The Australian government has proposed an increase to the Visa Application Charges (VAC) for several visa subclasses that provide permission to work and are in high demand according to the government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
If approved, the new fees would take effect on January 1, 2013. The price of a working holiday visa is due to increase from $280 to around $360. Many Greeks are seeking visas to visit Australia and to look for work there.
Kate Lundy, acting minister for immigration and citizenship, said the changes will make things “fairer” for applicants, by moving towards a “user pays” system.
“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,” she said.
Working holiday visas are not the only visas affected by the increase with long stay business visas and spouse visas set to go up by over $100. They are available for people aged under 31 from a range of countries such as UK, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Italy. Nothing is mentioned until now about any increase for work and holiday visas for USA residents or residents of other countries.
Travelers planning on taking a career break to Australia in the near future should apply for a visa before Jan. 1, 2013 to avoid the Australian government’s price hike. International students already in the country on a student visa will also have to pay a much heftier sum to be able to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Department of Immigration website for more information on working holiday visas.