PAX Migration Australia has helped many people to achieve their migration goals in Australia since it was established in 2013. Whether that be a short-term visit as a working holiday maker, a longer-term temporary skilled visa, or a permanent residency partner visa, there are a multitude of examples of happy and satisfied clients along the way, who have been able to live their dream in Australia.
Visa Case Study
In this article, we share with you a real-life visa example of a client (Angela, not her real name) whom we helped to achieve her migration goal of finally qualifying for permanent residence in Australia after a long migration journey. In Angela’s visa case study, she had initially arrived in Australia as a dependent on her father’s subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa along with all of her family (note the subclass 457 has been replaced by the subclass 482 visa in March 2018).
By the time Angela came to see us, the rest of her family had all gone on, not only to attain permanent residency, but Australian citizenship, whilst Angela was still on a Bridging Visa. How could this be?
Read Angela’s visa example below to find out how PAX Migration Australia helped Angela to live her dream by becoming a permanent resident of Australia.
How PAX Migration Australia Assisted Angela To Become A Permanent Resident
Here is Angela’s story.
Angela (name changed) came to us after having been in Australia for over six years. As noted above, she had originally came over as a dependent on her father’s temporary skilled visa together with her family. The rest of her family had since all gone on to become Australian citizens. Angela meanwhile, held a Bridging Visa. Why was this the case?
Angela came to us seeking our advice and assistance. We conducted a comprehensive consultation with Angela to learn a full picture of her situation, from start to finish; a history if you will, to fully understand her story and how she may be able to move on from here.
So, What Happened To Angela?
Apparently Angela was refused her permanent residency when the remainder of her family was granted theirs as the Case Officer had not deemed her to be her father’s dependent (be aware that ‘dependent’ is a defined term in the migration provisions; this is an example of the depth of knowledge that is required to correctly apply the migration provisions. On the face of it, this term may seem pretty self explanatory, but this is not how the law works. Many terms and concepts are strictly defined, and often layered, requiring a detailed knowledge and understanding to correctly apply the law. But more on this later).
How Did PAX Migration Australia Help Angela?
Angela had been searching for ways to stay in Australia ever since and came to us after another of her visa applications had been refused. We explored all of her options by conducting a comprehensive assessment of her individual circumstances, goals and needs. We determined that her best course of action would be to apply for a Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa as she was a qualified Enrolled Nurse and had been working as an Enrolled Nurse for more than a year in South Australia whilst studying for her Registered Nursing qualification. Angela was happy to try, but was quite anxious as she had been advised that she was not eligible and had experienced refusals in the past.
What Is A Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) Visa?
A subclass 190 visa is a skilled state sponsored visa which allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. State sponsored means that it requires nomination approval by a State or Territory Government. To be eligible for the subclass 190 visa, you must satisfy both Immigration and State/Territory requirements (i.e. criteria that is set by your nominating jurisdiction).
Another important feature of the subclass 190 visa is that it is based on an invitation system, whereby you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department of Home Affairs (the Department), to express your interest in applying for the visa.
Other key elibility requirements include having an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list, and a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation from a prescribed skills assessing body.
You must also be under 45 years of age at the time the invitation is received, and have Competent English.
Other requirements including health and character criteria also apply.
Be mindful that the requirements noted above are those that apply for Immigration purposes. To qualify, you must also meet state/territory criteria. This may include a requirement to have lived, studied and/or worked in your nominating state or territory for a certain period of time. There may also be higher standards to meet compared with Immigration requirements. For example, a higher level of English language competency may be needed to meet state/territory nomination crtieria.
Another important point to note is that although the subclass 190 visa grants you immediate permanent residence in Australia, you must commit to living in your nominating State or Territory for two years following visa grant.
Get More Information
To learn more about applying for a subclass 190 visa, please see the following articles:
Now, Back To Angela…
Returning to our visa case study, we commenced Angela’s application, methodically working with Angela through each step in the preparation process to gather and compile all the inofmation and documents as required. As we got over each hurdle, including obtaining a positive skills assessment, state nomination approval and attaining an invitation to apply for the subclass 190 visa, it was time for Angela to go offshore.
Why Did Angela Need To Leave Australia?
Angela was unable to apply for the visa whilst in Australia as she was section 48 barred. This meant that she had to depart Australia to lodge the subclass 190 visa application.
What Does ‘Section 48 Barred’ Mean?
