Are you planning to apply for a visa to Australia? If you have never prepared such an application before, or maybe you have, but for a different visa subclass to that which you are embarking on now, you may not realise just how much work it can involve, especially in more complex situations. If you are considering whether to seek professional help from a migration agent Glenelg, or whether to go it alone, we thought it might help to explain what you can expect as you take on this process, by providing an insight into what you should be prepared for and the potential issues that can arise, based on our extensive experience in the industry. Our aim is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice about whether seeking help from an expert like immigration agent Glenelg may be beneficial to you.

What Is Involved In Preparing A Visa Application

Let us start right at the beginning. The basics of what you can expect when preparing a visa application.

First, and probably the most important aspect of the entire process, is determining which is the right visa subclass for you to apply for. There are a multitude of visas available to choose from (Visa List from Department of Home Affairs), depending on your purpose in seeking to travel to Australia.

1. Selecting The Right Visa

Broadly, the following visa categories are available.

Visitor And Working Holiday Maker Visas

You may be seeking a short-term visitor visa, perhaps to explore this beautiful country as a tourist, or to visit a friend or family member. Or you may wish to spend a longer period in Australia, backpacking and working around the country, to get a truly authentic experience of everything there is to see and do, and at the same time, get a taste of what it is like to live and work in Australia.

Student And Training Visas

Maybe you would like to study at one of the many internationally, highly regarded educational institutions that are on offer, whether that be as a younger high-school leaver, or you may be seeking to update your skills mid-career, or even making a career change as a mature-age student. You may consider a student/study visa.

Family And Partner Visas

There are also visas that cover family relationships, including child, parent carer and remaining relative visas (other family visas). Or, if you are seeking to settle permanently in Australia with your Australian partner or fiancé, you may be eligible for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa.

Skilled, Work And Business Visas

Skilled visas, which make up the majority of the permanent migration program, offer a range of options, including a temporary employer sponsored visa, which may lead to permanent residence. Alternatively, you may qualify for a permanent employer nominated visa, which grants automatic permanent residency in Australia. Regional provisional visas, which provide a pathway to permanent residence either through a sponsoring employer, or a nomination by a state or territory government agency or a sponsoring eligible relative, are also potential options that may be available to you.

Another potential option you may like to consider, depending on your personal circumstances, is a Business Innovation and Investment Visa, which is a provisional visa providing a pathway to permanent residence in Australia. Alternatively, you may be eligible for a Business Talent visa which grants automatic permanent residency, or a Global Talent visa, which you may be able to apply for either independently or as an employer sponsorship.

Other Visas

There are also a range of other visa types, including Bridging Visas covering a number of different situations, a Resident Return visa, and a Medical Treatment visa.

These are just some of the options available for you to choose from, depending on your individual circumstances and your purpose in seeking to travel to Australia.

Every situation is different because each of us is different and finding the right fit when it comes to selecting a visa is a crucial aspect of this process. Why waste time and money applying for a visa that you are not even eligible for? This is why it is so important to be fully informed about what the requirements are to qualify for the visa subclass/es which you may be interested in, how these apply to your situation, and ultimately make an assessment of whether you qualify. Once you have determined this, you can then proceed to prepare your application, gather all required documents, and apply to the Department of Home Affairs (the Department).

If you book in a consultation with a migration agent Glenelg, our agent will discuss with you your personal situation, and assess your eligibility for a relevant visa subclass at the meeting. You will be presented with the various options that are available to you, and a recommendation as to which one may be the most suitable one for you. It is then up to you to decide how you wish to proceed, and whether you would like to appoint an immigration agent Glenelg to prepare your application, and to act on your behalf in relation to your migration matter.

