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I recently checked out Australia and the visa cost was estimated by their government website around 5230USD for me and my spouse. This is on top of the skill assessment required by ACS costing about 500AUD.

I'm a citizen of Sri Lanka.

The cost calculation was broken down as below

SI189 Skilled Independent VAC1    1     3,520.00
Additional Applicant Charge 18+   1     1,760.00

This amount for some people in my position is bit hard to come by so I was wondering whether most developed countries will require me to be able to bear such costs or are there cheaper options?

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  • Are those USD 5000 in visa fees? – Annoyed May 9 '14 at 9:24
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    So you're asking whether all 'developed' countries have such high costs? – Mark Mayo May 9 '14 at 13:26
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    Can you not get your new Australian employer to cover some or all of the visa costs? That would be the typical way to go about it – Gagravarr May 9 '14 at 13:49
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    @Gagravarr I don't have an employer yet. This was the independent skilled visa – Thihara May 10 '14 at 2:03
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    On behalf of my country I'm really sorry. I guess the reasoning is that if people can afford the exhorbitant fees then they are less likely to be "economic refugees" or something like that. – hippietrail May 10 '14 at 5:07
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There are many countries in Europe that could fit the bill and it's difficult to compare them directly. You will have to decide if obtaining a visa, finding work and living there is easier for you. That said, some (but not all) have visa fees that are (much) lower than USD 3500. For example:

I am not sure about dependents (i.e. your spouse) and there are also other visa/permits if you have a sponsor but the fees are similar. Also you might also need to take a language test or lessons, have some documents translated or notarized, etc. so moving to France or Germany isn't that cheap, even when looking only at the formalities. But the administrative fees themselves are definitely lower.

On the other hand, UK visa fees are typically higher (at least GBP 500-1000 and even more for dependents) so this is not true for all of Europe.

And the fee is not everything, there are many other requirements and some visas might be more difficult to obtain than others. Typically, some of these fees are due even if you visa is refused so if you cannot afford to lose the money, you need to research this thoroughly in advance.

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    all that without even considering settling, which means you should bear the cost of hundreds/few thousands euros for first rent, housing deposit, possibly some equipment, expenses before first salary/payment, ... – Vince May 9 '14 at 14:55

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