Australia Visa Information
Potential migrants to Australia are selected based on skills, health, financial resources, age, English language ability and family and business contacts in Australia. Race, gender and culture are not considered at all.
Half the 70,000 places each year goes to skilled migrants as Australia seeks those migrants who have skills and qualifications to improve the Australian society and economy. These categories are as follows.
There are five categories of migrants in the Skilled Scheme.
Independent Skilled Migrants: For qualified persons in an approved occupation in Australia Must be under 45 to apply.
Skilled Migrant: Applicants who have close family members in Australia able to sponsor them. Applicants are assessed on age, qualifications, English & other language abilities.
Distinguished Talent: This is a small category for especially talented people, particularly in the arts or in sports.
Employer Nominated Migrant: Employers may nominate skilled people from overseas to fill an Australian job vacancy when no one local has suitable skills for the job. Age, qualifications and English abilities are assessed.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme: If your Australian employer, who wants to nominate you, is in a remote area outside metropolitan districts, he or she can sponsor you through this scheme.
Business Migrants come under the Skilled Migrants Stream, but there are so many special provisions for them that Australian Visas puts them in separate categories.
There are six categories for people to apply for a permanent visa in the Business Migrant class.
4 Classes for overseas applicants
2 Classes for persons already in Australia, and most likely have an established business in Australia
Both are points tested based on business turnovers, business assets, personal assets, employee numbers, total wages etc.
- Business Owners - State or Territory Sponsored : This is the same as the visa for Business Owners, but has lower requirements.
- Senior Executives: This is a points tested visa for senior executives in a large companies (typically with a turnover exceeding A$ 50 000 000 per annum). It has points awarded for age, English language ability and net personal assets.
- Business Migrant, Investment linked: These applicants must demonstrate a history of business ownership and investment activities. This is a points tested category.
- Established Business in Australia
- Regional Established Business in Australia
FAQ's On Australia Visa
Q. When do I need a visa for Australia?
A. The main purpose of a visa is to give visa holders legal permission to remain in Australia either temporarily or permanently. Your visa may also include permission to travel to and enter Australia. You must obtain a Visa before traveling to Australia.
If you choose to have a short break in Australia for tourism purposes, you should apply for a Visitor Visa, not a transit visa. Please note that airlines may refuse to allow travelers to board their aircraft without valid visas / ETAs and passports.
If you intend to stay for more than 3-months or are not eligible for an ETA, a Visa application must be lodged with the Australian Embassy/Consulate-General, together with the required fee.
Q.How do I become an Australian Citizen?
A. You may become a citizen of Australia in one of three possible ways. These are:
- By birth: In Australia people automatically become an Australian citizen if they are born here and one or both of their parents is an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
- By descent: If you are the child of an Australian citizen but you are born overseas you will generally be granted Australian citizenship. There are a number of rules that might apply to people in this category. These are indicated in the Australian Citizenship Act, 1948.
- By grant: If you are a non-citizen of Australia you can apply to become an Australian citizen. You must meet several requirements. Generally, you
- are an Australian permanent resident;
- are over 16 years of age;
- have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for a total of two years in the previous five, including a total of 12-months in the 2-years immediately preceding the date of application;
- are of good character;
- have a knowledge of basic English;
- have an adequate knowledge of your responsibilities and privileges as a citizen; and
- are likely to reside in, or to maintain a close and continuing association with, Australia if granted citizenship.
Q. How do I apply for a visa to Australia?
Generally, an application is not valid unless it is for a visa of a specified class, any fees prescribed for the application has to be paid along with complete approved form. Some people are exempt from completing an approved form because they are deemed by the Migration Regulations to be an applicant for a visa. They include:
- a child born between the time an application is made and the time it is decided. The birth of the child is a change of circumstance, which must be notified on an approved form.
- In limited circumstances non-citizens in Australia who make an invalid application for a substantive visa are taken to have applied for a Bridging D visa.
- non-citizens who were in Australia on 1 September 1994 and had unresolved applications for an entry permit on that date are taken to be applicants for a transitional visa.
The Migration Regulations also provide for an Australian person or business, who is approved by the Department of Immigration or a State or Territory Government, to nominate a non-citizen outside Australia who wishes to come to Australia for short-term business purposes. The nominated person may be granted a Temporary Business Entry visa.
Q. How long does it take to process an application?
Processing times vary depending on the type of visa, country where lodged and quality of application made. Delays can possibly result from, and include
- poor documentation and presentation;
- misunderstanding of visa requirements;
- the need for an interview;
- health issues
- complications regarding the criminal or security status of the applicant or dependants
- applicant has difficulty obtaining satisfactory supporting documents
- requests by the Visa Office for additional supporting information
- Visa Office workload demands, staffing limits, application backlogs and identified priorities.
Q. What are my chances of success?
We will not proceed with any matter unless we believe that there is a genuine and realistic chance of it succeeding. However, because each case involves many different factors, results will always be different from case-to-case.
