Should I use a migration agent or a lawyer?
Both registered migration agents, and migration lawyers are trained to process visa applications. Migration lawyershowever, are also trained in general legal procedure, and therefore will have more tools at their disposal for solving a client’s migration matter. Lawyers are also bound by their own code of conduct, and face harsh sanctions where this is breached.
Do I need to use an advisor at all?
The visa application process in Australia enables anyone to complete and lodge their own application. And many individuals do this and succeed. However, migration law and policy is both complex and changing. Migration agents and migration lawyers deal with migration and visa issues on a daily basis and are able to see quickly, the issues relevant to an individual’s application.
Migration agents and lawyers can also advise the client on full range of visa options available to the client, as well as advise of any policy changes current or pending which may impact the client’s application. These matters will not always be apparent to the applicant working on their own.
What do I need to get a visa?
A range of visa options is available, each with their own requirements or primary criteria. Below are examples of some of those criteria:
Skilled Migrant visa applicants must be under 45 years of age, be tertiary qualified, and have good English.
Spouse visa applicants must demonstrate that they have a genuine and ongoing spousal relationship with their sponsoring spouse.
Student visa applicants must demonstrate that they are genuine students, in order to meet the primary criteria for that subclass. They must also be capable of supporting themselves financially while they are in Australia without resorting to employment.
Requirements will also vary according to an applicant’s country of origin and family ties, as well as the applicant’s intended length of stay in Australia.
It should be noted that criteria in all visa applications are strict. If the applicant knows they do not satisfy the criteria for a given visa subclass, they should not apply for that subclass, as there is no discretion for the decision-maker to make an exception.
What if my application is refused?
Where a visa application is refused by the Department of Immigration, there are some rights of appeal. Depending on the type of visa, the applicant may be able to have their application reviewed in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If the Tribunal allows the appeal, the applicant’s case is then remitted to the Department for further consideration. It should be noted that a positive finding by the Tribunal does not of itself mean the grant of the visa – it merely requires the Department to reconsider its original decision.
What are the limitations on my visa?
A visa will often have conditions attached to it. These may include restrictions on the right to work, to study, or to receive social security benefits. The visa-applicant must be sure they understand the conditions attached to their own visa. Where conditions are breached, the visa-holder may have their visarevoked, or worse, face deportation.
Will a visa give me citizenship in Australia?
Not of itself. A visa is only a right to enter and remain in Australia for a specified period. Some types of visa however, give the visa-holder permanent residency status in Australia. Provided certain criteria are met, a visa-holder with permanent residency may have the right to apply for citizenship in the future.
Can I extend my visa term once I’m in Australia?
Provided you don’t have a “No Further Stay” condition attached to your visa, you may be able to apply for a further visa to enable you to stay for a further period. While this second application is being considered, you may be granted a bridging visa enabling you to remain lawfully in Australia while this second application is being assessed. If however, this subsequent application is refused, you will have to leave Australia before a specified date.