Applying for an Australian Visa can be a complicated process, and there is a lot of different information and legislation related to this process which is also constantly changing and updating.
Our team has complied a list of common questions people may have when starting out on the Visa application, or appeal, process, however each individual situation is obviously unique.
As each case and situation is unique, we recommend speaking to our experienced team at AMALSA and booking a consult to further discuss your questions and concerns in more detail.
Why Should I Use A Registered Migration Agent?
A Registered Migration Agent, such as AMALSA, can offer professional advice on immigration matters, and assist with the preparation and lodgment of your visa, to ensure a higher rate of a success. Migrations Agents are also able to appeal on your behalf if your application was initially unsuccessful.
Our registered Migration Agents are able to help you:
- Fully understand Australia’s migration laws and processes
- Provide up to date knowledge on migration legislation in Australia, which is often changing
- Discuss and explain to you which visa options may be right for your own personal circumstances, and recommend the best course of action
- Provide honest advice on if you Visa application is most likely to be successful, and suggest other options
- Assist you with any queries or complications which may arise from your application
- Advise you full Visa application costs and fees, as well as approximate processing times
- Guide you through all of the documentation and processes required for your application, including Skills Assessments, English Language Tests and course enrolment
- Prepare and submit your visa application and supporting documents to meet the requirements from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)
- Lodge your application for State or Territory Sponsorship if required
- Monitor and keep you updated on your Visa status, as well as communicating with the
- Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on your behalf
- If your visa has been declined or cancelled, guide you through this process and recommend a further course of action. As well as submitting appeals and representing you at an AAT hearing if required.
Visit our services page to see the range of services we offer.
Why use AMALSA?
Operating since 2009 as MARA registered agents, AMALSA has many years of experience in immigration, and have helped many people successfully migrate to Australia. We have worked with a number of clients all with unique circumstances, and endeavour to provide every client with simple advice on the best migration option for them.
Visit our About page to find out more.
What is a Bridging Visa?
A Bridging Visa allows the holder to remain in Australia while waiting for their Visa application to be processed, or to grant lawful status while the holder makes arrangements to depart Australia.
What methods of migration consultation do you offer?
AMALSA offers initial consultation in our Melbourne based offices, to book an appointment please contact us here or call 1300 799 840.
We also understand that people looking to immigrate to Australia may not yet even be based in the country, or for those who are that work or life commitments may make it hard to physically attend appointment, so we also offer phone consultations if needed. These will need to be booked in as per normal appointments, so please contact us via the information given above.
We hope to hear from you soon!
How much do initial consultations cost?
Our face to face consultations currently cost $200.
How do I book an initial migration advice consultation?
To book a consultation, either face to face at our Melbourne offices or via phone, please either contact us or call 1300 799 840.
Do I need to bring anything with me to my initial consultation?
No, you will do not need to bring anything with you to your initial consultation, however you will need a range of supporting documentation when making a visa application.
What are the costs involved with applying for an Australian Visa?
The final amounts for each Visa vary depending on which one you are applying for, as well as personal factors such as if you are including and dependants on the fee, or if it is not your first Visa application.
Fees which may be included in your application include (if required) are:
- Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Visa application fees (information on these can be found here)
- Skills Assessment application fees
- IELTS tests
- Medical examinations
- Police clearance checks
- Document translation and certification charges
- School enrolment fees
- Health Insurance fees
- Our own professional service fees
Once you have had an initial consultation with us we will be able to help you determine the most appropriate course of action and Visa for your personal circumstances, and from there be able to provide you with a quote which will include all potential fees you will need to pay.
What are the documents required for Australian Visa applications?
The documents you need to provide for an Australian Visa application will depend on the Visa you are applying for, though will generally include supporting evidence such as:
- IELTS test
- Health Check
- Character requirements, including Police clearance checks
- Supporting skills assessment and qualifications
- Past and current employment information, including reference letters and payslips
- Financial information
- Any other relevant supporting information
We will help in providing an Australian Visa document checklist, relevant to the Visa you are applying for and your own individual sitation.
How do I apply for Australian Citizenship?
Becoming an Australian Citizen means you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia, and is the start of your formal membership in the Australian community. All Australian permanent residents are encouraged by the Australian government to apply for Australian citizenship when they become eligible.
To be eligible to apply, and how to apply, will vary depending on your personal circumstances. To find out your eligibility status, please visit the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Citizenship Eligibility page here.
How long does it take to become an Australian Citizen?
The Department of Home Affairs generally processes Australian citizenship applications within 80 days, however there are factors which may delay the outcome such as:
- If all supporting documents have been provided at the time of lodgement
- Your response time to requests for additional information
- The amount of time needed to verify the information provided
If I become an Australian Citizen will I lose any other citizenship?
It may be possible to hold citizenship of two or more countries, however this is depending on the law of each individual country.
This is known as dual, or multiple, citizenship. This process happens automatically once citizenship is granted, if allowed the country you originally held citizenship in.
Can a New Zealand citizen become an Australian citizen?
If you are a New Zealand citizen your eligibility for Australian citizenship depends on if you arrived in Australia before or after 26th February, 2001.
Most New Zealand citizens are automatically grands a Special Category Visa (SCV), a temporary visa which allows the holder to work and remain in the country, upon arrival in Australia.
Those who arrived in Australia before 26th Feb, 2001, and hold an SCV you may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.
