Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please click here to download your pdf copy of the questions and answers below:
Q: I am
skilled, under 50 years of age and wanting to migrate to Australia permanently
for work – am I eligible for a visa?
The General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa
scheme allows professional and skilled people between the ages of 18 and 49 to
migrate permanently to Australia, where they have skills in particular
occupations required in Australia. You will have to have a sufficient level of
English, have work experience, necessary qualifications and meet the Points
If you have an Australian employer
willing to nominate you, you may also be eligible for an Employer Nomination
Scheme (ENS) visa.
I apply for a GSM visa or an ENS visa?
you have an Australian employer willing to nominate you, you can apply under
ENS. An ENS visa is generally preferable to a GSM visa, as it takes less time
to process in most cases.
have an employer willing to nominate me under ENS, what do I do next?
Being granted a visa under ENS is a
two-stage process: first your employer will need to lodge a nomination
application, and then you will need to lodge a visa application. These can be
lodged at the same time or sequentially. However note that the visa application
cannot be lodged before the nomination is lodged.
you find me an Australian employer who will nominate me for a visa?
No, we cannot find an Australian employer
to nominate you. However, if you have a current or prospective employer who is
unsure about whether to nominate you, we are happy to discuss the requirements
and process with them and answer any queries they may have.
would like to come to Australia to set up my own business, what kind of visa
should I apply for?
The business skills stream encourages
successful business people to settle permanently in Australia and operate or
develop existing or new businesses. Amongst other requirements, you will need a
solid business plan, appropriate business registration and licenses, sufficient
funds and assets and a successful business career to date. Depending on the
visa subclass there may also be English language and maximum age requirements.
Note that in most cases you must first apply for a 4 year provisional visa before
becoming eligible for permanent residency.
a business manager or owner and would like to sponsor or
of my employees to remain in Australia – what do I have to do?
Employers can sponsor or nominate a
foreign worker for either a temporary or permanent visa in Australia.
The temporary 457 visa can be granted for
a period of up to 4 years and requires that the visa-holder works only for the
sponsoring business. A business must first apply to the Immigration Department to become an approved
sponsor (valid for 3 years), and can then nominate as many employees as their
business requires. The sponsored employee must work in an occupations required
in Australia and there are requirements that both the employer and employee
Employers can also nominate a person for
a permanent residency visa under ENS.
have almost completed my studies in Australia and would like to stay and work –
what are my options?
Depending on your occupation, you may be
eligible for a GSM permanent residency visa. If you have found an Australian
employer willing to nominate you, you may be eligible for an ENS permanent
residency visa. There are also temporary visa options for you to remain in
Australia. These include the 457 temporary work visa and the Graduate Temporary
Visa subclass 485 (GTV). The GTV allows
international students who have completed at least 2 academic years of study in
Australia to remain for a further 18 months. During this time, the visa holder
can gain work experience, English language skills or other requirements
necessary to be eligible for a permanent visa.
a student visa holder but have decided to stop my studies and work full time in
Australia. Once I lodge my 457 visa application can I start to work full time?
Most student visas permit the holder to
work only up to 20 hours a week while their course of study is in session. If
this work limitation applies to you then you do
full time work rights before you have been granted the
457 visa. You must abide by the student visa conditions for as long as you hold
partner and I have been in a de facto or spouse relationship for many years,
but have lived in separate countries for most of that time. Will we be to get a
it is possible for you to be granted a partner visa, provided that you
maintained your relationship throughout the times apart, you never intended to
be apart permanently, and you can provide a reasonable explanation for the
physical separation, evidence of your ongoing relationship and continuing
communication throughout this time. We are happy to discuss the kinds of
evidence that the Immigration Department will require.
am in a same-sex de facto relationship – am I eligible for a partner visa?
same-sex couples are eligible to apply for a partner visa. As with opposite
sex couples, you will have to demonstrate to the Immigration Department that you are in a
long-term, exclusive, committed and genuine relationship.
am an Australian permanent resident and would like to bring my parents to
Australia to live permanently – is this possible?
are migration options for parents of Australian permanent residents who are
‘settled’ in Australia. Eligibility will depend on which countries all other
family members reside in and particularly how many live in Australia. A
further option exists for a parent who has never been (or is no longer)
married and has been dependant on the Australian sponsor for at least 3
years. Note that processing times for parent visas are extremely long.
am an Australian permanent resident and would like to bring my adult brother/
sister to Australia to live permanently – is this possible?
may be able to assist your brother/ sister through demonstration of ties to
Australia and with the cost of resettlement. However there is no
“Brother/sister” visa, and the family visa stream allows for migration of
brothers and sisters only in very limited circumstances. Your brother/ sister
will likely need to apply to migrate independently, such as through the
skilled or employer sponsored streams. We are happy to discuss your family’s
circumstances and options.
have remained in Australia unlawfully after my previous visa expired – what
can I do?
may be able to apply for a visa after remaining in Australia illegally,
however this will depend on your particular circumstances. It may be
necessary for you to leave Australia to lodge a visa application offshore
before you can return and legalise your status. In some cases you may be able to lodge an application and remain in
Australia during processing. We
are happy to discuss strategies based on your own particular circumstances.
have lodged a visa application with the Immigration Department but have not yet received any
response - what can I do?
visa type has a different likely processing time, based either on order of
lodgement or processing priorities put in place by the government. Some visa
categories have a strict annual limit of visas able to be granted. In most
cases the Immigration Department does not accept requests for expedited processing. If you have not
yet received an acknowledgement letter or email from the Immigration Department which confirms that
they have received the application you should contact the Immigration Department to make sure they
received the application.
your application is not yet lodged, here are a few tips to give your
application the best chance of success:
- Ensure that your application is as
complete as possible;
- Post your application directly to the
relevant Immigration Department processing centre;
- Use a postal method that ‘tracks’ your
application so you know when it has arrived at the Immigration Department and keep this record (for example, a courier service);
- If you are applying under ENS, you can
try to lodge a ‘decision ready’ application with the assistance of a
- If you are applying under GSM, you may
be able to convert your application to ENS if you find a willing employer
all cases, make sure that you have received an acknowledgement letter or
email from the Immigration Department which confirms that they have received the application.
visa application has been refused - is there anything I can do?
you applied for a visa while in Australia, it is likely that you can apply
for review of the refusal decision to the Migration Review Tribunal. In some
cases, applications that were lodged offshore will also be eligible for
review. Note that this is a lengthy and expensive process, and that in many
cases it is advisable to lodge another visa application rather than seek
review. We are happy to discuss the best strategy for you.
have already lodged my visa application using a Migration Agent but am no
longer happy with them – can I change Migration Agent half way through the
you are able to appoint a new Migration Agent or to just end a previous
Agent’s appointment. You will have to complete From 956 and provide it to
the Immigration Department.
Please click this link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia
phone: +61 (0)2 9660 0564