If you’re planning to lodge a substantive visa in the coming months, you may want to get your application in before 1 July.
Australian visa fees increase every year on 1 July in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is normally around 3-4 per cent. Sounds small, but when you’re lodging a partner visa for several thousand dollars, 4 per cent is a lot of money.
Fee increases are normally announced at the time of the Budget, but since that didn’t happen this year due to the Covid-19 crisis, we’re not yet sure how much visa application charges will increase.
The 2019 Budget saw charges rise by around 5.4 per cent.
Will the Government freeze fees due to the Coronavirus pandemic?
We can’t be sure. However, the Government did not extend its JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs to temporary residents, so it’s unlikely they’ll cut any slack when it comes to visa fees.
Application charges represent an important income stream for the Government and we’re expecting an increase in line with previous years.
Let’s do the maths…
At present, the Government’s application charge for the Australian partner visa is $7,715. It’s steep because it’s a two-part application; you’re paying for your temporary visa and your permanent residency which comes later on.
Current fee: $7,715
Expected fee on 1 July 2020 (based on a 4 per cent increase): approx. $8,025
Last year, partner visas went up by almost $600, so it could be even higher than we’re predicting.
And don’t forget: the Government imposes a 1.32 per cent surcharge which also adds up.
Back in 2015, partner visa fees were just $3,250.
If you’re going to do it, do it now
We don’t know if fees will increase yet, but they always have previously and there’s nothing to suggest this year will be any different.
The one sure way to make sure you aren’t stung by an increase on 1 July 2020 is to get your application in ahead of time.
You have over three weeks to lodge your visa application and put that extra money towards something else.
Can fees be paid in instalments?
Unfortunately, Government application fees must be paid at the time of lodgement.
We understand that many applicants are facing difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis and we are offering split-fee payments on our management charges where possible to make things easier.
To discuss your application and check whether lodgement before 1 July is possible, contact us today.