Visa Application Charges
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A Visa Application Charge (VAC) is the amount of money, in Australian dollars (AUD) that must be paid for most visa applications to enter Australia. The VAC is generally not refundable even if the visa application is unsuccessful.
VACs are reviewed on 1 July each year and this may increase the cost of a visa application.
If the VAC is changed, the new amount will apply to all visa applications received by the department on and after the day the VAC is changed.
From 1 January 2012, changes may be applied to the Visa Application Charge.
Form 990i Charges
User-pays system under new visa pricing model – Minister Bowen Media Release
All VACs are listed in AUD. If you are paying a VAC outside of Australia, payment will need to be made in the currency and method accepted by the Australian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate where the visa application is being lodged. These Australian Missions cannot receipt Australian currency.
See: Method of Payment Accepted at Australian Missions
The exchange rates used to calculate the VAC payable in a foreign country are updated on 1 January and 1 July each year. While the AUD amount of a VAC may not change at this time, the amount payable in a foreign currency will change in line with the exchange rate and this may increase or decrease the cost of a visa application made overseas.
The foreign currency rates are fixed for six months and apply to all visa applications received by the department on and after the day the exchange rate is changed.
Alternatively, you can arrange for a friend or associate to pay the VAC in AUD at any Australian office of the department. By doing this, you would avoid the effect of any foreign currency changes.
The cost of the VAC is dependent on when the application is received by the department.
For a visa application lodged close to 1 January and 1 July, the VAC or foreign currency rate may change in the time it takes for your application to be received by the department.
Example: You may have to pay for any increase in the VAC or the foreign currency rate if:
- you pay for a visa application in Australia before 1 July and lodge your application with an Australian Mission overseas after 1 July, or
- you send the VAC with your visa application before 1 July, but the application is not received by the department until after 1 July, or
- you send the VAC in a foreign currency with your visa application to an Australian Mission overseas before 1 January, but the application is not received by the department until after 1 January.
Important: A visa application is not valid until the department receives the correct amount of the VAC. If the correct amount is not paid, it will result in your visa application being delayed until the correct amount is received. Your visa application may be returned with a request that it be resent with the correct VAC amount.
If an Australian credit card is used to pay a VAC outside of Australia, the amount payable will be the foreign currency equivalent of the AUD amount of the VAC advertised by the department.
The foreign currency amount will then be converted to AUD by the cardholder's bank. The amount paid for the visa application will depend on the exchange rate used by the cardholder’s bank on the date the transaction takes place, and any fees charged by their bank. The amount paid may not be equal to the amount advertised by the department.
Information on VACs, including how to pay and the amounts payable in a foreign currency, can be
obtained from any of the department's offices or can be found on the department's website.
See: Fees and Charges