Archive for the ‘Australian immigration’ Category

Australian government urged to reconsider partner visa fee increase

January 1st, 2015
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The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), which is the professional association for Registered Migration Agents, has approached the Australian government to express the unhappiness of its members over the recent increase of 50% which has been added to the visa application charges for onshore and offshore partner visas. This increase on an already expensive application has been justified by the government on the grounds that the increased revenue will fund other ‘whole-of-government policy priorities’.

The increases are very substantial; the offshore partner and prospective marriage visa will now cost A$4,630, up from A$3,085; the onshore partner visa is even more expensive, having gone up from A$4,575 to A$6,865. The National President of the MIA, Angela Chan FMIA has questioned the size of the increase as it is unreasonably high, 50% not reflecting any other change in cost of living, wages or any other relevant index. Concerns are driven by the vulnerability of those being asked to find so much more money to make an application; the clear message being given that family immigration is considered less important; and that the increase has not been made in order to make improvements to the service. Miss Chan makes her case clearly and concisely and awaits the government’s response.

Australian partner visa fee increase gains wide criticism

December 22nd, 2014
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Australians who fall in love with anyone from outside the country now have a further price to pay for the visas needed to bring them into the country. In a recent mid-year budget announcement, a rise in the cost of partner visa applications was announced which took many people by surprise as it was a very big rise – fifty percent. This brings the cost of an offshore provisional or permanent partner visa (subclass 309/100) and a prospective marriage visa (subclass 300) to A$4,627.50, rising from A$3,085. It is even more expensive for anyone applying for a temporary and permanent partner visa onshore (subclass 820 / 801) – this has risen to A$6,865.50 from A$4,575. The rises come into force on 1 January 2015, which gives applicants a very short time in which to make their applications at the old price.

It has been suggested that this increase is to pay for other items on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) budget but Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, is already on record as saying that these items will be paid for using other funds. Extra costs which the DIBP will have to meet include an extra A$140 million over two years to fund 7,500 places for refugees as part of the enlarged humanitarian programme. They also plan to spend an extra A$32 million on the border protection system, which was upgraded in 2012 with the purchase of the vessel Ocean Shield. It isn’t all spend, though – the new transit centre in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, has been put on hold, saving a possible spend of A$96.5 million, with asylum seekers whose applications have failed now being kept in Manus Island as before while they await repatriation.

It is important to take proper care over applications like this as any problem with paperwork, whether it is missing or incomplete in some way, will result in a failed application. This will mean beginning again and going to the back of the queue and also, of course, paying another fee. Anyone who is not quite ready to apply should think carefully as a failed application will cost even more in the long run.

The cost of Australian partner visa applications rises as more fees are announced

August 12th, 2013
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The Australian DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) has made a recent announcement unveiling new increases on the cost of applying for a fiancée visa (officially known as subclass 300 prospective marriage visa). There is a similar rise in the cost of applications for an unmarried partner/spouse visa (subclass 820/309). These rises apply to all applications in the relevant areas made after 1 September 2013. This increase is in addition to price rises announced in June 2013.

The June hike in prices was substantial. Put simply, additional fees became payable from 1 July 2013 or any additional person included in the Australian migration visa application. Any extra family member over the eighteen – usually a spouse or adult child, who wanted to enter the country was subject to a 50% surcharge. For those under eighteen, the surcharge was 25%. These surcharges were in addition to the basic rise in application price and many commentators have spoken up against the rises, on the principle that they will cause serious financial hardship for many.

Before the most recent price rise, the cost of an onshore visa application for a spouse/partner visa had risen to AUS$3,975. The fee for every additional adult child was therefore AUS$1,990 and for all minors added to an application, there was a charge of AUS$995. The application costs for offshore fiancee and partner visas was set a little lower at AUS$2,680 for the principal applicant (foreign fiancee or spouse), and additional persons added being AUS$1,340 and AUS$670 for adult children over 18 and dependent children under 18, respectively.

Despite the outcry caused by these price rises for fiancée, spouse and partner applications from 1 July 2013, the DIAC have now announced another rise of 15% on top. This rise was completely unexpected because it comes so soon after the July rise and is likely to create even more criticism of the government’s policy. The DIAC had already announced that the even before the first price rise cost increases in the processing of Australian partner visa applications was already adequately covered so it seems clear that the second rise is a money-making ploy by the government and as such will be met by a storm of displeasure. It has been estimated that the additional charges will produce an estimated AUS$542 million for the Australian Government over the next four years. Despite calls for clarification, the Australian government has declined to reply.

The charges for onshore partner visa applications could cost the average family an extra AUS$1000. The base application fee has risen by AUS$600 to AUS$4,575. For an additional adult on the visa application the rise is AUS$300 (up to AUS$2,290) and the cost of adding a child is now up by AUS$150 to AUS$1,145. Offshore applications for partner visas have gone up by the same percentage, making the base price AUS$3,085 (up by AUS$405); additional adults now cost AUS$1,545, representing an increase of AUS$205 and to add a family member under eighteen will now cost an extra AUS$100, bringing the price up to AUS$770.

