Applying for a visa to Australia can be more complicated than most people might think. Some may see the process as simply involving filling out simple forms and submitting them to the Department of Home Affairs (the Department). Whilst this may be the case for certain short-term temporary visas (such as the Subclass 651 eVisitor visa and the Subclass 601 Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa, which usually only require a valid passport to apply), in most instances, lodging a visa application is far from a simple and straight-forward process.
What to Know Before Applying for an Australian Visa
Having a good understanding of how the overall process works, the eligibility requirements that need to be met to qualify for a visa, the options that are available to prospective applicants based on their individual circumstances, the potential pro’s and con’s that may arise from the various visa pathways on offer, and the longer term implications and prospects that may result from taking one course of action over another, are all important factors to consider when embarking on this exercise.
How Can An Immigration Agent In Adelaide help you?
An immigration agent in Adelaide, such as PAX Migration Australia, is an expert in the field and can help you through this process to improve your chances of achieving a successful result. Their knowledge, experience and guidance will help pave the way for you to gain a good understanding of what is involved, identifying which visa option/s you may be eligible for, and formulating a tailored pathway for you to get to where you want to go, based on your personal circumstances, wants and needs.
You might be looking to visit Australia for a short-term stay to visit a family member, or you may be seeking to gain valuable skills and thereby improve your future employment prospects by completing a qualification at one of the many highly regarded education providers in Australia. You may have longer term aspirations to eventually settle in Australia permanently. Whatever it is that you seek to achieve, an immigration consultant in Adelaide can help to take the stress out of what is usually a complex process, by arming you with the information you need to do it right, and thereby helping to reduce the prospect of your visa application being refused, along with the consequent lost time and money that may result.
Why Is Applying For A Visa To Australia So Complicated?
- If you conduct a search online for information on applying for a visa to Australia, you will find that a multitude of links come up. Whilst this may look promising and a useful source of data for you to use, keep in mind that anyone can post just about anything on the internet these days, whether or not it is correct and/or current at the time you conduct your search.
- Migration comprises such an immense volume of information, just based on the sheer number of visas available (at current count, there are in excess of 70 subclasses). Each visa has been designed to meet a specific purpose and has its own requirements to qualify. Certain temporary visas also provide a pathway to permanent residency, subject to meeting prescribed criteria at a future point in time. Therefore, even if you are granted a temporary visa, if you wish to take up the option of applying for PR in the future under the specially established pathway, you need to ensure that you are fully across what you need to do as a holder of that temporary visa, which will enable you to qualify for PR. Failing to do so may result in losing a valuable opportunity to utilise this pathway for PR under the programme. Drawing the information that you need by conducting a simple search online is unlikely to reap satisfactory results, just given the number of options available. It can be a minefield!
- Given the fast-moving pace of the industry, with frequent changes made to the migration laws, there is a good chance that some of information that you come across online may be out-of-date. The problem with using information from this source is that you cannot be assured of whether it is correct, how current it is, and if it is from a reputable source.
- There are also many forums online with individuals posting about their own experiences applying for a visa to Australia. Whilst this information may be interesting reading, you should never rely on these types of comments, as you cannot know with any certainty what each individual’s personal circumstances are. Migration is an area where there are strict and hard-line requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for a visa. Missing just one of these criteria or making a mistake in your application can result in it being refused. This is why it is so important to do it properly. Getting something wrong can also result in longer term consequences which may affect your ability to qualify for a visa to Australia in the future.
- There may be alternate streams to qualify for certain visas. For example, if you are seeking a Skilled Regional visa, you may be eligible for a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa independently, or you may be sponsored by an employer in Australia for a Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa. Although the outcome of each is a provisional 5-year visa with the option to later qualify for a Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (after three years, provided eligibility criteria are met), the requirements to qualify for these provisional visas are very different. You need to ensure that you apply for the correct visa subclass based on your individual circumstances. And the only way you can do that is by being fully informed on all the requirements you need to meet to qualify.
- The way the migration laws are structured requires a deeper understanding of how they work. For example, one critical element is the distinction between valid visa lodgement requirements and visa grant requirements. To submit a complete and correct application whose lodgement is acknowledged by the Department, you need to carefully comply with the criteria for lodging a valid visa. Whereas to qualify for visa grant, you need to satisfy a different set of requirements, which are distinct from those that apply for lodgement purposes only.