Section 48 of the Migration Act limits the ability of certain non-citizens in Australia to apply for a visa whilst they remain onshore. If you are subject to section 48 (which is also commonly referred to as ‘section 48 barred’), then you can apply only for a prescribed list of visas in Australia (provided that you are eligible). Otherwise, you must depart Australia and apply for the visa offshore.
When Does Section 48 Apply?
Section 48 of the Act applies to a non-Australian citizen who:
- is onshore in Australia;
- does not hold a substantive visa (this refers to any visa excluding a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa); and
- after last entering Australia:
- has had a visa refused (except for a bridging visa, or a visa refusal on character grounds), whether or not that application has been finally determined; or
- has had a visa cancelled (under certain provisions).
Why Did Section 48 Apply To Angela?
Angela was subject to the section 48 bar because:
- she was onshore in Australia;
- she held a bridging visa (and therefore did not hold a substantive visa); and
- after last entering Australia, Angela had a visa refused.
This meant that she could apply only for a limited number of visas, as prescribed, from onshore. This list included an onshore partner visa, protection visa, medical treatment visa and bridging visa. The list of prescribed visas for this purpose did not include a subclass 190 visa at the time.
As a result, Angela needed to depart Australia to apply for the subclass 190 visa offshore.
On the day she had to leave, Angela was feeling as anxious as ever.
‘Do you think they will approve my visa?’
‘Will I ever be able to come back?’
PAX Migration Australia supported Angela through this difficult time and to try to put her at ease, providing her with as much information as we could, and answering her questions so that she fully understood the circumstances at all times throughout the process.
And so Angela went offshore, after which we lodged her subclass 190 visa application.
A Note About Section 48 Today
Since Angela’s case, there have been some significant changes to the section 48 bar, which, would have affected Angela’s application and her ability to apply for a subclass 190 visa onshore had she applied today.
What Has Changed?
Commencing from 13 November 2021, the list of prescribed visas that a non-citizen who is subject to section 48 may apply for now includes the following skilled visa subclasses:
- Subclass 190 Skilled Independent visa;
- Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa; and
- Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa.
What Does This Mean?
As a result of these changes to Section 48, if you have had a visa refused or cancelled since you last entered Australia (and you are subject to Section 48) and you do not hold a substantive visa, you may apply for either a subclass 190, 491 or 494 visa whilst you remain in Australia (i.e. you do not need to depart Australia to apply).
How Would This Have Affected Angela?
Had these changes to section 48 been made when Angela was applying for her subclass 190 visa, then she would not have been required to leave Australia in order to apply. Rather, she could have lodged an application for a subclass 190 visa onshore.
For potential visa applicants facing a similar situation to Angela today, this change to section 48 is a significant positive development for skilled migrants who are affected by Section 48, as they are no longer subject to the requirement to leave Australia to apply for one of the prescribed skilled visas noted above.
Now, Back To Angela Again
Next Stage … Visa Processing
Following on with Angela’s visa example, now that the application had been lodged with the Department, it was in their hands to assess and to make a decision. As part of this process, a case officer is assigned to each application.
Once the case officer started processing Angela’s application, another hurdle had to be overcome, in that they started to question whether Angela’s work experience came to total at least 20 hours per week for 12 months (we had claimed 5 points in the Migration Points Test on this basis).
Now to explain this point further, as part of the Migration Points Test, you can claim 5 points for Australian employment experience. To meet this requirement and to be eligible for these 5 points, at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant must have been employed in Australia in their nominated skilled occupation, or in a closely related skilled occupation, for a period totalling at least 12 months in the 10 years immediately before that time.
What Does ‘Employed’ Mean?
‘Employed’ for this purpose is a defined term in the Migration Regulations. It states the following:
“employed means engaged in an occupation for remuneration for at least 20 hours a week.”
According to Immigration policy, to evidence claims, applicants may be asked by the Department to provide detailed evidence of their terms of employment and salary payments.
How Did PAX Migration Australia Address This?
Having analysed the documents thoroughly and discussed the point in detail with the Angela, we were confident that she met this requirement (i.e. that Angela had been employed in Australia in accordance with the above definition, and that she was entitled to claim the 5 points).
We gathered further documentation from Angela, and provided this to the case officer in conjunction with a comprehensive submission citing case law, legislation and departmental policy, all evidencing that Angela did meet the employment requirement to claim the points.
The good news was that finally, after being offshore for four months, Angela’s subclass 190 visa was approved and she returned to Australia as an Australian permanent resident.
