General FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Terminology & Definitions

DoHA
  • Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs)
  • This is the federal government body responsible for setting the immigration policy, numbers, they process the visas etc
Financial / Fiscal year
  • In Australia the financial year runs from 1 July – 30 June annually.
  • Visa Caps (numbers of visa approved under specific category e.g. skills) apply for one financial year
  • In your country the fiscal year definition applies to business skills applications where you need to evidence audited statements for 4 fiscal years
Lodgement day
  • The laws that apply and are relevant for your specific visa on the day you lodge your application are the laws and regulations that will apply when processing your visa application.
  • Lodgement day is also important when it comes to your age – in terms of visa regulations, you remain “the age you are on the day you lodge” until your visa is processed and a decision is made.  This may not be the fountain of youth discovered, but it does help when you are in a critical age group e.g. 44.
Age
  • Critical ages for all skilled visas are : 29, 34, 39, 44 and final cut off date is age 49 and 364 days.
  • For business skills visa applications – age 54 is critical!
  • For retirement visas the main applicant must be age 55 +
Family sponsorship
  • For family to sponsor you (and read the skilled Australian and parent visa section well) they must be settled Australian residents – that means resident in Australia for at least 2 years (730 days) as permanent residents.
  • Which relatives can sponsor you ?
    • a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew
    • a step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece or step-nephew
    • or a close relative
    • spouse
    • child, adopted child
    • mother, father, stepmother, stepfather
    • brother, sister,  stepbrother or sister
Permit
  • People often refer to a « permit » when they want to migrate. There is no such thing. You do not get a permit, you apply for a visa, and a visa allows you certain privileges and rights, i.e. right to work, right to stay, right to enter Australia multiple times, or restricting the nature of allowed activities.
visa
  • This is what you need to move to Oz – either permanently, or temporarily.
  • You get various “types” of visa e.g. Student visa, holiday visa, temporary residence visa,
    • Permanent residence visa etc.  There are over 120 types and subclasses of visa …. and depending on your circumstances, you can apply for one or more of these visas
    • Certain visas allow you to work here, others to conduct business, others to study and so forth.
    • Your visa will allow you to do “anything” unless it has a restriction printed on it, or unless the criteria for the specific visa restricts certain activities e.g. work or study restrictions.
PR
  • Permanent Residence – this  visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely. You have basically the same rights as a citizen e.g. access to social security, but no Aus passport and you are not required to vote (mandatory for citizens).
  • Generally you have 4 to 5 years in which to enter Australia after grant of a PR visa
TR
  • This is a Temporary Residence Visa.
  • It is “used” (applied for) by many different profiles i.e. for holiday purposes, for study purposes, to live in Australia for a period of up to 4 years and so forth.
  • Many people who just fail to meet a PR requirement, come over on a TR and then the work towards a position where they can apply for a PR visa e.g. establish a business here, gain additional qualifications and many more options. ASA will NEVER recommend a TR visa for these applicants unless we are certain that they will have a good shot at a PR visa later on.
Member of a family unit
  • All members of a family unit may apply for a visa at the same time – no additional charges apply.
  • Person A is a member of the immediately family of another person B if A is a spouse of B, or, A is a dependent child of B, or, A is a parent of B, and B is not 18 years or more.
  • A dependent child: Is  child that is wholly dependent on his parents for financial and emotional support (usually under 21 and a full time student if over 18)
Designated areas
  • Does this mean you have to go stay in the bush ? No …Designated areas include for example – all of Victoria (or nearly all) and all of South Australia. In other states, it generally excludes only the major metro areas. Also remember that you are usually only required to stay there for 2 or 3 years – not a big deal taken into account the bigger picture.
Processing times
  • It is important to note that the processing times indicated are just that – an indication. There are many variables at play with visa applications that could speed up or slow down the processing of your application
  • Processing times shown are based on current average processing times for 50% of all applications lodged.
  • Processing times are a function of a few aspects:-
    • Completeness and correctness of the application when lodged
    • Medical factors
    • Submission by the agent
    • Number of applications lodged and processed in a specific visa class or category during the year
    • Visa Caps set for that year
    • Efficiency, correctness and speed in replying to the queries from DoHA during processing (critical) – and note that there are always queries !
    • Processing times may be 25% under the indicated time or as much as 75% over the indicated time.
Visa Caps
  • Caps are the number of visas that DoHA plan to grant in one financial year.
Can I “renew” a visa?
  • No, if your visa expires, you can not “renew” it. You will have to apply for a new visa from scratch.
  • Also see section on residents return visas.