- There is also the added complication of time-limits, which are a frequent feature of the visa requirements. There are almost always time-restricted elements that form part of a visa application, such as whether you meet a requirement (and can evidence this with supporting documents) at time of application or time of decision. Things can change in this intervening period and you need to ensure that you know exactly which date applies to each individual element within the application.
- Furthermore, certain elements of the application have a maximum lifespan for visa purposes, such as English test results and skills assessments, which have a maximum time period for when they will remain valid for visa purposes. Some visas require you to be a certain age to qualify at a specific time. Certain visa subclasses also require you to lodge the application by a certain date to be eligible (for example, among the eligibility requirements to qualify for a Subclass 485 Graduate Visa, to lodge a valid application, you must apply within six months of holding your Subclass 500 Student Visa. Further, to qualify for visa grant, you must lodge within six months of completion of your course). These are just some examples of how time-limits must be factored into the process.
- Developing a roadmap for the future can also often be a complicated process, as you need to factor in all of the elements discussed above (in addition to other considerations as they apply to your individual circumstances). For example, you may initially enter Australia on a Subclass 500 Student Visa, and be potentially considering a permanent residency visa later down the track. If you were to choose a Skilled Visa, for example, you need to take into account your age, and ensure that you apply whilst you still remain eligible. You therefore need to carefully develop an effective plan from where you are today, with where you are today, and the steps you need to take to achieve your ultimate goal. An immigration consultant Adelaide can help you to do this.
- If you are applying for a certain Skilled Visa, or for a Business Visa, you also need to consider that the process is not one that only involves lodging a visa application with the Department. You actually need to first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department, which is not a visa application and which therefore, if you are in Australia, this may have implications for your lawful status (i.e. you will not be granted a Bridging Visa at the time of lodging the EOI, and therefore you must hold another visa that allows you to lawfully remain in Australia). The problem is that lodging an EOI does not guarantee that you will be issued with an invitation to apply for a visa, and therefore you could be waiting a long time, all the while ensuring that your lawful status in Australia is maintained. If you are applying for a visa which requires nomination approval from a State or Territory Government, this extra step must also be factored into the process.
Why Choose Immigration Services In Adelaide?
- As you can see from this discussion, there can a multitude of factors that need to be considered before applying for a visa (and there are many more!). And this is exactly why engaging the services of an immigration agent in Adelaide can be so important to potential visa applicants to Australia. An immigration consultant in Adelaide is a trained professional in the industry, who sees the view from ‘behind the scenes.’ Being involved in real life cases equips a service consulting on immigration in Adelaide with the experience and insight that can only be gained by seeing things in practice. Reading information online (which may be incorrect, out of date and/or not even applicable to your own circumstances) can never be equivalent to the valuable skills, qualifications and experience that an immigration agent Adelaide can bring to the table. They know the ‘ins and outs,’ have access to Departmental policy, and they know ‘where to look’ to find the information they are looking for. Some visa applications may require the preparation of a detailed submission, which outlines the visa applicant’s circumstances and explains exactly how they meet the requirements for visa grant. Submissions are often supported by legal arguments and previous Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decisions and case law, a skill that is gained by immigration consultants as part of their training and experience.
- Immigration agents also have access to a wide industry of networks and contacts, from which they can draw valuable information and the latest industry developments. They can also refer clients to other professionals who may assist in certain matters, such as for more niche and specialised areas, or if they require legal advice. They can also point you in the right direction for other services which you may need as part of applying for a visa, such as English language translation services, skills assessments, English language testing, etc.
- Also keep in mind that seeking out a consultant in immigration does not lock you in to engaging their services. Rather, you can start with a consultation as an information-gathering exercise (which is offered in a variety of ways these days, such as an in-person office consultation, or online video, or by telephone) and go from there. You may obtain enough information at this stage to take with you to apply for a visa on your own. Or, you may prefer to appoint an immigration professional to act on your behalf and prepare and lodge the application for you. Find the approach that works best for you.
There are many things to consider when applying for a visa to Australia. Get it right the first time by speaking to an immigration agent in Adelaide, such as PAX Migration Australia, so that you can learn from the experts, and therefore improve your chances of achieving your goals in Australia.
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Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and Citizenship – Visas – Getting a visa – Visa list