Over recent years every July the Australian Government have increased the price of their visas for people who wish to emigrate but when we compare the various visa options and the cost of each visa against the benefits it offers we are certain the price of an Australian partner visa is now out of control.
Australian Partner Visas
An Australian who falls in love with an overseas national and who wants to bring that person back home will need to have deep pockets. The idea that love is free seems to have been lost to the Australian government in recent years. The current price of an Australian partner visa is in excess of $6,500. This only allows a person to enter Australia for a limited time before having to apply for permanent residence assuming the relationship is still subsisting (expect in exceptional circumstances) regardless of the fact that they have children or not. The application process is also currently 18 months plus in many cases and the burden of evidence to prove the relationship ever more demanding.
While there should be a duty of care not to grant visas to people who are attempting to circumvent the immigration rules by entering relationships for the primary purpose of securing a visa this should not require the vast majority of law abiding Australian citizens to suffer for the actions of the few. We suggest there would be more effective ways to manage this situation.
When we compared the partner visa to other popular visas we found not only are processing times often shorter but the cost is also much lower.
Australian Skilled Visas
A person on the shortage occupation list can secure a permanent visa to live and work in Australia without further restrictions post arrival for as little as $3,600 which may seem a great deal however the benefits are clear. The person can settle into Australia quite quickly once they have been accepted. The whole process usually takes eight months.
Australian Contributory Parent Visas
This visa class allows a person to invite their parent to live with them in Australia and while there are various criteria one must meet in order to secure the visa the price of the actual visa is $2,490 not including any contributions that maybe required. Again this is a great deal lower than a partner visa. That is in our opinion strange as the contribution of a parent and the amount they will contribute to the economy is likely to be less that that of a partner who are usually in their early years.
Working Holiday Visas
While this visa does not lead to residency and is limited in what the holder can do it is still a common way for young people to enter Australia, who then often go on to a 457 visa or other routes to remain. At just a few hundred dollars and a week to process this seems like a huge contrast to the partner visa. While often it is those young people on a working holiday who meet and fall in love with their future Australian partner.
We hope the Australian government will review their pricing structure and also the time it takes to process an Australian partner visa. Australian citizens should not feel like they are being penalised for falling in love with an overseas national. We shall wait and see. You can visit the government website here