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Australian migration agents hit out at 50% hike in cost of family visas

The Australian government is being urged to reconsider a dramatic increase in the cost of visas for partners that takes effect on the first day of January 2015.

According to the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), the 50% increase in the visa application charge for those applying from within Australia from $4,575 to $6,865 is not justified.

Those applying for visas from outside of Australia also face a substantial increase from $3,085 to $4,630, which also takes effect on 01 January. The rises also affect prospective marriage visas.

The MIA, which is the professional association for registered migration agents, said it is deeply concerned about the price increases, which it believes are beyond the reasonable limit that should be paid.

MIA national president, Angela Chan, said that the increase was questionable because of the sheer size of the increase and the lack of any improved service that the increase will bring.

She also pointed out that those paying these fees can be vulnerable and she claimed that the importance of family migration seems to be diminishing.

The government has said that the fee increases are justifiable due to the cost of the administration involved. It does not want to subsidise this group of visas.

“As important as revenue-raising is for the government, it must be properly and fairly targeted. The targets on this occasion are those who have no choice but to pay this exorbitant fee, regardless of their ability or willingness to pay,” said Chan.

She pointed out that it was particularly disheartening when the 50% fee increase was seen in the context of the ever-diminishing opportunities for Australian citizens and permanent residents to avail themselves of family visas.

“I would urge the government to reconsider the proposed increase. It can only be seen as an easy option for revenue-raising without presenting a business case for the 50% increase,” said Chan.

“This is sadly at odds with the concepts of fair play and respect in the Australian Values Statement which visa applicants are expected to embrace,” she added.

 Courtersy of Australia Forum- Ray Clancy

Administrators’s note:

 

I refer to my comment in the previous post in this stream!