A new pricing model set out by Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will see new changes to permanent and temporary visa application charges take effect from the beginning of the 2012 and 2013 financial years.
The model, which was outlined by DIAC in a presentation on March 30, identifies an important change relating to visa application charges - which will be made per person rather than per application.
Visa application charges were already increased for a total of 25 visa sub-classes in January (with the exception of student visa application fees, which decreased by five per cent) - and further changes will be made in the coming weeks.
The most significant change will be a newly-introduced charge to have a visa label put in a migrant's passport - currently, this service is not required by the DIAC, but can be done free of charge on request. This is designed to help facilitate a move toward online visa lodgements and checking ahead of new charges to be introduced for paper visa applications only in 2013.
In 2013, further changes are planned for visa pricing, which will have an important effect on applicants in a range of visa categories.
Surcharges will be issued based on the duration of a 457 visa, and for additional applicants - sometimes known as dependents - on a range of different visas.
Paper visa applications will be subject to a number of progressively-introduced charges, and anyone looking to make an onshore subsequent application for a 456 short-stay business, 676 tourist or 457 long-stay business visa may also face additional charges that will take effect next July.
Moving towards an online system of processing visa payments could speed up visa processing times and could ensure that the DIAC operates a more consistent service, the department asserts.
457 visas are a popular option for companies who are looking to sponsor skilled workers in specific roles for a set period of time - but the process can be expensive and time-consuming.
Enlisting the services of a professional and experienced migration lawyer can help you stay abreast of any changes imposed by the DIAC - and can ensure your application has the best chance of success.
Your immigration lawyer can even advise on the likelihood of a successful outcome before you make your application - which can help you decide whether or not to go ahead with the process.