What is the true cost of a Partner Visa?

Get this— Australia is officially THE most expensive country in the world to bring your partner in to! Yes!! We think the direct fee for a Partner Visa application, currently cited at  $7,000.00 AUD*, is INSANE!!!

Unfortunately, in our experience with partners wanting to be united with one another in Australia, this initial cost  is sadly out of reach for many.  

But for those who decide, “To hell with the cost of it; we want to be together in Australia!”, this blog is for you.  Based on questions commonly asked by our clients, we offer some advice to assist you in exploring what you will be up for in terms of government fees, Visa options and other associated charges for the duration of the Partner Visa process.

Get a FREE copy of our Partner Visa Roadmap

Download our free Partner Visa Roadmap and use it to do a self assessment of where you are at in the process. Try filling out as much information as you can and see if you have everything that is required.

What are the government fees related to the different Visa application options?

As outlined above, the current application fee of $7,000.00 AUD* applies to the following  Visa options:

In relation to this, if you apply for the Prospective Marriage Visa, you will have an additional $1,170.00 AUD* to pay after the marriage. You then need to apply for the Onshore (Subclass 820) Visa. This brings the total for the Prospective Marriage option to an eye-watering $8,170.00 AUD*!.

In addition, if the Visa applicant has dependents, the following rates also apply:

  • Additional Applicant 18 and over = $3,505.00 AUD*;
  • Additional Applicant under 18 = $1,755.00 AUD*.

And so, with the Application fee covered, we have itemised a list below to cover other related cost factors you should include in your Visa Process Budget :

  • Australian Police Checks = $42 AUD before tax*;
  • International police checks = This varies from country to country;
  • Translation of Documents = While this is dependent on the number of documents and the language you are translating from, you can allow for $100 – $ 200  AUD;
  • Visa Medicals = Around $400.00 AUD per person. While these are not due when you lodge the Visa, it’s good to keep them in mind;
  • Flights = People often forget about this cost which may not be an issue if your partner is applying Onshore, but is something to think about if you are applying for one of the Offshore options;
  • Visitor Visa = This may only be required if you or your partner are applying for the Offshore subclass 309 Visa and you would still like to be together in Australian on a temporary Visa until the Department of Immigration are ready to make a decision.

What are the fees charged by a Registered Migration Agent?

Most Registered Migration Agents work on a fixed fee basis. This means they will quote you at the start of your application and that is all you will have to pay unless the circumstances of your case change.

This fixed fee system is different from what you might expect if you engage the services of a lawyer, who may charge you on an hourly or smaller incremental basis.

Honesty and openness are important here, as in an extreme example, if you did not tell the agent about your extensive criminal record when they quoted you and this information comes to light during the process, it is highly likely you will be requoted.

How much will a Registered Migration Agent cost and what is the process?

This really depends on two things;

  1. How complicated your case is, and
  2. How experienced the agent is in this area.

While Freedom Migration does not speak for other agents, we will briefly step you through our system and fee structure, which is as follows:

Visa Planning Session = $165

The Visa Planning Session is where our friendly, caring and experienced staff sit down with you and your partner either face to face or via Skype. The aim is to put you at ease, to get to know each other better and understand your relationship. At the end of this session, we will give you our considered opinion based on what you have told us on whether we feel you meet the relevant requirements. We will answer all your questions and bust any of the myths you might have heard. This session can sometimes yield enough information for a couple to then go ahead and do the application themselves

Can I get help with lodging a Partner Visa application = $497 – $5,500

When it comes to us actually helping you with the application, it depends on how much help you want or need. Our new Partner Visa Academy starts at $497.00 AUD. Keep in mind though that this applies to cases which are straightforward. For example, the sponsor and applicant have no health issues or criminal convictions involved, also they meet the basic requirements.

If your case is not straightforward then we will have to provide you with a quotation once we have spoken with you during a Visa Planning Session.

While it may be annoying to read, it is totally impossible for us to say how much work/cost is involved in your case until we have had a Visa Planning Session with you. We need to learn about your situation and discuss your fears and concerns before we can provide sound and professional advice on the next step to take for your future. In most cases, couples fit within what we consider our ‘standard rate’. It’s usually when there are health issues, character issues or where we see that someone has provided conflicting information in a previous application that we will change our rate to allow for the additional time we have to spend addressing these issues.

A word of caution; be very wary if someone gives you a straight-up quote before assessing your situation properly as this indicates they are either inexperienced and don’t know what they are getting themselves into, or you will be getting a bill further down the track for “extras”. Be warned.

How do I pay the fees for the Application?

We offer payment plans for our services and can arrange financing through an external agency to cover the Visa fees.

Lastly, we would ask you to please please please get professional advice before you lodge anything. If you think these numbers are crazy, they are nothing compared with what you will be up for if the Visa is refused and you need to start looking at an appeal.

And so while we hope the figures you have read in this blog haven’t totally blown your dream apart, remember there is always a way and we are here to help.

(Please feel free to comment below, we love getting your feedback. We read all your remarks and will reply if we can answer any questions. We may even use your comments to form the next  blog topic.)

 

*Disclaimer: A friendly reminder that due to frequent changes in law and policy, all the information posted is only accurate at the time of writing. Always ensure the advice you get is current.

About the Author Emma Drynan

I am the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. I am extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because I’m the product of a partner visa family.

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