Australia recently announced changes in visa application prices. The new fee application structure, which took effect as of 1 July 2013, will apply to most visa subclasses across the migration program but mostly impacts visa applicants with large families who will now face a considerable increase in the visa application charge.
Until now, skilled visas attracted a base fee of $3,060 regardless of the size of the family. Under the proposed changes, however, there will be a base fee of $3,060 plus an additional fee of $1,530 for every family member aged 18 or over and $765 for every family member aged under 18. These additional fees will also be charged if a child or spouse is added to the application after visa lodgement.
While the news of the increase has been met with a certain level of apprehension by some potential migrants, Migrate 2 Oz’s, Ray Welthagen, emphasises the positive influence that this will have on the migration industry. “The price increase has only made the decision to migrate easier for people who were not really committed to the migration in the first place”, says Ray.
For applicants who are serious about migrating to Australia, the visa cost itself should never be the determining factor in the decision to migrate. It is the opinion of Ray Welthagen that those who choose not to migrate based solely on high costs are not suitable migration candidates for two reasons.
Firstly, the cost of obtaining a visa, while substantial, is only one of the numerous fees faced by a migrant. In comparison to the cost of airfares, moving possessions, moving pets and other additional costs that need to be factored into the move, a visa makes up only a small fraction of the total cost of migrating. Those who are migrating for the right reasons are those who understand that the sooner a migrant is able to settle into a country with a stable currency and a well-managed economy, the sooner they are able to rebuild their wealth, especially when taking into account the weak exchange rate.
Secondly, most migrants choose to move to Australia in order to pursue a different lifestyle and to experience better opportunities for their children and their family as a whole – what price do you put on that? According to Ray Welthagen, “Australia is able to protect the rich lifestyle that its inhabitants enjoy by having such a strong border protection and migrant policy in place.”
Now more than ever, it is important to use the services of a registered migration agent to ensure that applicants choose the right migration path for their needs. Doing so could potentially save applicants a lot of time and money by eliminating the risk of making a costly error when lodging a visa application due to a simple lack of knowledge. Migrate 2 Oz not only ensures a successful application every time, but our service costs have also not increased at all, making up only a fraction of the total cost of an average visa application.
Some parting advice that Ray offers to potential migrants is that if you’re thinking of migrating in the next five years – apply now. “In 2005, the cost of an application was around R38,000 for a family of four. Eight years later, it is around R105,000 – an increase of some 276%.” The lesson learnt here is that applying sooner rather than later could save you a lot of money in the long run, so why wait?