For more information on this process to see if you are eligible to apply, we recommend booking a consult with our Registered Immigration Agents to help guide you through this process.
What is the difference between Australian Permanent Residence and Temporary Residence?
Australian Permanent Residence Visas
Australian Permanent Residence status is granted to non-Australian citizens who successfully apply for an Australian Permanent Visa. A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia.
However, you do not hold an Australian passport, this is only granted to Australian citizens.
Australian Temporary Residence Visas
Holding a Temporary Residence Visa allows the holder to live and work within Australia, for a limited time. The majority of Temporary Residence Visas require sponsorship from either an Australian business or an Australian State or Territory Government, which will then need approval from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
Note, not all Temporary visas allow the visa holder to work in Australia.
Can Australian Visa Applications be cancelled, refused or denied?
Yes, your visa application may be cancelled, refused or denied.
If this happens, you may be able to appeal the decision and ask for a review by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Our registered migration lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with these issues, and can first help you discuss your options as well as assisting to represent you at the hearing. For more information about Visa Appeals please visit this page here.
What are some of the reasons that Australian Visas may be refused?
There are a number of reasons why a visa application may be refused, however the main reason for applicants who apply themselves is due to applications being submitted with incomplete information. This is why we recommend using a professional service, such as AMALSA, to help reduce the risk of your application being refused.
Other reasons Australian visa applications may be refused include:
- Missing proof of financial information
- Providing false and incorrect information
- Nominating the wrong occupation from the Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
- Incorrect use of visas – eg using a tourist visa to visit relatives or partners
- Not meeting health requirements
- Not providing proof that you are competent in the English language
What happens if my Australian Visa is refused or cancelled?
If your visa is cancelled, you may be able to appeal the decision and ask for a review by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). However, not all decisions are reviewable by the AAT.
Our registered migration lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with these issues, and can first help you discuss your options as well as assisting to represent you at the hearing.
If my Australian Visa is refused will the application costs be refunded?
No. The fees involved with visa applications must be paid regardless of whether your application is successful or not. If you application is refused or denied, then you will not receive a refund on these fees.
This is also why we recommend seeking the advice and assisted of a Registered Immigration Consultant, such as AMALSA, to help reduce the risk of having your visa refused and losing time, money and you chance at a successful visa application.
Can my Employer cancel my Visa?
No, your employer cannot cancel your visa, only the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has the ability to cancel visas. However, they may end your employment which could affect your visa.
What happens if my Sponsoring Employer terminates my Employment?
If your sponsoring employer terminates your employee agreement you have 90 days to either:
- Find another employer to sponsor you
- Apply for a different visa
- Leave Australian within the 90 days or before your visa expires (whichever comes first)
If this happens and you wish to discuss your options, we recommend booking a consultation with our Registered Migration Agent experts to help you find the best solution possible.
What are Australian Visa Character Requirements?
For a successful Visa application, applicants must be of good character and meet certain character requirements.
This includes providing evidence such as police clearance certificates from your country of origin, as well as Australia, as well as any other supporting evidence which may be required.
Do I need a Health Check for an Australian Visa?
Yes, as part of the process applicants will need to complete a health examination for an Australian visa.
Australia is fortunate to have some of the highest standards of health care in the world. For Australia to be able to maintain these standards most visa applicants are therefore required to meet certain minimum health standards to be eligible for a visa.
The levels of what are required depends on individual circumstances and the visa you are applying for.
How long are the results of the medical examinations valid for?
Health checks and clearances are usually valid for 12 months, unless you are asked to a health undertaking it is only valid for 6 months.
What is a Labour Agreement?
A Labour agreement is a formal arrangement which is negotiated between the Australian Government and an employer, of an Australian organisation, which allows the employer to recruit an agreed number of skilled worker from outside of Australia.
The labour agreement needs to:
- Outline and identify the relevant skills shortage in the business and specify why these vacancies cannot be filled by Australian workers
- Specify the number of skilled workers needed, from outside of Australia
- The skill level, age and English language requirements needed for the relevant nominated occupations
What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)?
An Expression of Interest (EOI) is a way of showing that you are interested in applying for an Australian Skilled Visa.
It is an online form in SkillSelect which assesses a series of questions about your skills and experience, depending on the skilled visa subclass that you are intending to apply for, and then calculates your ability to meet the points test.
If you are also considering a Sponsored Skilled Visa, it is also available for Employers and State/Territory Government agencies.
What is the Skilled Points Test?
The majority of Australian Skilled Visas require applicants to reach a minimum number of points of the Skilled Points Test.
Skilled Visas are one of the most complex to apply for, so we highly recommend if you are looking at this option to contact us for an initial consult so we can help to determine if you are eligible before proceeding with any application.
What is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency test and is required for individuals who wish to study, work and migrate abroad.
The IELTS is the most popular English language test in the world, recognised by over 9,000 organisations across 135 countries, with around two million tests taken annually.
The test assesses all English skills, including speaking, listening, reading and writing and is designed to prove you level of ability in using English at work, studying and in everyday life.
The test was developed by an international team of experts who undergo extensive research to ensure the test is both fair and unbiased for all candidates, regardless of any demographic factors.
Is there an age limit for emigrating to Australia?
Generally the age limit for the majority of Australian visas is 45 years old. Some business visas however allow for applicants up to 55 years old.