirst, says those planning to travel to Australia should lodge an application early to avoid price rises due to come into effect on 1 January 2013. With such a big hike in the cost, the urgency now is to obtain a visa at today's price in order to relax knowing you've built in a degree of flexibility as you can postpone your trip for up to a year after the visa has been granted.

According to VisaFirst, Australia's current economic difficulties may result in an increase in visa costs of between 25% and 55%.

The skilled migrant visa (457 visas) is expected to rise from $350 per employee to about $450.

According to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, it is not unreasonable to ask some of Australia's new migrants or visiting workers to pay more.

Partner visas are also expected to rise from $3,060 to about $4,000 for people already in Australia and offshore partner visas from $2,060 to about $2,700 for people overseas who want to migrate to join a spouse.

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