We have attempted to cover most of your questions related to Australian immigration here. If you are unable to find answers to your questions here and in the corresponding section in the website, please contact us for more details.
Question: Do I need a visa to enter and remain in Australia?
Yes, in most cases you will need a visa to enter and remain in Australia.
New Zealand citizens or a permanent resident of Norfolk Island who meet certain requirements do not need a visa to visit Australia for a short stay. Citizens of all other countries must obtain an appropriate visa prior to their travel to Australia.
All transit passengers who need to remain in Australia for more than 72 hours need only a transit visa which is issued free of cost.
Question: How many visas can I apply for at any given time?
There is nothing that can prevent you from lodging more than one visa application at any point of time. However, you are expected to meet the criteria, in respect of each application that is under processing by DIMIA.
Note: An applicable fee has to be paid for each application.
Question: How much will my visa cost?
Visa expenses other than the application cost include Skills Assessment Fee, IELTS Test, Visa Application Charge (payable to the Department of Immigration), Medical Examination, Penal Clearances and nominal documentation charges. It is important to note that the government can change the visa application charges at its discretion.
Visa fees vary across visa types; it is best to check with your migration consultant to arrive at the specific costs associated with your visa application.
Question: How soon can I get a visa?
Processing times for visas vary; it depends on the type of visa. Typical approximate processing times are:
9 to 18 months for most skilled residence visa (including the time required to prepare the application)
3 to 6 months for family, business and temporary work visas
Additional 6 to 12 months for applications requiring professional registration
If my visa is granted, when do I have to enter Australia?
Your visa is stamped with an initial entry date. This is the date by which you must travel to Australia on your visa. If you (and any members of your family included in your application) do not enter Australia by the initial entry date, your visa may be cancelled.
Question: What should I do if the information that I have provided in my application changes?
It is obligatory for you to inform DIMIA in writing of any change in the information that is given in your application form (or was submitted later while your application was still under processing). However, there is no need to intimate any changes in your circumstances to DIMIA if your visa was granted in Australia or if you have arrived in Australia after the visa was granted to you.
Will the immigration authorities or the Australian Embassy help me to prepare my application?
No. This type of service is not provided by the Australian Government. Only an Australian Registered Migration Agent can provide this kind of service.
Question: Can the immigration authorities refuse my application?
Yes. Immigration regulations are very strictly enforced and all applications are assessed on the basis of information and documentary evidence submitted with it. Many applications are refused or delayed due to technical errors on the application or because the supporting documentation is irrelevant or insufficient.
Question: Why do most people use an officially-recognised migration agent?
A large number of visa applicants who apply on their own fail to receive their visas due to application errors, misunderstandings or confusion that commonly arise during the immigration process. Compare this to a high success rate for those applicants that apply through an officially-recognised migration agent. Given these facts, most people prefer to apply through a migration agent to reduce the risk of their application being refused.
I was assessed as eligible for residence by a Migration Agent. If I now apply on my own, without the agentâ€™s help, will my visa be granted?
It is hard to guarantee of success in any visa application even though you may qualify under the immigration policy. In order to be approved, your application must adhere to the prevailing immigration regulations and be submitted with all the appropriate supporting documentation. Many applicants send in incorrect or incomplete applications leading to rejection.
It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Registered Migration Agent if you are not sure of the detailed process.
Question: Do I have to send original documents with my application?
No, in almost all cases, certified copies of original documentation will suffice. Please note the copies of the original documents must be certified by one of the persons allowed to do so in your country
Question: Do I have to submit my passport with my application?
You do NOT need to submit your passport to make a valid application but you need to submit a copy of the bio pages of the passport is required as a proof of your identity. You may submit your passport once the application has been finalised and the requested visa is granted. It is recommended that you should provide your passport with 2 unused visa pages when required.
Question: When I migrate, will I lose my current passport?
No. you could retain your current passport and obtain an Australian passport as well, since The Australian Government allows dual-nationality (i.e., the holding of two passports).
However, you must check that your own country of citizenship allows dual nationality, as this right must be reciprocal. If not, you will need to surrender your other passport in order to become an Australian citizen.
Question: Do I have to go through an interview?
In most cases for family residence and some business visa an interview is needed. It is usually conducted over the telephone. We will contact you if we need to arrange an interview.
Question: Is there a medical test?
Yes, a medical test is a standard procedure and passing it is essential to qualify for any permanent visa and most temporary visas offering more than 3 months of residence.
Question: Can I do my medical tests in Australia?
Yes. If you are in Australia temporarily you can approach an office of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to collect the medical forms and details about approved doctors and radiologists. You (if present in Australia) or the panel doctor, if overseas, should send your sealed medical results, marked with your file reference, to this office or to DIAC directly when completed.
Question: Can I visit Australia while my migration application is being processed?
Yes, provided you obtain a temporary visa that allows you to visit Australia while your other application is being processed. However, you must bear in mind that you need to be outside Australia if you have applied for an offshore visa.
Question: Can I be granted my migrant visa while I am in Australia?
It depends on whether you have applied for an onshore or offshore visa. If the application is made for an offshore visa, you must be outside Australia before the visa is granted. You must depart Australia if you are in Australia for your visa to be granted and this must be evidenced in your passport.
Question: I am already in Australia. Would you be able to help with my visa?
Yes, we can definitely assist you. If you are in Australia, we can advise you on any migration issue, including helping you to:
Extend your current visa
Apply for a different visa
Become a Permanent Resident of Australia
Become an Australian Citizen
Deal with the cancellation of your visa
Appeal against a Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs decision
What are the current pass marks for the various different visa classes?
As pass marks for various visas are subject to unexpected changes, we suggest you contact us for a complete immigration eligibility assessment.
