The federal government yesterday said some visa application fees would increase by 400 per cent, and would contribute an extra $520 million to the budget’s bottom line over the next four years..

From January 1, 2013 the cost of a temporary skilled worker visa, known as a 457 visa, will rise from $350 to $455. Partner visas for people already in Australia will rise from $3060 to about $4000, while offshore partner visas, for people who want to come to Australia to join a spouse, will rise from $2060 to about $2700.

Skilled graduate visas will increase from $315 to $1260 for those who want to work in Australia after studying here.

Extra charges had already been imposed on visa applicants this year under the “user-pays” system to ensure that taxpayers no longer fund visa applications.

On January 1 this year, fees for a range of skills and business visas rose by between 5 per cent and 15 per cent but student visa application fees fell by 5 per cent.