Senator Kate Lundy, the Acting Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, made a statement in October 2012 clarifying changes to the cost of applying for a partner, fiancee and marriage visa for those wishing to enter Australia under the partnership policy. Senator Lundy also stated that despite the increased fees, she did not expect any change in demand for family migration visas.
Effective 1 January 2013, the cost of spouse, fiancee (prospective marriage) and de facto partner visa applications lodged offshore will rise from $2,060 to $2,680. The cost of partner visa applications made from within Australia will rise from $3,060 to $3,975.
These recent changes are part of the government’s regular mid-year review, with Senator Lundy saying ‘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. 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.
Over the past few weeks, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has received an unprecedented number of migration applications from Australian citizens and legal permanent residents wishing to bring their foreign partner to Australia on an unmarried partner or spousal visa (subclass 309 visa), or fiancee/prospective marriage visa (subclass 300 visa). Many couples rushed to make their applications before the fees went up, including Australian citizens and residents who already have a partner in Australia on another kind of visa which allows conversion to a partner or spousal visa category onshore (subclass 820 visa).