Question: What is the Points Test?
The Points Test is an assessment of a number of attributes such as English, qualifications, work experience, spouseâ€™s skills, occupation, the Australian work experience, proficiency in a community language and occupations currently in demand and many more such attributes.
For most skilled visa subclasses, you need to have minimum pass marks on the points test to be eligible for the visa.
Question: What are pass marks?
There are two grades in the Points Test: pass marks, and pool marks. Pass marks are the qualifying marks for Permanent Residence / Provisional Visas, which change from time to time.
You should check the current pass mark immediately before making an application. You will be assessed against the pass and pool marks that are in effect on the day you file your application.
Question: What are pool marks?
If you have applied for a Skilled Independent Migrant visa or a Skilled â€“ Sponsored Migrant visa and you score below the pass mark, but above the 'pool mark', your application will be held 'in the pool' for up to 2 years after assessment.
You should check the current pass marks immediately before making an application. You will be assessed against the pass and pool marks that are in effect on the day you file your application.
Question: What is the Skills Matching Database?
If you do not make the pass mark, but get pool marks, you can still submit your application in the Skills Matching Database. Your application personal, academic and professional details will be held in this database up to 2 years. Potential Australian employers monitor the Skills Matching Database and could select your application for sponsorship from this database if they find your profile suitable.
Question: I'm a good sportsman. Can I apply under a separate category?
If you have a Distinguished Talent and you have an exceptional or outstanding record of achievement in the arts, a sport or any other field, you may be able apply under this sub class. Find out more about this visa here.
Question: May I work in Australia?
Certain types of visas do not permit you to work in Australia. Some visas restrict the number of hours you can work per week.
If you want to work in Australia, it is important that you apply for the correct visa type.
If you would like to know more about working in Australia, please contact us by e-mail, mail or telephone.
Question: What is the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)?
The Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is a list maintained by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. It is an alphabetical list of occupations with:
the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations number for the occupation
the relevant assessing authority for the occupation
the number of points an occupation is awarded for the "skill" factor under the points test
If you wish to apply for any General Skilled Migration visa, you must nominate an occupation which is on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Question: May I study in Australia?
There are a number of visas which allow people to study in Australia. It is important that you choose the most suitable visa, depending on the course in which you would like to study.
We offer professional advice on studying in Australia: we can help you choose the course and the visa that would be most appropriate for you.
Question: What is IELTS?
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills â€“ listening, reading, writing and speaking â€“ for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication.
Question: What is OET?
The Occupational English Test (OET) is a language test for overseas qualified health professionals. The Test assesses English language proficiency as it is used in medical and health professions. The OET is administered by the OET Centre seven times a year and in over 40 locations around the world. The Test measures the language competency of health professionals who are seeking registration and the ability to practise in an English-speaking context. It is designed to ensure that language competency is assessed in a relevant professional context.
Question: What is AusAID?
The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) manages the federally-funded overseas aid program. The program assists developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest. AusAID contributes to global and regional poverty decline programs by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, among others.
AusAID assigns aid work to Australian and international companies, who complete the aid projects and train local persons to take the projects forward. AusAID funds non-profit organisations to deliver aid programs at the local community level in developing countries.
Refer to the AusAID site for more details: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/
Question: What is Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)?
An Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) issued by your Australian education provider is the only accepted evidence of enrolment for processing student visa applications. Depending on your country of nationality and your principal course of study, you may have to undergo a preliminary assessment before an institution issues an eCoE. A copy of your eCoE must be submitted to your local Department of Australian Immigration (DIAC) office before your student visa can be issued.
Question: May I bring my pets with me?
Yes, but it is a fairly expensive procedure as Australia follows very strict quarantine rules and procedures. It also requires extended periods of quarantine abroad which may be quite traumatic for animals.
Does my sponsoring spouse or partner have to remain in the country of residence during processing?
No. However, Australian sponsors are required to provide evidence of their ability to meet the sponsorship obligations.
Question: What is a Working Holiday Visa?
The Working Holiday Maker Visa is meant for persons between the ages of 18 to 30. Australia has entered into reciprocal working holiday agreements with the Netherlands, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Malta, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and countries of Scandinavia (namely Denmark, Sweden and Norway).
As of now there is no provision for citizens of any other country to apply for this Working Holiday Visa. It is likely that some more countries may be added to the list of eligible countries in due course.
Question: What is a Permanent Residence Visa?
A permanent residence visa allows the holder to live and work indefinitely in Australia. You are eligible for state medical care immediately, but must be resident in Australia for two years before qualifying for social welfare assistance (i.e., unemployment benefits) in most cases. You are not permitted to vote as a permanent resident in Australia. This changes when you obtain Australian citizenship provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
Please contact us to find out if you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.
Question: How do I become an Australian Citizen?
There are a number of factors which the Australian Government considers before granting Australian Citizenship. Eligibility criteria are complex and need minute attention to detail.
If you would like to know more about the process for becoming an Australian Citizen, please contact us.
Question: What can I do with an Australian Permanent Residency?
An Australian permanent resident entitles you to certain privileges. With a permanent visa, you are allowed to:
live and work in Australia permanently
study in Australian schools and universities
access subsidised healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
access certain social security payments (subject to waiting periods)
be eligible for Australian citizenship (subject to the residence eligibility criteria)
propose or sponsor people for permanent residence
Question: What is Medicare?
Medicare is the Australian Government scheme that provides help with basic medical expenses, health care services and programs, such as free public hospital care, help with the cost of out-of-hospital care, and subsidised medicines. You could also consider many different private health insurance options, as Medicare does not cover services such as dental care, most optical care or ambulance services.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements or click here for a detailed assessment of your particulars towards migration to Australia.