Sponsoring your partner to Australia is going to cost you more from 1 July 2019, with the Federal Government announcing an increase in visa application charges. It can be an expensive process, with many people unaware of the true costs. We’ve summarised what you can expect to pay for a partner visa application.
Visa Application Charge (VAC)
The biggest cost involved in sponsoring your partner is the visa application charge (VAC). This mandatory charge is payable to the Department of Home Affairs upon lodgement of the application. Currently, the VAC for a partner visa or prospective marriage visa (Subclass 309/100, Subclass 820/801 or Subclass 300) for one primary visa applicant is $7,160 AUD. For each additional applicant 18 years of age and over, the visa application charge is $3,585. Additional applicants under the age of 18 years will incur a visa application charge of $1,795. The Federal Government announced a 5.4% increase in visa application charges for all visas except for visitor visas as part of its Budget for 2019-20 in April 2019. This means that as of 1 July 2019, the VAC for partner or prospective marriage visas will rise to approximately $7,547 AUD for the primary visa applicant. This will increase to $3,779 for additional applicants 18 years of age and over and $1,892 for additional applicants under 18 years of age.
Credit Card Surcharge
If you pay for your visa application charges by credit card or by PayPal, a surcharge may apply. For payments using a Visa or Mastercard, the credit card surcharge rate is 1.32%. Payments made by American Express or JCB will incur a surcharge of 1.40%. Union Pay surcharges are 1.90% while Diners Club International incur a 1.99% surcharge. PayPal surcharges are 1.00%. Therefore, a partner visa application for one primary applicant after 1 July 2019 and paid for by Mastercard, will cost roughly $7,646.62.
Migration Agent Fees
The second biggest fee associated with sponsoring a partner are the fees payable to a Registered Migration Agent. Many couples choose to engage the services of a Registered Migration Agent to provide them with advice and guidance on the visa application process, as well as to manage, prepare and lodge the sponsorship and visa application. Titan Migration’s service fees for a partner or prospective marriage visa application are based on the complexity of the circumstances and the number of applicants to an application. For a single primary visa applicant, our fees start from $3,500* AUD for a partner visa application.
Translation of documents into English
Non-English documents to be submitted as part of a partner visa application will need to be translated into English. If documents are translated in Australia, they must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Translators overseas will not need to be accredited but each translation will need to include in English, the translator’s full name, their address and telephone number as well as qualifications and experience in the language they are translating. Translation companies will charge a fee for their services. The rates are usually based on per document translated, and vary according to the company and location of the translation company.
If you and your partner have spent a total of more than 12 months in any country since the age of 16, you will need to obtain a police certificate from each of those countries as part of the partner or prospective visa application. Any additional applicants over the age of 18 that are included in the application will also need to obtain one. The costs to apply for a police certificate will vary depending on the country. In Australia, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) charges a fee of $42 AUD to issue a national police certificate for the purposes of immigration.
Another requirement in the application process is for applicants from some countries to undertake a health assessment. If an applicant has not completed a health assessment in the 12 months prior to applying for a partner or prospective marriage visa, the Department of Home Affairs may request one to be undertaken. Fees for health assessments will depend on which examinations are required, as these will differ for each applicant, their age and country of origin. In Australia, Bupa Visa Medical Services operates medical centres around Australia on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs to provide immigration health examinations to Australian visa applicants. Their fees start from $227.10 for a medical examination at centres in major cities in Australia.
Visa applicants from some countries may also be required to undertake a biometrics collection. It involves a digital scan and imaging of a visa applicant’s fingerprints and face, and is requested by the Department of Home Affairs right after the visa application is lodged. Applicants will need to book an appointment with an Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) or Australian Biometrics Collection Centre (ABCC). Biometrics collection fees differ in each country. For example, in Cambodia, the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Phnom Penh charges $34 USD per person for a biometrics collection.
Ready to sponsor your partner?
If you are married, engaged or in a de facto relationship with your partner and would like them to come to settle down with you in Australia, email us at email@example.com to see what your options are. We offer a 15 minute initial consultation at no charge.
*Fees are current as at 30 April 2019 and are subject to change