Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Cost of Australian visas to rise

Australian government announces increase in visa charges in a bid to raise additional revenue. Working Holiday visas to rise from €224 to €288.

Thu, Oct 25, 2012, 15:42

   

CIARA KENNY

The Australian government has announced a hike in the cost of visas, to be implemented in January

The cost of an Australian Working Holiday Visa is to increase by 25 per cent from 1st January, from $280 (€224) to about $360 (€288).

Charges for 457 temporary skilled worker visas will also rise from $350 (€280) to $455 (€364). Partner visas for people married to or in a de facto relationship with an Australian will increase from $2,060 (€1,648) to $2,700 (€2,160), while skilled graduate visas for people who have recently completed their studies in Australia will $315 (€252) to $1,260 (€1,008).

The changes to the visa pricing system were announced as part of the government’s annual Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook earlier this week.

Kate Lundy, acting minister for immigration and citizenship, said the changes will make things “fairer” for applicants, by moving towards a “user pays” system.

“The government has made a targeted increase in the cost of visas where there are high levels of demand, and therefore areas that are less likely to be significantly impacted by the added costs,” she said.

“The fact is that there are plenty of people around the world who want to work in Australia because of our substantial economic strengths during these times of global economic uncertainty it is only appropriate for visa costs to reflect that demand.

“Most of these increases are for visas that provide valuable opportunities for people to work in Australia, whether it’s through the 457 programme, working holiday visas or the sought after work rights for skilled graduates. We don’t, therefore, expect demand to be adversely affected by these changes,” she added.

The Australian tourism industry says the hike in the cost of visas will put people off travelling to Oz, would you agree? Have your say in the comments box below.