Australian Partner Visa Process Overview

March 13th, 2011
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There are a number of possible visa options for those Australian citizens and residents wishing to bring their loved ones to permanently reside in Australia. In order to obtain a migrant visa that enables Australian citizens and lawful permanent residents (including eligible New Zealand citizens permanently living in Australia) to bring their foreign fiancée, de facto (unmarried) partner or spouse to live and work in Australia, there are many immigration rules and regulations to be addressed.

In order to qualify for a two-year subclass 309/820 provisional partner visa, the applicant and their Australian sponsor must satisfy the initial condition of being in a committed genuine relationship. The couple must either be legally married or able to prove the relationship has been stable and ongoing for at least 12 months. The only way in which the 12 month minimum rule may be waived is if the couple have been together for less than 12 months yet have children together, although if the couple do not have children there is the possibility that the subclass 300 prospective marriage visa could be a suitable alternative.

Australian spouse, partner or marriage visa applications can be made onshore or offshore, depending on the circumstances of the individuals involved, with all applications being processed by either the Australian visa-issuing posts overseas for offshore applications, or the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in Australia. Since July/August 2010, the DIAC have changed the application process and the consequent processing times, with all applications now being handled under global management, with two DIAC officials (a Global Manager based in Brisbane and a Global First Stage Manager in Sydney) leading the processing of all Australian partner visas.

Prior to these changes, Australian partner visas could be processed relatively quickly, with the average being two – three months for most countries and some clear cut cases completed in 1 – 10 days (through the Australian High Commission in London, England for example). The changes of the last few months of 2010 has seen these times increased considerably, with even the most complete applications taking between 5 – 6 months to be approved. However, it has recently been noted that some Australian spouse, marriage or partner visas have been processed in around one – two month if they have been judged as ‘clearly approvable’, so it is certainly worth gaining expert advice to present a strong application.

The price of lodging an Australian spouse, marriage or partner visa application has also increased in 2010, with the current price standing at AUD$1,735 when made outside Australia, and AUD$840 (extension of stay for those who initially entered Australia on a valid subclass 300 fiancée visa, married their sponsor and didn’t overstay their initial nine-month visa) / AUD$2,575 (all other applicants wishing to obtain a temporary partner visa) for onshore applications. All fees are payable in Australian dollars or in a currency accepted by the Australian High Commission, Consulate or Embassy where the application is being lodged. is a specialised visa consultancy that is able to support your Australian partner visa application every step of the way. Since 2007, has provided individuals with the highest quality one-to-one assistance in Australian spouse visas, fiancee visas and de facto (unmarried) partner visas. Highly regarded for its100% success rate in securing Australian migrant visas for people and their families, is dedicated to delivering a personal service at what can often be a very stressful time.

For more information visit: subclass 300 prospective marriage visa

Partner visa fee increased in Australia

August 1st, 2010
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The visa application fees for offshore prospective marriage (fiancée) visa and temporary marriage and de facto partner visa will increase from previous AUD$1,705 to $1,735.  read more at marriage visa help

Additional checks strengthen dependant sponsorship safety in Australia

October 25th, 2009
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The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), has recently announced its plans to increase the measures already in place regarding the children in family class dependant applications.

Set out by the department’s Family and Health Policy Branch as an addition to the Migration Regulations 1994 that address Partner and Child category visas, a further police check will now be enforced to give extra protection to the children involved in the prospective marriage, partner or spouse visa application.


Tightening of the Australian sponsorship requirements for partners

October 20th, 2009
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Legislative changes to the onshore visa applications in Australia have come into force.

Since 14th September 2009, section 48 of the Migration Regulations 1994 has been amended to reflect the changes, which directly relates to the circumstances in which an applicant who has had a visa refused or cancelled offshore is not eligible to apply for a further onshore visa.

Read more at – Austalian visa consultant

Relocation of the DIAC processing centre to affect spouse visa applications

September 4th, 2009
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The relocation of the previously-named Perth Offshore Parents Centre (POPC) on 25th May 2009 brought with it some important administrative changes which will affect the visa application process for spouse, parent and interdependency visas to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Since 25th May 2009, the POPC has been renamed the Parent Visa Centre (PVC) and has moved from its previous address of Level 3, 166 Murray Street, Perth, WA, 6000 to its new location at Wellington Central, Level 3, 836 Wellington Street, West Perth, WA, 6005.


Tighter personal interviews help root out sham Australian marriage visa applications

September 2nd, 2009
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A stricter marriage visa interview has been introduced by the Australian Immigration department to deal with the increase in sham marriages and civil partnerships.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Bona Fides Unit is dedicated to assessing the genuine and on-going nature of marriages, de facto relationships and civil partnerships for those people applying for Australian partner and spouse visas.

read more at marriage visa help

New Australian partner visa forms now available

August 31st, 2009
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The new Australian visa application forms are now required from all foreign nationals applying for a family-class fiancée, partner or marriage visa to come to Australia, with the old forms no longer accepted as of 1st July 2009. Applications submitted using the old forms will be rejected. It is important to be aware that, even though the new 40SP and 47SP forms look very similar, there are some differences, so it is imperative that the new form is used for all applications.