Now this is an interesting one! Everyone knows there is a fee to lodge a visa application!
There’s no such thing as a fee for a visa. But there is a charge. What’s the difference? The definition of a “fee” is “the price one pays for remuneration of services”.
Generally speaking, a fee takes into account the costs of inputs to services provided – such as the cost of inputs; amount of time and resources required.
A Charge, however, is “the price demanded for a thing or a service”.
If you have ever looked into Australian visas you probably would have noticed the wide range of lodgment charges associated with different visa types. A student visa, for example, costs around $535; while a visa for Skilled Migration costs $3060.
Try the Contributory Parent Visa and this one will cost you around $45 000 per applicant! But many electronic tourist visas are free.
So the Visa Application Charge bears no relationship to the amount of work which is required to be done by the Department of Immigration to process your application.
The Australian Government can, however, charge whatever it considers to be reasonable for each visa subclass. What they can’t do is call it a fee.
You think that’s unfair? Wait till you get to Australia and discover the Tax system!