Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to a range of common questions
After helping thousands of individuals, business owners, partners, family, investors and many more through the immigration process, our team has come across a wide range of common questions that our clients ask. Below you will find the answers to these many questions regarding Australian visas, Australian citizenship, bringing visas, health requirements and much more.
What is a bridging visa?
Bridging visas are granted to allow you to remain in Australia while you are waiting for an application to be processed, or to provide lawful status while you make arrangements to depart Australia.
What is Australian citizenship?
Australian citizenship is an important step in your migration story. Becoming an Australian citizen means that you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia and all that this country stands for and is the beginning of your formal membership of the Australian community. The Australian government encourages permanent residents of Australia to apply for Australian citizenship when they become eligible and how you apply for Australian citizenship will vary depending on your current personal circumstances. If you have previously migrated to Australia, currently have permanent residence, satisfy the residential requirements and are of good character, you might be eligible for Australian citizenship.
What is permanent residence?
Permanent residence is the name given to a non-Australian citizen who is the holder of an Australian permanent visa. A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia on a permanent basis. You do not hold an Australian passport.
Why should you use a Registered Migration Agent?
There are many advantages to using a Registered Migration Agent. These advantages include: – an understanding of Australia’s migration laws and processes; – up to date knowledge on all migration legislation in Australia; – explaining which visa options are available to you and recommend a suitable options based on your personal circumstances; – providing honest advice and opinion on whether or not your visa application will be successful; – advising you on all costs and fees for the visa application, as well as approximate visa processing times; – guide you through everything from the skills assessment to IELTS; – lodge your application for State/Territory sponsorship (if required); – assist you with any migration law queries or complexities that arise with your application; – preparing your visa application and supporting documents that comply with the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) requirements (which can make it easier and faster to get a decision from the Department); – lodging your visa application, monitor your visa status and communicating with the DOHA on your behalf; and – can contact the Department or other organisations to discuss or ask any questions regarding your application. If your visa application is not successful, our team of Immigration Lawyers can apply for Ministerial Intervention (if appropriate), submit an appeal and represent you at the Tribunal hearing.
What does the character requirements mean for me?
For anyone who wishes to enter into Australia must be of good character and will be assessed against the character requirements. When applying for your visa, you may be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements for the visa.
What is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for individuals that wish to study, work and migrate abroad with more than two million tests taken in the past year. IELTS assesses all of your English skills including reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English for study, working and in everyday life. IELTS results are recognised by more than 9,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries around the world. IELTS test content is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
What is an expression of interest (EOI)?
An expression of interest (EOI) is a way of showing your interest in applying for a skilled visa to immigrate to Australia. It is an online form in SkillSelect which asks a series of questions about your skills depending on the visa subclass that you are selecting to apply for. The EOI is used to calculate your ability to meet the points test for certain skilled visas. It is available for Employers and State/Territory Government agencies should you like to be considered for a sponsored skilled visa.
What are the likely reasons that my application might be refused?
Generally speaking, the main reason that visa applications are refused is due to applicants submitting the application with incomplete information. This is where using a professional service and Registered Migration Agent (such as Visa Australia) can save you time and money by ensuring all your information lodged with your application is correct. There are many other reasons why Australian visa applications get refused including: – providing false and incorrect information; – missing proof of financial information; – nominating the wrong occupation from the Skilled Occupations List (SOL); – using a tourist visa to visit relatives or partners; – not meeting the strict health requirements that Australia upholds; and – not providing proof that you are competent in the English language.
When I become an Australian citizen, will I lose any other citizenship?
It is possible to hold citizenship of two or more countries if the law of those countries allow. This is known as dual, or multiple, citizenship. People can become dual citizens automatically, or after being granted citizenship of another country. For example, an Australian citizen may automatically gain citizenship of another country through marriage, while a permanent resident of Australia may become a dual citizen by becoming an Australian citizen.
How long are the medical examination results valid for?
Your health clearance is usually valid for 12 months. However, if you are asked to sign a health undertaking, your health clearance is valid for six months.
What methods of consultation do you offer?
Visa Australia understand that not everyone can travel and may have work or life commitments that need attending to. We can organise face to face meetings, phone, skype, zoom, microsoft teams consultations or even provide you with advice via email. There are plenty of methods we can use to provide you with the best options and ensure you start your Australian visa application successfully.
Can my employer cancel my visa?
No – your employer can’t cancel your visa. Only the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) can cancel your visa. However, your employer can contact the Department to request that your visa be cancelled and may have obligations to do so should you cease employment with them. This will depend on the visa that you hold.
What happens if my sponsor ends my employment?
If your sponsor ends your employment, you have 90 days to either: – find another employer to sponsor you; – apply for a different visa; or – leave Australia within 90 days, or before your visa expires, whichever comes first.