2. Check Your Visa Status

It is also important to be aware of considerations around your visa status. It is vital to ensure that at all stages, you remain a lawful non-citizen, which means holding a valid visa at all times whilst you are onshore. You also need to know when your current visa expires (if you hold one), and the implications on your visa status if you intend to remain in Australia whilst you prepare, lodge and then await a decision on your application. Also understand that applying for certain visas will not entitle you to be granted a Bridging Visa to allow you to lawfully remain in Australia whilst you await a decision. For example, certain skilled and business visas require you to first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) as a preliminary step. This is the mechanism by which you are able to indicate to the Department your interest in applying for the relevant visa. If you are onshore, the non-grant of a bridging visa at the EOI stage means you either need to hold a valid visa whilst you await an invitation to apply for the visa itself (if your EOI is successful), or you may need to leave Australia. These are important questions which need to carefully understood when making a decision on a migration matter. Add to this the uncertainty and long wait times which are currently being experienced, and things can get very complicated. That is why having a helping hand like PAX Migration Australia may be beneficial to you.

3. Preparing Your Visa Application

Now that you have selected a visa that is suitable for you and importantly, as discussed above, one which you qualify for, the next step is to find out how and where to apply for the visa (some visas must be lodged offshore), what documents you need to provide (and the correct form they must be in to be accepted by the Department), any forms that must be completed and submitted as part of your application, and crucially, any time limits that apply. Be aware also that certain requirements that apply may mean you need to apply to external organisations to obtain the document/s which you need, such as a skills assessment which is required when applying for certain skilled visas, or a police check which may be needed to meet the character requirement for grant of certain visas.

As your appointed Migration Agent, PAX Migration Australia will provide you with a list of documents you need to provide, plus a questionnaire for you to complete, which our agents will use to then prepare your visa application and any additional forms which may be required.

What About Complications Which May Arise?

Unfortunately, it is rarely the case that preparing an application is an easy and straight-forward process (except for maybe short-term Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visitor Visas and the like). Problems are bound to come up. In some cases, these issues come to light at the consultation stage and as part of our discussions with you before we start on your application. Whilst other times, things emerge as we work through the process. Whatever the issue may be, PAX Migration Australia will keep you informed every step of the way, so that you are always ‘in the loop.’ You may not physically be preparing the application, but you always remain ‘in the driver’s seat’ as we work on your behalf.

Some issues require further research and analysis, which may include a detailed written submission explaining arguments, evidence and referencing previous decisions of the AAT or case law to support our argument/s. Migration agent Glenelg will address any issues, whatever they may be, and will keep you informed along the way.

4. Lodging Your Application

Once your application has been prepared and you have all the required documents and forms completed and ready for lodgement, you may then proceed to apply to the Department. PAX Migration Australia will do this on your behalf as your registered migration agent.

When this is done, all you can then do is wait for a decision from the Department. It is also important to monitor your application in case any requests for further information or documents are received from the Department in the intervening period.

As your appointed migration agent, PAX Migration Australia will keep you informed of any updates received on your application and will respond to any all requests in a timely fashion.

5. Decision On Your Application

The next step is receiving a decision from the Department. Hopefully ofcourse, the decision is a positive one. But sometimes, this is not the case in circumstances where the application is refused. In certain cases, you may be able to apply for a review of the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If this is an option available to you, then you need to act quickly, as strict time limits apply.

If you find yourself in this situation, as your agent, PAX Migration Australia will discuss your options with you, including the potential pros and cons of each one, so that you can make an informed decision about how you wish to proceed. Sometimes, even if you can pursue an appeal, there may be a better alternative pathway to take, if you take into account your personal circumstances. For example, pursuing an appeal can be a very lengthy process, meaning you may be waiting a long time, sometimes more than two years for a decision. if you have other options available to you, in some circumstances, taking an alternative course of action may suit you better. This all depends on your personal situation, your goals and needs, which are different for everyone. As your agent, PAX Migration Australia will provide you with tailored advice that is prepared especially for you, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Get More Information

To find out more about why you should consider choosing PAX Migration Australia, more from our clients about what they think about us, and why obtaining expert advice and assistance from a migration agent Glenelg can be beneficial in achieving a positive outcome on your migration matter, please see the following articles:

Selecting a migration agent in Australia

Should I use a migration agent or immigration lawyer for my application?

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For more information on what you can expect from PAX Migration Australia when you engage our services, including the process involved, please see the following articles:

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Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and citizenship – Visas – Getting a visa – Visa list

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Appeals Tribunal – Steps in a review ­ Migration and refugee ­ Migration ­ What happens after lodgement?