2016 has been an eventful year with many changes in the Australian Migration Laws affecting numerous visa types like Partner Visa, 457 Temporary Work Visa, Visitor Visa, Student Visa, Subclass 400 series, Bridging Visa A duration and definition of "Member of Family Unit".
So what can we expect in 2017?
Since the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is moving towards a Global Case Management System and utilize more of their online resources, hopefully, we will see improvements despite the cut in their staff in alignment with the Australian government's budget cut for public servant staff.
DIBP has a reputation of surprising us with changes that are sometimes unforetold. However, there are some that have been set to come into effect on New Year, 1st January 2017. Here, we will discuss some of them.
Working Holiday Visa Application Fees decrease
A decrease in a visa application fee is indeed rare. We were lucky already to have the credit card surcharges decreased (From 1.08% to 0.98% for Visa/Master Card).
The Working Holiday Maker Visa application fees will be reduced by $50 to $390.
You might have heard some rumours about changes in the age limit for Visa Subclasses 417/462, but there has been no official notification from DIBP yet.
Passports costs Increase
Provisional Documents - $0
Passports for children and those over 75 (five year validity) - $135
Priority processing for passports - $54 in addition to the base fees
Passports with ten year validity - $270
Frequent travellor passports (ten year validity) - $396
Emergency/Replacement passports, certificate of identity, convention travel - $171
Document of identity - $70
Citizenship Regulation Changes
You could get a refund for an application for a notice of evidence of citizenship if you have made the application as a result of in correct advice given by DIBP.
Previously, you don't have to pay for a citizenship application if your previous one was refused solely on the basis of the residence requirement not met. Now, to get that free pass, your new application must be lodged within 1 year after the first one.
DIBP Holiday Closure Dates
26 December 2016 - Boxing Day
27 December 2016 - Christmas Day (in lieu)
28 December 2016 - Additional (APS) Holiday
2 January 2017 - New Years Day
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Sophos Migration Specialist Statements
Thank you for such a great Year of 2016.
We wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year 2017!
We will start operating again on 3rd January 2017. Any urgent inquiries can be made directly to our registered migration agent at +61401543995.
***Remember this is only provided as a guide, not intended to be used for any migration decisions without a case-by-case advice from a registered migration agent. If you have any questions, I will be happy to discuss this in person with you. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or +61401543995.