We were glad to be able to support Angela in achieving her migration goals in Australia, after what had been a long migration journey over six years, Angela was finally able to move on and begin her life in Australia as a permanent resident.
We hope that by providing you with this visa application example, you are better able to see just how valuable it can be to seek professional advice in migration matters. You can see how a real-life situation played out, most importanly helping Angela to ultimately meet her migration goals in Australia.
Let us now give you more of an insight into what is involved in a migration matter, to give you a sense of the depth and breath of the information that comes into play. The above visa case study introduced you to the type of work and analysis that we conducted for Angela. Read on to learn more about just how complex things can become in the migration space.
Migration Law, What Do You Need To Be Aware Of?
We now examine the migration law landscape, by looking at some of its characteristics such as its depth and complexity, and why seeking expert help with your migration matter can be so beneficial to the overall outcome of your case. What better way to be fully informed of the migration provisions and how they apply to you than by speaking to someone with the knowhow, who is able to advise you on the most up-to-date migration law and how it affects you. A Registered Migration Agent will work with you to compile and lodge a complete and correct visa application as well as all required supporting documents with the Department, to give you the best chance of achieving a positive outcome on your case.
Migration Is Complex
Migration law has long been known as one of the most complex areas of law in Australia. It comprises of a number of elements that require years of training and experience to fully understand and correctly apply the law to real-life situations. Its all well and good to simply read the text of the provisions, but what many people don’t realise is the sheer volume of layers that sit beneath the surface when analysing and applying the migration provisions. In this regard, the Migration Act 1958 is simply a base; a starting point if you will. What really matters is what sits behind that, be that the Migration Regulations, policy, case law and tribunal decisions among the raft of important data sources when assessing your eligibility for a visa, as well as compliling the application itself. This requires judgement in many respects. For instance, you will not find written anywhere that you must prepare a submission to accompany your visa application. But trained professionals often do so; they use their judgement and experience to assess instances where further information and/or explanation is required in demonstrating to the Department that a particular legislative provision has been met. They work with their clients to gather as much information as they can on all relevant matters, and prepare written submissions to explain in detail their clients’ circumstances, and how they meet a particular provision. These experts often conduct detailed research into other sources as well, such as policy and case law, to help support their case. They prepare lengthy submissions to add further support to their client’s application, all in an effort to help get the application ‘across the line’ and approved. It takes experience and knowledge of the law to assess when such a submission may be needed to help improve a client’s chances of achieving a sucessful outcome on their application. Again, not the type of information that you will find online.
And it goes further; industry knowledge and networking means that we, as registered migration agents, are always one step ahead, keeping a close eye on developments and what may be coming. This enables us to anticipate changes that may be in the pipeline, and to prepare our clients for what may happen in the future. Nothing is ever guaranteed in migration; things can change very quickly, and so it is vital to be deeply enmeshed and involved in the industry, to maximise the benefits for our clients. Knowledge is key. And we use it to full effect to help our clients to achieve the results they are after.
What About Online Information?
Anyone can quickly read the information on the Department’s website or other online sources and make a conculsion one way or another. But this is, at best, surface area knowledge. You need to really delve deep into the detail by refering to multiple other sources to fully understand the law and how it applies to you. For instance, a reference to three years work experience as a requirement for visa grant might seem simple enough, but what does this really mean? Important points to consider in this regard would be things like:
- when must this work experience have been completed?
- at what skill level and does it need to be full-time?
- can you include part-time work?
- what if you took time off, how do you account for this?
- what if part of your work experience was undertaken whilst you were completing a qualification?
- does it have to be paid work, or can, say, an internship count?
- can the work experience be completed overseas, or does it need to be in Australia?
These are just some of the types of questions that you would need to ask in the case of, what at first appears to be a relatively simple concept, but in reality, is deeply layered with several defined terms to take into account and further information sources to explore, to get the answers you need. Many concepts in migration law are like this. Supposedly simple terms, but not so when you delve deeper behind the meaning.
What About Other People’s Experiences?
You might speak to a friend or colleague who has gone through the process themselves and shared their experiences and knowledge with you. Should you simply follow this and do the same? Absolutely not! Everyone is different; we all have different experiences and our circumsances are different. You need to apply the migration provisions to your specific situation, not just simply follow what others have done. They may offer some helpful information and advice, but this is probably more from a personal point of view, rather than the correct technical application of the migration law to your situation. It is very important to carefully and competently analyse and assess your particular circumstances, and to build a visa case around that; not someone else’s experience.
