Significant Changes to Student Visa Fees, from 1 July 2024

Starting from 1 July 2024, significant changes to visa fees and application processes will come into effect in Australia. These changes, announced by the Department of Home Affairs, are designed to enhance the integrity of the international education system and streamline the migration process.

Here at NB Migration Law, we want to ensure that our clients and prospective applicants are well-informed about these crucial updates.

Substantial Increase in Student Visa Fees

One of the most notable changes is the substantial increase in the application fee for the Student visa (subclass 500). The fee for this visa will rise to AUD $1,600, a staggering 125% increase from the previous fee of AUD $710. This adjustment makes applying for a student visa in Australia significantly more expensive compared to other popular study destinations such as the United States and Canada, where student visa fees are approximately USD $185 and CAD $150 (USD $110) respectively.

The Australian government justifies this increase as a reflection of the high value placed on education in Australia and its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the international education sector. According to an official statement, “This increase reflects the increasing value of education in Australia and reflects the Government’s commitment to restoring integrity in the international education sector.”

Changes to Onshore Visa Applications

In addition to the fee increase, new restrictions have been introduced that affect visitor visa holders and students with temporary graduate visas. These groups will no longer be allowed to apply for a student visa while onshore. This move is aimed at closing loopholes that previously allowed foreign students to extend their stay in Australia indefinitely by continuously applying for subsequent student visas.

Impact on Accompanying Family Members

The changes also extend to fees for accompanying family members of student visa holders. For each accompanying applicant aged 18 and over, the fee will be AUD $1,445, while for those under 18 years of age, the fee will be AUD $390. These adjustments are part of a broader strategy to ensure that the migration system is fairer and more efficient.

Context and Implications

The fee increase and new application restrictions come in the wake of record high net immigration figures. Data released in March 2024 showed that net immigration rose by 60% to a record 548,800 people in the year to 30 September 2023. This surge has prompted the government to take decisive action to manage migration flows and ensure that the benefits of migration are equitably distributed.

While these changes may pose challenges for prospective international students and their families, they are part of the government’s efforts to create a more sustainable and manageable migration system. The increase in fees is expected to fund critical initiatives in education and migration, contributing to the long-term benefits of the country’s educational and migration infrastructure.

What This Means for You

For those considering applying for a student visa to Australia, it is crucial to be aware of these new fees and regulations. The higher costs should be factored into your budgeting and planning process. Additionally, if you are currently in Australia on a visitor visa or a temporary graduate visa and intend to apply for a student visa, you will need to make arrangements to lodge your application from outside Australia.

At NB Migration Law, we are committed to providing our clients with the most current and relevant information to help navigate these changes. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers is here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding these new regulations.

The changes to the student visa fees and application process reflect the Australian government’s efforts to maintain a high standard of education and ensure the integrity of its migration system. While the increased costs may seem daunting, they are part of a broader strategy aimed at enhancing the quality and sustainability of the international education sector in Australia.

For further information and personalised advice, please contact NB Migration Law. Our team is dedicated to helping you understand and adapt to these new regulations, ensuring that your journey to study in Australia is as smooth and successful as possible.

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