If you’re an Australian citizen, planning to marry a person who isn’t an Australian citizen, be prepared to pay hefty partner visa fees.
A partner visa in 2016 comes with an incredible $6,865 application fee, one of the highest in the world. The expensive visa fees come also along with long waiting periods. Further, applicants need to pay the fees for the medical test and police clearance.
If the application is rejected, the fees are non-refundable. As the risk of getting the partner visa refused is high, many hire a migration agent to get their visa done, which costs additional money.
The UK in comparison charges less than half for an equivalent visa ($2,428 AUD) and the US charges less than a third ($1,477 AUD).
The Australian partner visa hasn’t been that expensive at all times. Five years ago the application fee was only $1,735. The steeptest price-rise was announced in December 2014.
The partner visa fee has risen faster than nay of the other visa fees. The government is taking advantage of people’s relationships. It affects an Australian’s right to be their partner.
One of the most common resentment though is the long waiting period despite of bearing the huge cost. Waiting period has increased to 12 months or more.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) aims to finalise 75 per cent of visas within one year of application, but they sometimes run out of visas. “Strong demand for partner visas, in excess of the number of places available in a programme year, has led to processing times exceeding the service standard in some cases,” a spokesperson said.