Why migrate to Australia?
There are many reasons that people want to migrate to Australia. These reason include: climate and geography, shortage of skilled labour, Australia’s migration program, education system, public healthcare system, career options, security and lifestyle.
How long does it take to become an Australian citizen?
The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) processes Australian citizenship applications in around 24 months. There are many factors that can delay this timeframe such as; – whether you have provided all necessary supporting documents when you lodge your application – how well and how promptly you respond to any requests for additional information – how long it takes to verify the information you have provided to support your application time taken to attend a Citizenship Ceremony or receive a Citizenship Certificate.
What is Temporary Residence?
Temporary Residence visas allow people to live and work in Australia for a limited time. Most Temporary Residence visas require sponsorship by an Australian business or State/Territory Government which needs the approval from the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA). Not all Temporary visas allow the visa holder to work in Australia.
What are the costs involved with applying for a visa?
Each visa has a different pricing structure and final figure. The cost within some visas include the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) application charge, Skills Assessment application fee, IELTS test (if required), Medical examination, Police clearance certificate fee, translation and document certification charges and our professional services fee. Contact our team today to find out the latest and up to date pricing on all Australian visas.
What is a health examination?
Australia enjoys some of the best health standards in the world. In order for Australia to maintain these standards, most visa applicants are required to meet certain minimum health standards in order to be granted a visa. This is what you would call the health requirement. What you will need to do to meet the health requirement will depend on your individual circumstances and the visa that you have applied, or intend to apply for. All permanent, provisional and certain temporary visa applicants are required to complete health examinations as part of the visa application process to determine if they meet the health requirement. There are different health requirements for permanent, provisional and temporary visas. It is important that you comply with these health requirements to ensure your visa isn’t refused.
How does the skilled points test work?
Most Skilled visas for immigration to Australia require applicants to score a minimum number of points on the Points Test. Skilled migration is one of the most complex visas to apply for, so we recommend that you contact us to check your likely eligibility for skilled migration before you proceed with an application, either as Visa Australia as your registered migration agent representatives or yourself. Our accredited specialist team have advised, prepared and lodged thousands of skilled visa applications for clients throughout Australia.
Can my visa application be cancelled, refused or denied?
Yes – your visa application can be refused and cancelled. If your visa is refused or cancelled, you may be able to have the decision reviewed by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Our migration lawyers have in depth experienced dealing with visa refusals and cancellations and can represent you throughout the review at the Administration Appeals Tribunal.
What if my visa application is refused or my visa is cancelled?
If your visa is refused or cancelled, you might be able to have the decision reviewed by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Not all decisions are reviewable by the AAT. For example, if the Minister for Immigration personally decides to refuse or cancel your visa under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958, you cannot apply to have a decision reviewed by the AAT.
Is there an age limit on applying to migrate to Australia?
The general age limit for most Australia visas is 45 years old. There are however some business visas that allow for applicants of up to 55 years of age.
Are you a New Zealand citizen?
As a New Zealand citizen your eligibility for Australian citizenship depends on whether you arrived in Australia before or after 26 February 2001. Once you have arrived in Australia, most New Zealand citizens are automatically granted a Special Category visa (SCV). An SCV is a temporary visa, but it allows the holder to work and remain in Australia. If you were present in Australia on 26 February 2001 as the holder of an SCV, you might be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. Our Registered Migration Agents have helped many New Zealand citizens apply and successfully gain Australian Citizenship. Contact us to find out how we can help you.
Who can come to the consultation with me?
Our accredited specialist team of Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents welcome anyone to the consultation that may help answer any questions we have. We have had many family, friends and translators join in consultations with clients to ensure that you obtain the most you can from the consultation and have peace of mind once the consultation is complete. If you have any questions regarding who you would like to bring along to a consultation, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly team.
What is a labour agreement?
A Labour agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between an employer (Australian organisation) and the Australian Government which lets an employer recruit an agreed number of skilled workers from outside Australia. The labour agreement must: – identify the relevant skills shortage in the business and why these vacancies cannot be filled by Australian workers; – specify the number of skilled workers needed from outside Australia; and – the age, skill and English language requirements that relate to the nominated occupations. Semi-skilled occupations can be considered for nominated positions if specified in the agreement.
What are work visa scams?
On 14 December 2015, new criminal and civil penalties and visa cancellation provisions were introduced as part of a ‘paying for visa sponsorship ‘ framework that allows for sanctions to be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or employment (that requires visa sponsorship). ‘Paying for visa sponsorship’ conduct is considered unacceptable by the Australian Government as it undermines the integrity of the skilled work programmes, which are designed to address genuine skill shortages in the Australian labour market by making employees available from outside Australia.