As you can see from the above, as as illustrated by Angela’s visa application example, it can be more complicated that one might imagine when applying for a visa to Australia. A good way to explain this is with the phrase ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Consider this for a moment; you might think that what you see online when researching your migration options in Australia is the full picture but, in reality, this is rarely the case, apart from perhaps the most simple of applications like an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, or your first Working Holiday Maker visa, for example. In most cases, it is not enough to simply trawl the internet for information to prepare your visa application.
Who Can Help You With Your Visa Application?
Give yourself the best chance of a sucessful outcome by speaking with a migration professional like PAX Migration Australia. Our agents have the qualifications, and years of training and experience to advise you of your migration options, and outline step-by-step, how you can achieve your migration goals in Australia. They will carefully assess your situation, and prepare tailored advice especially for you, based on your individual circumstances, and your goals and needs. Being fully informed in this regard is crucial to maximise your chances of achieving a successful outcome on your application. And getting it right means less chances of a refusal and all the potential ramifications that this may entail, some more serious which may affect your ability to apply for a future visa in Australia. Apart from the inconvenience, and lost time and money too. You can make every effort to avoid this; the key is being fully informed. And what better way to ensure that you are armed with the information you need than to speak with a migration expert. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you in your migration goals in Australia, just like Angela.
For migrants, we are here to provide you with the services you need to effectively migrate to Australia, including visa applications and appeals. And for employers, we can assist your business to employ foreign labour and improve your productivity. Our company leverages over 29 years of experience in international education and Australian commerce. We invest heavily in professional development to ensure our technical skills are at the highest level. We consider ourselves leaders in the Migration profession and are committed to best practice ethics and technical excellence.
Why Choose PAX Migration Australia To Help You?
Here are some of the reasons why you should talk to us, and what sets us apart from our competion.
Save You Time And Money
Our knowledge and experience allows us to see the pitfalls and make sure you deploy the right strategy first time.
Lower Refusal Risk
We know what is required to lodge ‘Decision Ready’ applications. Each case is given our 100% attention so you wont have any delays due to your Agent or immigration lawyer.
We Can Solve Problems And Relieve Stress
There are often opportunities hidden from plain sight and we often see options others don’t.
We Provide A Personalised Service
We are always available to take questions and help in any way we can at any time, even after your visa is approved.
What Do Our Clients Have To Say About Us?
Its important that you hear from our clients and what they have to say about us. Our client testimonials, reviews and feedback provide a true picture of the service we provide, as they come directly from our clients. What better way to gain a true and authentic insight into our service offering and experience than by getting it straight from the source; from others who are just like you, looking for someone to help them to achieve their migration goals in Australia. Someone you can put your trust into, and work alongside, to formulate a visa pathway and to put the process in motion and prepare and lodge your application. Someone who can competenly act on your behalf on migration matters, who can communicate with the Department and other relevant entities, someone you can ask questions of, as many as you need, and whenever you need. We are here to service you, to make this the best experience it can be. We take the stress out, we handle the difficult stuff so you don’t have to. We strive to make the experience as comfortable and pain-free as possible for our clients, because we know just how stressful the process can be. Rest assured that you are in good hands with PAX Migration Australia.
We have also been rated the top agent in South Australia! See below to find out more.
We truly achieve results for our clients, as demonstrated in Angela’s visa application example. The above reviews, testimonials and ratings are testament to that.
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Migration Advice And Assistance
For more information about how a migration professional like PAX Migration Australia can assist you in achieving your migration goals in Australia, just like in Angela’s visa case study, please see the following articles:
To learn more about applying for a skilled visa, including the subclass 190 visa like in Angela’s visa example, please see the following articles:
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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about how we can assist you in your migration matter, just like we helped Angela, as illustrated in her visa application example.
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for a visa in Australia, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this. As we have noted in this article, there are several terms that are defined in the migration provisions. Like in Angela’s visa case study, for example, the term ‘dependent’ for visa purposes is strictly defined. It is vital to have a good understanding of these terms and how they apply in practice, to avoid ending up in a situation as illustrated in Angela’s visa example. Detailed advice about these is beyond the scope of this article and we would therefore recommend that you seek further information in this regard.
For up to date advice on applying for a visa to Australia, and to join our many happy clients, including like Angela’s visa application example, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on a range of visas. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you in your migration goals in Australia.