More questions and More Answers !

How soon can I get in ?

  • All depends under which type of visa you are applying for migration. Nobody gets a visa overnight – these things invariably takes time. Each application is unique and a time estimate can only be determined once an  Consultant has done a personal assessment.

What about qualifications ?

  • A formal tertiary qualification will definitely aid you if you are under 45.

Does age matter ?

  • Yes, but a lot depends on personal circumstances and the type of visa you apply under.

What about my children ?

  • If they are still under your roof and dependent on you, they will be included on your visa. Married / Independent children will not qualify under your visa.

Can I bring my pets with ?

  • Yes, but it is very expensive. It requires extended periods of quarantine abroad and proves to be very traumatic for animals. Most people prefer to consider alternative arrangements like foster homes etc.

I’m a good sportsman. Can I apply for a visa on grounds of this ?

  • If you have a Distinguished Talent and you have an exceptional or outstanding record of achievement in the arts or sport you may apply under this sub class. You must be nominated by an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, an eligible New Zealand citizen or an Australian organisation of national reputation in the occupation, profession, or activity in which you have an outstanding talent. Your nominator should complete an application form and include a brief resume of their own standing in the field.

What about health?

  • A medical test is standard procedure and you need to pass that. A blood test will be conducted and X-rays of the chest will be taken.

What about my furniture?

  • You will need to confirm current prices for a container to ship your furniture over. Major moving companies will give you a free quote. There is also an option of sharing a container.

I am already in Australia. Can you give me advice concerning my visa ?

Yes! 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
  • Communicate with the DoHA
  • Deal with the cancellation of your visa
  • Appeal against a DoHA decision

Where can I get some advice about visiting Australia ?

  • Right here. There are over 100 different types of Australian visas.
  • The DoHA is the Australian government department responsible for issuing visas.  The Department takes into account any factors before granting a visa.
  • Staff at VS can advise you on:
    • How to apply for travel to Australia
    • Which visa type to apply for
    • What to do if you have a problem with your current visa
    • How to change your visa
    • How to extend your visa
    • Any other issue related to migrating to Australia.
  • If you want some further general information on the issue involved, register, and one of our consultants will assist you
  • For further advice on these issues please Register

May I work in Australia ?

  • If you want to work in Australia, it is important that the visa you are issued allows you to do so. 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. We can advise you on the best visa to apply for to suit your circumstances.
  • If you would like to know more about working in Australia, please complete the request form or contact us by e-mail, mail or telephone.

May I study in Australia ?

  • Australia has an excellent education system. There are a variety of courses suitable for all levels of education, for all ages. People from outside Australia can travel to Australia to complete accredited courses.
  • There are a number of visas which allow people to study in Australia. It is important that you choose the most suitable visa. If you would like to know more about studying in Australia, please Register

How do I become an Australian Citizen ?

  • The Australian Citizenship Act 1948 provides the information regarding the acquisition of Australian citizenship. There are a number of factors which the Australian Government considers before granting Australian Citizenship.
  • If you would like to know more about becoming an Australian Citizen, please Register

How long will it take to process my migration application?

  • This all depends on the specific visa class and subclass. We will detail this in your assessment report.

Who can we include in a migration application?

  • Details on who can be included in a migration application are provided in each assessment provided by us

Can I visit Australia while my migration application is being processed?

