New visa fees are described as “disaster” for the Australian tourism industry
According to representatives of the Australian tourism industry and the Australian educational sector the new visa fees introduced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship are a “disaster”. They may lead to significant damage for the country’s economy.
The government announced in 2011 that it intended to introduce new visa charges to try to raise $613m over four years but the level of the new fees was not revealed until 14th June 2013.
Among the changes are
- A $900 extra fee for any dependent partner brought to Australia by 457 visa applicants
- A $225 fee for each dependent child under 18 brought to Australia by 457 visa applicants
- A $700 additional fee for people applying for a second visa of any sort (such as student or tourist) from within Australia
- An extra $80 fee for lodging a paper rather than an online application
Some of those changes have caused protest from many industry figures in Australia. According to them the changes equal to illegal tax on Australian immigrants and will discourage many of them to come to Australia.
A spokeswoman for the Australian immigration minister Brendan O’Connor said that the changes were designed to transfer the costs of the system from the taxpayer to applicants and added that most people would be unaffected because the new $700 charge only applies to people who are applying for their second Australian visa from within Australia. She said that the impact on the Australian economy was therefore likely to be extremely limited
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