Migration Institute urges Government to reconsider dramatic Partner Visas fee increase The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), the professional association for Registered Migration Agents (RMAs), is deeply concerned about the 50% increase in the Visa Application Charges for Partner visas, which is to take effect from 1 January 2015. The increase from $4,575 to $6,865 for onshore Partner visas and from $3,085 to $4,630 for offshore Partner visas and Prospective Marriage visas has been justified on the grounds that it is to “fund whole-of-government policy priorities”. MIA National President, Angela Chan FMIA, said that the increase was questionable because of: the size of the increase by 50%; the vulnerable applicants who have been targeted to pay the increase; the lack of any improved service that the increase will bring; and the diminishing importance afforded to family migration. “As important as revenue-raising is for the Government, it must be properly and fairly targeted. “The targets on this occasion are those who have no choice but to pay this exorbitant fee, regardless of their ability or willingness to pay,” said Ms Chan. Ms Chan noted that it was particularly disheartening when the 50% fee increase was seen in the context of the ever-diminishing opportunities for Australian citizens and permanent residents to avail themselves of family visas. “I would urge the Government to reconsider the proposed increase. It can only be seen as an easy option for revenue-raising without presenting a business case for the 50% increase. “This is sadly at odds with the concepts of fair play and respect in the Australian Values Statement which visa applicants are expected to embrace,” said Ms Chan.