The Federal Government has announced significant changes to the country’s visa pricing system as it shifts to a ‘user-pays’ system.


Acting Minister for Immigration, Senator Kate Lundy, said the changes reflect a fairer form of visa charges.


Announced as part of the government's release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Senator Lundy said the changes follow on from reform to the system made last year.


“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,” Senator Lundy 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.”


Changes to visa pricing announced today take effect from 1 January 2013. They include:

  • Partner visas allowing for people already in Australia to enter or remain on the basis of their married or de facto relationship, to increase from $3060 to around $4000
  • Partner visas for people outside Australia who want to join their partner in Australia will increase $2060 to around $2700
  • Skilled Graduate visas to increase from $315 to $1260 for the highly-valued post-study work rights for people in Australia on a student visa
  • The 457 temporary skilled worker visas to increase from $350 to around $455
  • Working Holiday maker visas will increase from $280 to around $360.


“Most of these increases are for visas that provide valuable opportunities for people to work in Australia, whether it's through the 457 program, 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,” Senator Lundy said.