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1st Jul 2024

Australia implements immediate doubling of student visa application fees

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • The Australian government has announced a significant increase in student visa fees, effective immediately
  • As a result, the application fee for a student visa will increase by more than 125% as of 1 July 2024

The Australian government has implemented a significant increase in student visa fees. Effective 1 July 2024, the application fee will increase to AUD$1,600, representing a 125% jump from the previous fee of AUD$710.

An official government release explains, "This increase reflects the increasing value of education in Australia and reflects the Government’s commitment to restoring integrity in the international education sector."

The statement notes that the increase will help fund a number of important initiatives in education and migration, including the "ongoing implementation of the Migration Strategy."

"The changes coming into force today will help restore integrity to our international education system, and create a migration system which is fairer, smaller, and better able to deliver for Australia,” added Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil.

The updated fee schedule for the Student visa (subclass 500) has been published on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. Alongside the increased fee for main applicants, the Australian government will now charge AUD$1,445 for each accompanying applicant aged 18 and over. Accompanying family members under 18 years of age, will be charged AUD$390.

This compares to the current student visa fees in Canada and the United States at CDN$150 (AUD$165) and US$185 (AUD$280) respectively.

The move comes less than two months after the government increased the minimum funds requirements for international students, the second such increase within the past several months. A significant increase in visa fees was rumoured at the time as well. There was no mention of any increase in the government’s budget tabled on 14 May 2024, but the understanding at that point was that visa fees were “likely to go up significantly ‘at a later date.'”

Today's announcement makes it clear that that “later date” is 1 July 2024.

Also of note is that the fee increase is being put in place even as rejection rates for student visa applications have reached historically high levels in at least the first four months of this year.

Responding for the Group of Eight leading research-intensive universities, Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said: “Far from ‘restoring integrity in the international education sector’ this measure will be a deterrent to international students. The recent crackdown on visa approvals has already sent a strong signal that we are not open for business."

“This increase in visa fees will reverse the diversification of countries from which students come, at the very time the Federal Government is encouraging our universities to attract quality students from the ASEAN region...It is death by a thousand cuts to our most successful services export sector.”

For additional background, please see:

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