Q. What happens when my Australian permanent visa is granted?
The visa will permit you unlimited travel and entry to Australia for 5-years from date of grant and indefinite stay on your arrival provided entry is made before the expiry date. To renew your permanent residency you must have been lawfully present in Australia for a period of, or periods that total, not less than 2-years (704-days) in the period of 5-years immediately before the application for the RRV and, during that time, you were the holder of a permanent visa. Limited exceptions to the 2-year rule apply.
Q. What will my Australian visa permit me to do?
The visa permits the holder to travel to and enter Australia, and/or to remain in Australia. Holders of permanent visas are permitted to remain in Australia indefinitely. Holders of temporary visas are permitted to remain for the specified period. The period varies depending on the class of visa.
Your visa maybe granted subject to certain conditions which will govern what you are entitled to do as the holder of the visa and may also require you to do certain things for your visa to remain in effect (e.g. travel to Australia within a certain time).
Q. Will I receive evidence of my visa if my application is successful?
The most common way in which evidence of the grant of the visa is given is by placing a visa label in your passport. In some cases no evidence of the grant of the visa is required to be given.
Q. Will my visa cease when I leave Australia?
Your visa may cease when you leave Australia. If you intend to return to Australia you should confirm before you leave Australia whether your visa will permit you to return, and the time limit for returning to Australia that applies in your case.
Q. What happens to my visa if my passport is lost or stolen?
If you lose a passport this does not affect the visa granted to you. Your passport contains evidence of the grant of the visa rather than the visa itself. The visa is the permission that is given to you to travel to, enter and/or remain in Australia.
You should obtain a new passport from the country that issued it and present the new passport at an Australian Visa office for re-evidencing of the visa. There is a fee for re-evidencing some visas.
Q. How do I know if I am a "lawful non-citizen"?
Lawful non-citizens hold a visa in effect, which gives permission to remain in Australia. If you are unsure of your status you can contact us in confidence. In most cases your status will be clear from the visa evidence affixed in your passport.
Q. Do I need to advise the Department of Immigration (DIMA) if I change my address?
You must tell the Department of Immigration where you intend to live while your application is being processed. If you will be changing your address for more than 14-days you must tell the Department your new address and how long you intend to be there. A form is available for this purpose. Any such change in you circumstances should be informed to the Department of Immigration (DIMIA).
Q. What do I do if my circumstances change?
You have an obligation to notify the Department of Immigration in writing if any of the information that is included in or with your application form (or provided later in support of your application) changes.
This obligation applies whether you are in Australia or overseas. If your application was made in Australia your obligation applies only to changes in circumstances before the visa is granted. If your application was made outside Australia the obligation to advice of changes of circumstances continues after the grant of the visa.
The information that you provide to the Department will be used when considering whether to grant or refuse to grant you a visa. If you fail to notify the Department of a change in your circumstances any visa that is granted to you may be cancelled before or after you have arrived in Australia.
Q. Can I remain in Australia permanently on a Bridging Visa?
The grant of a bridging visa will not permit you to remain in Australia permanently. It will maintain your lawful status in certain situations, for example during the processing of your application for a substantive visa.
If you wish to remain permanently you will need to apply for and be granted a substantive visa, which allows you to remain permanently.
Q. Can I apply for permission to work while in Australia (on a bridging visa)?
If you held a substantive visa at the time of application for another substantive visa, the bridging visa granted to you will normally continue the permission to work conditions of the visa you held. If the visa you held did not permit work (i.e. Tourist/Visitor visa) you will not be entitled under the bridging visa to engage in work. If you do not have permission to work or if you only have a restricted permission to work, you may be able to apply for another bridging visa with permission to work.
Q. Can I apply for more than one visa at a time?
Nothing prevents you from applying for more than one visa at a time. You will need to comply, in respect of each application, with all the requirements for the making of applications. This will usually involve you paying a separate fee for each application.
Q. Can I hold more than one visa at a time?
You cannot hold more than one substantive visa at the same time. If a new substantive visa is granted any existing substantive visa that you hold will cease. If you do not hold a substantive visa but hold more than one bridging visa only the most beneficial bridging visa will be in effect.
It is possible to hold more than one visa at a time provided that only one of those visas is in effect. If you hold a substantive visa and a bridging visa at the same time the bridging visa will not be in effect while your substantive visa is in effect.
Q. What is the Australian Migration Program?
The migration program is the mechanism by which the Australian Government determines how many applicants it will allow to settle permanently in Australia in any given year and is sub-divided into two programs: the Migration Program and the Humanitarian Program.
The Migration program is further divided into family, skilled and special eligibility migration. The Humanitarian Program also has further categories such as refugees, special humanitarian migrants and special assistance.
The largest component of the migration program is the family reunion stream, where preference is given to a spouse, child, adoption, parent and preferential family, and a residual class - the Skilled - Australian - sponsored class - the numbers in which may be controlled by the operation of a 'pool' of potential applicants who may be processed to meet the targets set for the migration program in any particular year.