One of the most commonly asked questions of any migration agent is “How much do I have to pay for the visa application charge / government fees?”
However, a full understanding of how the fee structure is needed. Please read the following carefully.
What is the visa application charge?
The visa application charge is the amount of money in Australian dollars (AUD) that must be paid for a visa application, but in some cases the visa application charge is nil. The visa application charge might be broken into instalments, with one part payable at the time of application, and another before grant.
Depending on your circumstances, there will be different types of charges included in the total visa application charge amount that is payable at the time of lodging a visa application. The new charges that apply from 1 July 2013 have introduced charges for additional applicants in a combined application, for subsequent temporary applications applied for in Australia and a charge for certain visa applications that are not lodged through our online service.
We do not usually refund the visa application charge, even if the visa application is refused or withdrawn.
See: Visa Pricing Table
What are the different visa application charges?
To make a valid visa application after 1 July 2013, the following components might apply:
- the base application charge
- an additional applicant charge
- a non-Internet application charge
- a subsequent temporary application charge.
The first instalment of the visa application charge is the total of all of the components that must be paid to lodge your visa application.
In addition, for some visas you might also have to pay a further visa application charge. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. This second instalment will not be required if your application is refused.
What is the base application charge?
Every visa application will have a base application charge, but in some cases the base application charge is nil. If an application includes more than one applicant, known as a combined application, then the base application charge will only be paid by the main applicant.
What is the additional applicant charge?
The additional applicant charge will be paid for each additional visa applicant when there is more than one visa applicant in a combined visa application, unless there is an exemption.
The amount of the additional applicant charge will depend on the visa type or the age of the applicant and whether the applicant is in Australia or outside Australia at the time of lodgement.
Not all visas will allow additional applicants to be included with or added to the visa application.
The additional applicant charge will only be for people who are applying for the visa with you. Some visa applications will ask you to list everyone in your family unit, even if they are not migrating with you. You will not have to pay the additional charge for non-migrating family members.
The charge will not be paid for newborns that are born after you lodge you application but before we have made a decision on the application. If you have a newborn we need you to contact us.
What is the non-Internet application charge?
The non-Internet application charge will be paid once even if there is more than one applicant in a visa application. This charge will need to be paid for certain visa subclasses if you could lodge your visa application online through our eVisa service, but:
- you choose to apply using a paper form and lodge it by post, courier, fax, email, or in person. This includes lodging at Service Delivery Partners (SDPs) outside Australia, or
- you choose to apply for a Resident Return visa application by telephone or in person.
You should check the Visa Pricing Table to find out if this charge must be paid if you do not lodge your visa application through our website.
A subsequent temporary application charge is a charge that you might need to pay when you lodge a visa application for certain temporary visas when you are in Australia.
This charge will apply when you:
- apply for a temporary visa listed in Table 1 in the Visa Pricing Table; and
- are in Australia when you apply for the visa; and
- currently hold, or the last substantive visa you held, is listed in Table 2; and
- applied for the visa in Table 2 in the Visa Pricing Table in Australia; and
- are not exempt from paying the charge.
This charge does not apply to the first visa that you apply for when you are in Australia.
This charge will be paid by each person in an application and is based on your individual temporary visa history. This charge will be paid in addition to any other visa charges that apply to your visa application at the time of lodgement. You should check the Visa Pricing Table and the Subsequent Temporary Application Charge – Calculation section to find out if this charge will need to be paid when you lodge your visa application.
This charge will not need to be paid for:
- bridging visa applications, criminal justice visas or enforcement visas or
- permanent visa applications.
See: Visa Pricing Table
How will changes to visa application charge affect my application?
The cost of the first instalment of the visa application charge is dependent on when the application is received by us.
If you lodge and pay the total first instalment charge for your visa application and it is received by us before 1 July 2013, then these new charges will not apply to your application.
If the visa application charge or foreign currency rate changes in the time it takes for your application to be received by us, you might have to pay any difference in charges.
Examples of when you will need to pay a difference in charge include:
- you pay for your visa application in Australia before 1 July 2013 and lodge your application with an Australian Mission outside Australia on or after 1 July 2013
- you send your visa application with the visa application charge before 1 July 2013, but we do not receive your application until on or after 1 July 2013
- you send your visa application charge in a foreign currency with your visa application to an Australian Mission outside Australia before 1 July 2013, but we do not receive your application until on or after 1 July 2013.
What happens if I have not paid the correct amount?
Your visa application is not valid until we receive the total first instalment of the visa application charge. If less than the correct total amount is paid, we cannot commence the processing of your visa application until the correct amount is received. If there is a gap in time before you pay the correct amount, this may impact on your eligibility for the visa. The price may also rise in the interim and you will need to pay the new amount.
We might contact you regarding outstanding amounts that need to be paid or we might return your application to you and you will need to lodge your application again with the correct amount.
Important: If you pay by credit card, you must have enough funds to pay the total amount of your visa application charge at the time that we process the payment for the transaction to be successful. This might be some time after we receive your application.
Fees and charges applicable before 1 July 2013
The new visa application charges apply from 1 July 2013. For information about previous fees and charges please see Form 990i Charges.