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Immigration update: After citizenship application fee hike, Australia increases visa fees

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal fee has jumped from $1,800 to $3,000 Source: Getty Images/Anand Purohit

The Business Innovation and Investment program has seen the highest fee increase while partner visas have not become much costlier. However, migration agents are concerned about the steep hike in the fee for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which adjudicates visa-related matters.

The federal government has increased the fees for permanent and temporary resident visas from 1 July.

It comes close on the heels of a hike in the citizenship application fee from $285 to $490.


Highlights:

  • Fee for Australian visas increases from 1 July
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Significant Investor stream) program sees the highest hike
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal fee jumps from nearly $1,800 to $3,000 

The fee for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which judges visa-related matters, has seen a steep rise from nearly $1,800 to $3,000.

Latest data from the Department of Home Affairs shows that the Business Innovation and Investment (Significant Investor stream) visa has seen the highest fee increase. 

This fee has jumped from $7,880 in 2020-21 to $8,925 in 2021-22, registering a hike of 13.2 per cent.

Immigration visa fees
Perth-based migration agent Atul Kapoor said the visa fee hike is nominal.
Supplied by Department of Home Affairs

“The Visa Application Charge (VAC) is a general taxation charge and is set by [the] government in line with policy objectives,” a spokesperson of the Department of Home Affairs told SBS Hindi.

“In addition to the CPI [Consumer Price Index] adjustment consistent with the 2020-21 Budget, VACs for most Business Innovation and Investment Program visas were also increased by 11.3 per cent on 1 July,” the spokesperson added.

The fee hike has been nominal for other categories.

For instance, the fees for Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme visa), Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa), Subclass 189 (Skilled independent visa), Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated visa) and Subclass 489 (Skilled Regional (Provisional)) have gone up from $4,045 to $ 4,115 in the current financial year, registering an increase of 1.7 per cent.

For Subclass 143 (Contributory Parent visa), the initial visa application charge has gone up from $4,155 to $4,255 for the current financial year. The total cost, however, is about $48,000.  

Those applying for a partner (onshore and offshore) visa will now have to pay $135 more.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke recently announced an increase in citizenship application fees.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke recently announced an increase in citizenship application fees.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Perth-based migration agent Atul Kapoor said the visa fee hike is nominal and based on the current CPI, a statistical tool that captures inflation.

“The Australian government increases visa fees every year, and it is always nominal.We are more concerned about the steep hike in the AAT fees,” Mr Kapoor told SBS Hindi.

“That fee has been raised from $1,800 to $3,000. It appears that this was due to a rise in the rejection of visa applications. Not many people will now go to the tribunal,” he added.

Some migration agents, however, feel it will reduce the processing time at AAT.

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