Migration (Places and currencies for paying of fees) Instrument (LIN 23/005) 2023 dated 19 June 2023 repeals Migration (Places and currencies for paying of fees) Instrument (LIN 22/004) 2022 (No. 2) and specifies that payment of a fee in relation to visa applications in Australia or a foreign country be made in the Australian dollar.
A number of fees and visa application charges are payable in relation to visa applications under the Regulations. Subregulation 5.36(1) of the Regulations prescribes certain requirements with respect to the payment of a fee, other than a visa application charge.
The Department bi-annually reviews Acceptable Currencies and Foreign Currency Exchange Rates (AC&FCER) and accordingly updates foreign currency instruments made for paragraphs 5.36(1)(a), (b) and (1A)(a) of the Regulations. During the current bi-annual review, it was identified that due to Department progressive shift from paper applications and cash transactions to electronic applications and payments through the IMMI account platform, the number of foreign currency transactions and the use of foreign currency exchange rates have considerably reduced. Foreign currency data indicated that in the 2019-20 financial year, there were 8,081 foreign currency transactions made in 32 currencies, for a total of AUD$32.054 million. Comparatively, in the 2022-23 financial year (to 31 January 2023) there were five foreign currency transactions in one currency for a total of AUD$728.
As only five foreign currency transactions have been made in the 2022-23 financial year, these were very few transactions to support the continued specification of additional foreign currencies and foreign currency exchange rates.
The purpose of the instrument is to specify, that payment of a fee in relation to visa applications in Australia or a foreign country be made in the Australian dollar to
remove foreign currency volatility risk
ensure consistency with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) processes to minimise cash handling risk
ensure consistency with citizenship fees that utilise the AC&FCER and now accept only the Australian dollar (from July 2022)
The instrument is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 20 June 2023 and will commence on 1 July 2023.
To access the instrument, click here.