  • Yes. But……
    You will need to meet the requirements for that class of visa, which may include the requirement that you only intend a holiday or short visit. Visitors visas are not intended to provide residence in Australia for migration applicants awaiting the outcome of their application.
    …and you must inform us if you are temporarily in Australia as we can continue your processing whilst you are there.

Can I be granted my migrant visa while I am in Australia if I applied offshore ?

  • No. You must be outside Australia before we can grant you the offshore migrant visa. You must depart Australia for your visa to be granted and evidenced in your passport. You do not need to return to the country where the application was lodged as this can be done at any Australia overseas mission.

Can I do my medical processing in Australia?

  • Yes.

Do I have to lodge my passport with my application?

  • Passports are NOT required to make a valid application. However, for all temporary residence visa applications you should provide your passport with 2 unused visa pages with your application.

I am applying under the partner provisions do you need to interview me and my partner/sponsor?

  • In most cases we may need to interview you, but this will usually be over the telephone. We will contact you if we need to arrange an interview.

Does my sponsor (i.e. spouse or partner) have to remain in the country of residence during processing?

  • No.

If I am approved, how long do I have before I must travel to Australia?

  • The initial entry date (stated on your visa) is the date by which you must travel to Australia on your visa. This date is calculated based on the validity of your health and character clearances. These clearances are usually only valid for 12 months.
    If you (and any members of your family included in your application) do not enter Australia by the initial entry date, you will breached a condition of your visa and consideration will be given to canceling your visa.

I know I need to travel to Australia before the initial entry date on my visa but am I required to migrate to Australia before this date as I have a home to sell and/or other assets to dispose of?

  • You must travel to Australia before the expiry of the initial entry date in order to activate the visa for its full term which, in most cases, is a full term of five years (the date is on the visa label).
    Migrant visa holders are not required to migrate (i.e. settle permanently) to Australia before the expiry of the initial entry date on their visas.
    Provided you (and all family members included in your application) have made at least one trip to Australia before the initial entry date your visa is then valid for return travel until the final expiry date.
    There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, Spouse – Provisional visas (subclass 309) and Prospective Spouse visas (subclass 300) both have initial entry dates but neither is valid for a full term of five years.

Who can we include in a migration application?

  • Details on who can be included in a migration application are provided in each assessment provided by us.

Can I visit Australia while my migration application lodged offshore is being processed?

  • Yes. But……You will need to meet the requirements for that class of visa, which may include the requirement that you only intend a holiday or short visit. Visitors visas are not intended to provide residence in Australia for migration applicants awaiting the outcome of their application…and you must inform us if you are temporarily in Australia as DoHA can continue your processing whilst you are there.

Can I be granted my migrant visa while I am in Australia ?

  • Unless it is a visa application that allows for an onshore application, you must be outside Australia before DoHA can grant you the migrant visa. You must depart Australia for your visa to be granted and evidenced in your passport. You do not need to return to the country where the application was lodged as this can be done at any Australian overseas mission.

If I am approved, how long do I have before I must travel to Australia ?

  • The initial entry date (stated on your visa) is the date by which you must travel to Australia on your visa. This date is calculated based on the validity of your health and character clearances. These clearances are usually only valid for 12 months. If you (and any members of your family included in your application) do not enter Australia by the initial entry date, you will breached a condition of your visa and consideration will be given to cancelling your visa.

I know I need to travel to Australia before the initial entry date on my visa but am I required to migrate to Australia before this date as I have a home to sell and/or other assets to dispose of?

  • You must travel to Australia before the expiry of the initial entry date in order to activate the visa for its full term which, in most cases, is a full term of five years (the date is on the visa label. Migrant visa holders are not required to migrate (ie settle permanently) to Australia before the expiry of the initial entry date on their visas.Provided you (and all family members included in your application) have made at least one trip to Australia before the initial entry date your visa is then valid for return travel until the final expiry date. There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, Spouse – Provisional visas (subclass 309) and Prospective Spouse visas (subclass 300) both have initial entry dates but neither is valid for a full term of five years. Business skills visas also have certain conditions attached to them – contact us for further details.

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